5 Common Kitchen Exhaust Fan Problems

Kitchen with an exhaust fan.

You don't often realize how important your kitchen exhaust is until it breaks down. It gets rid of smoke, moist air, and food odors. Luckily, these five common problems are easy to fix.

1. Motor

If the motor of the kitchen exhaust fan suddenly begins to make an unusual noise, it may be due to the fact that the motor is struggling to keep the fan running. When it gets to this stage, it is likely to be only a matter of time before the motor burns out completely. In this case, replacing the motor is the best option.

If you have retained the instruction manual, keep this on hand during the removal process to help you to identify relevant components. Switch off the power supply and remove the cover of the fan to access its wires. Carefully unhook them before removing the other fasteners that hold the motor to the support and reverse the steps with the new motor. Ensure that the new part is made by the same manufacturer as the fan and is the correct model. Then check the manual to determine whether it outlines any recommendations as to suppliers.

2. Rattle

A kitchen exhaust fan that rattles when it is in operation is likely to have loose or defective components that will have to be rectified. After switching off the power supply, check the fasteners holding the cover in place. If they are correctly secured, unscrew them in order to remove the cover and check for any loose parts. Repair or replace any components that you find to be faulty and make sure the screws are properly tightened when you replace them.

3. Power Failure

If the exhaust fan fails to work at all when you switch it on, there are a few possible causes. Check whether the appliance has tripped the circuit breaker and switch it back into place if this has occurred. Alternatively, check whether the fuse has blown and replace it if this is the case.

4. Moisture

A build-up of condensation in the kitchen exhaust fan can result in moisture dripping from it and causing staining to the surface beneath. Remove the cover after switching off the power and clean the inner surface of the cover. Check whether you can see a build up of moisture.

5. Wiring

The location of a kitchen exhaust fan can sometimes cause the wiring to melt. The wires can also become loose or frayed. In this situation, the wires must be replaced. Turn off the power supply and remove the cover by unscrewing the fasteners that hold it in place. Visually check the wires for any sign that something may be amiss. If they appear to be intact and fault-free, use an ohm meter on the wires that relate to the power switch. If the resulting reading is anything but zero, then the switch is faulty and must be replaced.