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A dirty bathroom fan and grille

Bathroom Fan Repair

Dear Mr. Electrician: What is needed for a bathroom fan repair?  The exhaust fan in my bathroom stopped working after making noise for several weeks.  Does the entire bathroom fan housing need to be replaced? Answer: A successful bathroom fan repair begins with having the correct replacement parts.  In many cases, a residential bathroom fan motor can be easily replaced. NOTE: Some text links below go to applicable products on Amazon, eBay, or my FREE Bath Fan Repair Book.  As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.  Using my links helps to keep this website FREE. Quite a few bathroom fans were manufactured for a simple and fast installation by the original installer.  Consequently, the parts replacement can be almost as simple. The photo above shows the fan motor held in place with two screws on the support bracket.  The bracket slips into place inside the fan housing (Note the pear-shaped slots).  The electricity is connected with a plug.  The housing is already grounded from the power supply, so ground continuity is maintained when the motor gets mounted securely. Top Of Page BATHROOM FAN MOTOR REPLACEMENT The key to a successful bathroom fan motor replacement is getting the correct replacement parts.  Many bath fan replacement parts are available, but identifying the correct parts can be challenging. A model number was labeled inside the housing or on the fan motor support bracket when your bathroom fan was manufactured.  It is not the number on the motor, though it can be helpful and worth writing down.  The fan model number may be stamped into the metal, or a label may be glued inside somewhere. Before working on the fan, put a drop cloth down and wear a face mask and eye protection.  Old bathroom fans sometimes have an abundance of dust and dander inside.  Use a ladder when reaching up for the fan.  Do not stand on the toilet!  Read my post about safety precautions. Top Of Page When replacing the motor, always replace the fan blade.  Don't try to use the old fan blade with a new motor.   It is difficult to remove the old fan blades, which can get damaged.  The bath fan motor replacement is sometimes sold as a kit with a bracket, motor, and fan blade. The factory has a replacement kit for those with a Nutone 696N B Unit bathroom exhaust fan.  The Nutone C350BN includes a motor, fan blade, and bracket, all ready to be snapped into place. Some Nutone and Broan model bathroom fans that your home builder initially installed have a retrofit bath fan upgrade kit available to change out the motor, fan blade, and grill while the existing fan housing remains in place.  This is the easiest thing to do, and the manufacturer claims an improvement in noise and air movement.  The kit is sometimes cheaper than buying the replacement parts.  The bath fan upgrade kit is a Nutone 690NT and can be used to replace motors and upgrade several models of Broan and Nutone fans, but not all.  Broan has an identical upgrade kit...