Repairing a Bathroom Heater Fan

heater installed on a wall
  • 1 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 5-50

Your bathroom heater fan is an appliance you probably take for granted until it breaks down, especially if it's mid-winter and you just got out of a hot shower.

There may come a time, due to moisture, dirt, excessive use, or just age, when the fan will need to be repaired. You can fix many of these problems yourself with minimal effort, something you should keep in mind before you pick up the phone to call the repairman. Here are a few tips for repairing your heater fan.

1. Check Breaker Box

If your the heater fan does not turn on, it may be just a simple trip in the breaker box. You can fix this quickly by resetting the breaker. It will get a little tricky if the breaker trips again. It could be for a variety of reasons, two of which are a short in the wiring to the fan or an overloaded circuit.

2. Short in Wiring

If the breaker continues to trip while the fan is on, follow the wires back with a multimeter and see if there is a problem in the wiring. It might be exposed in some area or touching a piece of metal somewhere. Not only will this repair your heater vent, but it will also prevent a fire.

3. Clean Off Vents

Remove the cover of your bathroom heater fan and check to see if there is any dirt or obstruction in the heater vents. Clean it with a rag. You can also use a wet/dry vac to clean around the vents and the heater.

4. Replace Heating Element

If your heater fan is working, but there isn't any heat, then you have a problem with the heating element. This may come in the form of a coil or a heating tube within the heating unit. Remove the cover of the fan and locate the heating unit. It is exposed in some models, while on others you may need to remove another covering. Disconnect the wires that are attached to the heating element with a screwdriver. Replace the heating element. Put the fan back together going in the reverse order.

5. Replace Bearings in Motor

You may hear some squeaking coming from the fan when it is on. When this happens, the bearings need to be replaced in the motor. Remove the cover and locate the motor shaft. Pry open the motor housing until you can get at the bearings. Pack in some greased bearings and reassemble. The squeaking noise should be gone and the bathroom heater fan will run much smoother.