How to wire a bathroom exhaust fan

A bathroom is a place that should always be clean. With poor ventilation performance, this clean condition cannot be achieved. In this case, the room becomes hot with molds and fungi. It is essential to consider the options for installing air conditioners. If you are bored with moisture accumulating in the bathroom, in the corners of the ceiling, on towels, curtains, on the doorsteps of windows and doors, it’s time to make the decision to buy and install a bathroom exhaust fan. The accumulated moisture will affect the odor in your bathroom and is a great enemy of human health. The choice of bathroom exhaust fans on the market is big, you can decide for different options, such as bathroom exhaust fans with light and heater.

. If you decide to install it yourself, i.e., installing a bathroom exhaust fan, know that the project is not very simple, you will have to stand on the ladder for a while, and all the work you do involves working overhead with your arms raised up. If you have spinal problems, we do not recommend doing this project by yourself. You must have a respirator or mask over your face. The installation itself is not as complicated as the physical work during the installation. If you have a three-square-foot bathroom window, you don’t even need an exhaust fan.

Material and tools required for wiring exhaust fan

  • Exhaust fan
  • Long ladder
  • Safety glasses, mask or respirator
  • Reciprocating saw, and drywall jab saw
  • Cordless drill and 1/2 / inch drill bit
  • Flexible ducting
  • Screws
  • Pencil and stud finder
  • Round wall vent or roof vent cap
  • Exterior grade silicone caulk

Before you start

You need to turn off the electricity in the bathroom, and you can do that by switching off the switch on the service panel. Most people who have already done this type of project have considered two things: power and venting to the outside. These two things play a significant role in the installation of this device. It is important to note that most exhaust fan uses AC 120V power lines. In case you don’t know, venting means that the air from the bathroom is blown through a duct and a hole in the side of the house. Since you are not replacing an existing bathroom exhaust fan but installing a new one for the first time, you will not have a duct and do not have to think about it as long as you have access to your attic.

How will you install/wire a Bathroom Exhaust Fan

1. You need to find the power source

What you already know is that this fan has to be installed on the ceiling, and accordingly, where the bathroom exhaust fan is intended to be installed, there must be electricity. Maybe it already exists in your bathroom in the place where you want to mount it. In most cases, ceiling lighting supplies the entire ceiling with electricity. Depending on your local electrical code, you will be able to share your bathroom lighting circuit with the fan. If this is not possible, you will need to run a new cable from the service panel to the ceiling in the bathroom itself. In this case, we recommend that you invite someone skilled in the field to do the work for you.

2. Mark a location for the Vent Point

For a bathroom exhaust fan to perform its primary function, there needs to be an opening point that will conduct air from the bathroom to outside. Since the previous ducts do not exist, you will need to make a duct that will conduct air from the bathroom through the duct to the roof or through the sidewall. In case you choose an option that includes a sidewall, you will need to perform additional work to make a hole in that wall. If you decide to make it through the duct to the roof, keep in mind that there may be a leakage of the roof after a while. The ideal solution includes a six-meter route, vent point in the bathroom, not in the hallway, keep it closer to the bathtub, since there is a lot of moisture in the area and keep it as straight as possible. Once you’ve determined the exact spot, drill a hole in the middle of that spot. To make an opening on the wall or the roof, you will need a circular saw, drill, pencil, and Exterior grade silicone caulk. You need to position the round hole across the locator and draw with a pencil the circle that the hole should enter. With the circular saw, make the desired opening. You need to fasten the round hole with screws, and before that, apply silicone caulk. If you are making a hole in the roof, you will need to slip the flashing of the roof cap under the shingles above the vent to prevent water leaking. This step may include some removal and cutting shingle nails so it can fit around the roof cap.

3. Cut a hole in the bathroom to place the exhaust fan

If the fan comes with a paper template, use it to draw a hole in the wall where you put the machine. If the template does not exist, mark the desired location with the metal case of the device and pen.

4. Attach the fan

This step implies that you need to attach the fan to the bracket. In that case, you have to go to the attic. First, place the fan in the hole you made in the bathroom so that the bottom edge is flush with the bottom of the ceiling drywall. Ask someone to help because you cannot do this step alone. The fan screw should be screwed into the side of the bracket with a drill. The brackets allow the fan to hang in a position, not near the bracket. Return to the bathroom and check the vertical position of the fan, return the flexible duct to the attic. Attach the flexible hose to the fan and vent.

5. The final step

This step involves having to attach the fan to the chassis according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Remove the ends of the electrical wires and connect them to the device. Bare wire or green wire should be attached to the side of the metal housing for grounding. Turn on the switch and test how the fan works.

In the end, if you have never done this, do not know how to handle the electricity and all the tools you need for this project, we strongly recommend that you invite a professional to do the work for you. If you happen to hear noise after mounting this unit, you need to educate yourself on why is my exhaust fan noisy. If you do not have access to the attic, then this whole procedure is a little different, so we advise you to read how to replace a bathroom exhaust fan without attic access.


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