DIY Network

How to Install a Vent Fan

Bathroom Renovations host Amy Matthews demonstrates how to install a powerful fan that will keep moist air moving.

More in Electrical

  • Time

    1 hour

  • Price Range

    $1 - $50

  • Difficulty



Step 1: Turn Off the Power and Remove the Fan

Turn the power off at the circuit breaker before beginning work. To make sure the right breaker is turned off, switch on the old vent fan before heading to the breaker box; when the fan loses power, the right breaker is turned off.

Safety Alert: Before working with or even near exposed wiring, always turn off the correct circuit at the breaker box. It's a good idea to tape the breaker switch in the "off" position to prevent someone else from accidentally turning the power on. If you're not absolutely sure whether a circuit is still "hot," use an inexpensive electrical meter to double-check.

Remove the old vent fan. Unscrew the fan housing from the studs or other supports, and disconnect the electrical wires that tie it in to the household wiring.

Step 2: Make the Electrical Connections

Remove the new fan motor from the housing and connect it to the household wiring. Check the instructions to see how the wires need to connect, then strip the ends of the wires and connect them with wire nuts.

Note: Always follow the manufacturer's instructions exactly when installing a new fan or other hard-wired electrical device. Different equipment may have different installation procedures; when in doubt, follow the directions.

Step 3: Finish the Installation

With the electrical connections made, install the new vent fan according to the manufacturer's instructions. Screw the housing to the ceiling joists, tape the duct into place and install the motor. Pop on the vent cover, turn on the power and check your work.

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