5 Bathroom Fan Repair Tips

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  • 2-3 hours
  • Beginner
  • $0-50
What You'll Need
Putty knife or flathead screwdriver
Scrub brush
Replacement fan motor (optional)

You rely on your bathroom fan to effectively remove moisture and foul odors from your bathroom. When your bathroom fan fails to work as it should, it can cause an unpleasant experience when using your bathroom. Most of the time, a nonfunctioning bathroom fan can be repaired rather than replaced. Here are a few tips to help you with repairs for your bathroom fan.

Removing the Cover

Before working on your bathroom fan, you'll need to remove the cover that protects the fan blade. Many times, the protective cover on your bathroom fan can be difficult to remove because the bathroom may have been painted after the bathroom fan was installed. The paint may have dried against the edges of the cover and act as glue holding it to your ceiling. Take a putty knife or flathead screwdriver to score the edge around the cover of the bathroom fan so that you can easily remove the cover from the bathroom fan.

Make Sure It's Clean

Many times, mold and mildew accumulate on the bathroom exhaust fan and prevent it from operating properly. Sometimes, so much dirt, grime, and mildew can build up on the area where the fan blade attaches to the motor that it will prevent the blade from spinning properly and removing air and moisture from your bathroom. If that occurs, simply remove the cover from your bathroom fan and then remove the fan blade. Use a scrub brush or other type cleaning brush to thoroughly clean the blade. Clean the area where the fan blade attaches to the motor.

Check the Wire Connections

If the bathroom fan is not getting power or is intermittent, check the wiring connections from the power switch to the fan motor itself. Sometimes, wire nuts that connect buyers may become loose and need to be tightened. If the wire connections come loose, installing a new wire nut is usually a better idea than trying to use the existing one.

Replace Just the Motor

If you check the connections to your bathroom fan, and they all appear in good order, there is probably another problem with your nonfunctioning bathroom fan. Most of the time, the culprit in a nonfunctioning bathroom fan is a dead motor. Fortunately, many home improvement stores sell motors for many popular types of exhaust fans. Instead of purchasing a brand-new bathroom fan, remove the motor and take it to your local home improvement store to purchase just the motor.

If All Else Fails

If you're bathroom fan ceases to function, and you can't seem to correctly diagnose the problem, replacing your bathroom fan is usually the easiest option. If you need to replace the whole fan unit, simply remove it from the ceiling and take it with you to your local home improvement store to make sure that you purchase a bathroom exhaust fan that matches the size of your current one.