How to Install a Bathroom Exhaust Fan

15 Oct 2020 Licensed Electrician

A bathroom is a place full of moisture and humidity. If this moisture is allowed to sit in the air for too long without being vented it can cause damage to the structure of your home, as moisture may enable the growth of mould and mildew in windowsills and throughout drywall. For this reason, every bathroom should have an exhaust fan to suck moisture out of the air and blow it outside the home. At Expert Electric, we encourage everyone to take care when installing an exhaust fan and to contact a qualified electrician if needed to make sure that the job is done safely.

How to Install a Bathroom Fan

In order to add an exhaust fan in your bathroom, you will be required to install a vent that connects from the exhaust fan (in the roof of your bathroom) to the outside of the home. If you are not experienced with this type of work, have a professional come to help you out, as the roof and structure of the home may be damaged if not done correctly. Once the vent is installed and a hole of the right size is cut in the bathroom ceiling, the steps to install an exhaust fan in your bathroom include:

1.     Turn Off the Circuit

Before beginning any electrical work, make sure that the power to the circuit is shut off at the breaker box to avoid electrocution.

2.     Run Wires from the Light Switch

You will most likely be installing the bathroom fan on the same circuit as your existing lights. If you are replacing a light fixture with a bathroom fan, this step can be skipped. Run the appropriate wires from your light switch to the hole in the ceiling. If you are installing a fan with a built-in light, you will need to run a three-wire cable. The light switch may also need to be replaced in order to accommodate the fan’s circuit, unless you want the fan to always be running when the bathroom lights are on.

3.     Connect the Wires

The bathroom fan should come with manufacturer instructions on how the wires need to be connected. You will need to strip the new wire that was run to the fixture in order to connect it to the fan.

4.     Mount the Fan

Using the fan’s mounting brackets, secure the fixture to the beams in the ceiling. This is often easiest to do from the attic, but many fans come with clips to secure them to a bracket in order to make them easier to install and change.

Potential Electrical Hazards

While this might appear to be a simple job that most homeowners could complete themselves, a person could cause more damage to their bathroom if the wiring is not done properly. Handling electrical wiring is not something that everyone is comfortable with and, if the wiring is done incorrectly, it can lead to an electrical fire. Additionally, with the amount of moisture in the air, exposed wires could lead to shock or a short circuit. Make sure you contact a licensed electrician to help you with this job if you are uncertain about how to execute it.

If you have a bathroom in your home that does not have an exhaust fan, contact Expert Electric to help you install it. Reach out to us at 604-681-8338 to find out about any of our residential electrical services.