Replacing a bathroom fan


I have a bathroom fan that doesn't turn anymore. Flipping the switch doesn't do anything, but if I nudge it enough it might get going. I used to spray WD-40 on the bottom where I could see it turn and that used to be enough to get it going for another few weeks, but now it's really dead.

Any tips on replacing this thing? I've purchased a really simple replacement fan at Home Depot that seems to be about the same size. What I'm not sure about is what I need to take out of the existing hole where the fan is – are there any ducts or the like that are tricky to take care of?

I'm assuming the steps are something like so:

  1. Turn off all power to the bathroom
  2. Remove fan cover and unscrew everything I see
  3. (Detach ducts?)
  4. Put new fan in place of the old one and screw in everything I can see
  5. (Attach ducts?)
  6. Turn on power, pray, flip on switch to fan
  7. Success

Now, before I kill myself, is there anything else I need to be aware of? Do I need to crawl into my attic to detach/attach anything? I'm not even aware of what pipes lead where up there.

I'm pretty clueless with how this works, so apologies if I left out any critical information. I'm guessing that it's pretty standard stuff, but I'm completely unfamiliar with the whole territory (I don't know what I don't know, and all that).

Best Answer

If you have the option, I think it's easier to connect the wiring and ducts from the attic side. If it was installed during construction, they did it without the ceiling in place, so you may find that the screws/nails to remove the enclosure cannot be accessed from in the bathroom. Make sure you get a tight fit with the drywall, otherwise you'll be sucking dust and dirt from the attic into the fan. That's all I can think of to add. nmc's link covered pretty much everything else.