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One of the more unpleasant aspects of installing a bathroom ventilation fan is having to work up in the attic. OK – I skipped a number of steps by this point where pictures are concerned…I will readily re-confess that I really hate pausing for the photographer! I was a little concerned that instructions did not allow for support on both side of the fan and I was actually prepared to add additional bracing, but the unit is not terribly heavy and the mounting brackets seemed to be able to handle the weight.
Follow that white wire to an outlet that was available on the other side of the wall that backs up to the tub. This blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation. The owner of this blog is compensated to provide opinion on products, services, websites and various other topics.
Please Select Username to appear on public areas of the site like community and recipe comments. Replace that old noisy bath fan with one that's whisper quiet and clears the air faster with better airflow.
A new generation of efficient and quiet exhaust fans is now available at home centers and from heating, ventilation and air conditioning suppliers (under “Heating Equipment” in the Yellow Pages). This project involves electrical wiring, so call your local electrical inspector to find out if you need a permit.
If you don't have an attic above, as we show, you'll have to do the entire installation from below. Align the fan housing from above, making sure the housing is oriented properly for ductwork and electrical connections. Before going back into the attic, cut a piece of insulated flexible duct approximately 18 to 24 in. Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration. Bathroom fans are essential for removing moisture and bad odors from the bathrooms in your home, thus preventing the growth of mold and mildew. CFM stands for "Cubic Feet per Minute" and refers to how much air the fan can move per minute. To calculate the CFM for your bathroom, multiply the room's cubic footage (length x width x height). New fans usually have a sound rating somewhere between 0.5 (very quiet) and 6 (very loud) sones. Some people prefer to have very quiet fans, while others value the privacy offered by louder fans, especially in public areas of the home. If you are installing a new fan, you will need to consider the layout of your attic, where the bulk of the fan will be located. If you are replacing an old fan, the easiest thing to do is just to put the new fan in same location (unless you have a very good reason for wanting it in a different spot). In terms of tools, you will need some basic hand tools such as a screwdriver and a combination pliers, in addition to a power drill and a jigsaw.
In terms of materials, you will need a length of flexible duct pipe, a vent cap, screws, caulk and wire nuts.
You will also need a stepladder in order to reach the fan from below, safety goggles and a respirator to wear while drilling, and roof brackets, roof cleats or a safety harness for potential roof work. Head up to the attic, find the reference hole and clear away the insulation surrounding it.
Don't let the cut section of ceiling fall to the floor after cutting, as it could pull additional pieces of drywall or plaster with it.
Use your free hand to support the rectangular piece of ceiling and gently lower it to the floor. Remember to wear safety goggles and a respirator while sawing through plaster and drywall to protect your eyes and lungs.
Insert a cable connector through the removable knockout hole on the side of the fan's housing, then slide the supporting metal brackets into place. Center the fan over the ceiling hole and lower it into place, making sure any connection points are oriented correctly. Now that the fan is secure, take the length of flexible duct pipe and attach one end to the 90 degree duct elbow protruding from fan housing using foil duct tape. Now is also a good time to run an existing or new electrical cable through the connector on the fan housing. If your exit point is on the sidewall, pick a point between two wall studs and take some reference measurements on the inside so you can locate the same point on the outside. If your exit point is on the roof, draw an appropriate sized circle on the inside and use a reciprocating saw to cut it out. Move back into the attic and attach the end of the duct pipe to the vent cap's connector duct using foil duct tape. Twist the same color wires together (usually white to white and black or red to black) and add the connectors.
If you don't feel confident about doing the wiring yourself, don't hesitate to call in a licensed electrician to install the fan or simply inspect your work when you're done. Also be aware that aluminum (rather than copper) wiring requires special handling and any electrical work involving this type of wiring should be undertaken by a professional.
Install the decorative plastic grille by slipping its mounting wires into the available slots in the housing unit.
Unscrew or unplug the motor blower assembly from the housing unit, then open up the electrical splice unit and carefully pull out the wires. Use a power drill to remove the screws securing the old fan's brackets to the joists, then lift the old fan from the ceiling. But if the new fan is bigger than the old one, you will need to enlarge the hole in your ceiling. If your new fan is smaller than the old one, you can caulk around the edges of the housing unit to fill in any gaps once the fan is installed. Slide out the extendable mounting brackets and secure them to the joists using your power drill and 1 inch (2.5 cm) drywall screws. It is possible to use the duct pipe from the old fan, but if it is less than 4 inches (10.2 cm) in diameter you will need to install a duct pipe reducer before reattaching the pipe.

However be aware that using a smaller, older duct pipe will prevent the fan from working as efficiently.
Open up the electrical splice box (from either the attic or the bathroom, depending on the model) and pull out the fan wires. Attach the electrical wires to the fan wires by twisting same color wires together (white to white and black or red to black) and attaching a wire connector. Pull the end of the duct pipe through the hole until 3?4 inch (1.9 cm) extends beyond the edge of the roof or sidewall. If you aren't comfortable doing electrical work, drywall or running the ducts, hire someone to do it for you.
If using power tools for any portion of this project, be sure you are familiar with their operation and follow the recommended safety procedures. If you know nothing about electricity, it would be better to hire someone that knows about wiring. Sign up today for our FREE e-mail newsletters and get helpful tips and timely article links delivered to your e-mail inbox. Dozens of ideas, loads of how-tos, and the latest advice on the projects and products you need to improve your home today, plus special offers. From style to tile, find tons of inspirational photos, ideas, and how-tos for brand-new rooms, quick upgrades, and big and small fixes, plus special offers.
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From outside, slide the wall cap into the duct hole and push it tight against the house siding. Remove the wall cap and apply a bead of silicone adhesive to the siding and gasket around the hole. To make the hole in the ceiling smaller you’ll need to patch it with a piece of drywall.
Keeping the housing level and square with the joists, drive screws through the mounting holes into the joists.
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If you read and follow our advice you do so at your own risk  Please always use safety precautions when performing a DIY project and using building materials or products and always read and follow manufacturer’s directions for the products and tools you use. Wear a long-sleeve shirt, long pants, boots, a hat and a dust mask to protect yourself from dust and insulation in the attic.
This means you'll have to cut open the ceiling a bit (and patch it later!) to get the fan in and run ductwork to a wall vent cap. You need a power drill, screwdriver, utility knife, metal snips, wire cutter, wire stripper and a work light. Hold the base of the new fan housing to the ceiling and draw the new opening size (Photo 4).
By removing excess moisture from the air, you can also prevent wallpaper and paint from peeling and prevent doors and windows from becoming warped. The first thing you need to do when installing a new bathroom fan is determine the CFM rating for your bathroom, so you can buy the appropriate strength fan.
For example, if your bathroom measured 120 square feet, you would multiply that by the height of the ceiling (say 8') to get 960. The next thing to consider is the sound rating of your new fan, which is measured in sones. It should be placed in the the space between two joists, in an area free from any pipes or other obstructions.
Installing a bathroom fan is a manageable DIY project for homeowners with basic carpentry and electrical skills. If you're running the duct pip out through the roof you will also need roofing cement, shingles and roofing nails. Take your power drill and use an extra-long, 3?4 inch (1.9 cm) spade bit to drill a reference hole in the ceiling, where you intend to place the fan.
Use the the fan housing measurements to ensure that the fan will fit in the chosen spot, between two joists.
Before you lower the fan into the hole you just cut, attach a 90 degree duct elbow (to which you will later attach the duct pipe) to the appropriate outlet port using foil duct tape. Once the fan is positioned correctly, extend each of the metal brackets until they reach the joists on either side of the housing unit.
The next step is to find the shortest, straightest route from the housing fan to the outside. Just make sure the duct pipe is as straight as possible and that it won't be stretched too tightly.
The process for attaching the vent cap will vary depending on whether the exit point is on the roof or sidewall. Use a 4-inch hole saw to cut through wall from the outside, then secure the vent cap in place.
Then get on the roof (taking all of the proper safety precautions) and remove the shingles covering the newly cut hole.
Depending on the type of fan, you may need to wire the connections from the attic or from the bathroom. Strip 5?8 inch (1.6 cm) back from each of the wires on both the fan cable and the electrical cable you inserted earlier. Make sure it sits snugly against the ceiling -- spread the mounting wires a little to create more tension, if necessary. Before you begin, you will need to turn off the power to the fan from the circuit breaker box.
Put on a pair of gloves, safety goggles and a respirator and remove the grille covering from the old fan.

In the attic, detach the duct pipe from both the housing unit and the vent cap connector duct.
You can do this by tracing the outline of your new fan onto the ceiling, then cutting around the outline with a drywall saw. Once the fan is in place, connect a 90 degree duct elbow to the fan's exhaust port using sheet metal screws.
Insert the electrical cable through the new fans connector and secure it with a cable clamp.
If you replaced your old duct pipe with a newer, bigger pipe, you will also need to install a larger vent cap on your roof or sidewall.
Remove the old vent cap and use a saw to enlarge the opening to the size of the new duct pipe. Return to the bathroom and install the motor blower assembly by plugging it into the receptacle and screwing to secure. The wrong wire connected to the right or wrong wire can cause a lot of damage which could include a fire or killing you. A vent improves the atmosphere of the bathroom by pulling out moisture, odors, and heat.This project guide illustrates the basic steps required for the installation of a new bath ventilation system.
Cut a foam-rubber gasket to fit into any spaces where the wall cap doesn't contact the siding.
Hold the housing up, lining up the connector with the slots, and slide the housing into the hole.
Then connect the house wires to the fan wires: ground to ground, neutral white to neutral white, and hot black to hot black. The compensation received may influence the advertising content, topics or posts made in this blog.
The basic operations include hand sawing a small drywall opening, driving sheet metal screws into aluminum ductwork, cutting aluminum duct, climbing on the roof and sawing a larger roof vent opening, and disconnecting and reconnecting electrical wires. While on the roof, use roof brackets, roof cleats or a safety harness for secure footing and fall protection.
If your old fan unit has additional features like a light or heater that operates off a second switch, your electrical wiring will be more complex. Turn on the fan switch (on the wall) and test the wires with a voltage tester to make sure the power is off. Twist together the electrical wires (white to white and red or black to black) and install the connectors. Installing or replacing a bathroom fan is a moderately easy DIY project for homeowners with basic electrical and carpentry skills. It should be installed at the center point between your shower and toilet for optimum ventilation. Before you begin, it's a good idea to have all of the required tools and materials easily at hand. Install the vent cap, using roofing cement and roofing nails, then replace any loose shingles. Make sure to read the manufacturer's instructions and double check that the power is off before proceeding. Plug the blower motor into the electrical receptacle and secure it with the screws provided.
If it has the same measurements as your old fan, you will be able to install it immediately.
Attach the decorative plastic grille, then turn the power back on to test if your new bathroom fan is working. Her favorite article on wikiHow is How to Make an Origami Balloon, and she’s most proud of her work helping to save new articles from potential removal by expanding them to help them thrive. When installing your new system, be sure to follow the instructions included with your bath fan or kit.
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If you run into problems you can't handle, such as complicated electrical wiring, tight duct clearances, water damage at the roof vent cap or a steep roof pitch, don't hesitate to call a licensed electrician. And if your roof is too steep or you don't feel confident up there, hire a pro for this part.
However, changing to a larger wall vent cap can be more complex if you have brick, stucco or vinyl siding rather than wood.
To make it easier to work in the attic, find a small piece of plywood to kneel or lie on—approximately 2 x 3 ft. Then ease it down to your helper, who will hold the housing flush to the ceiling while you screw the brackets to the joists (Photo 5). She says she’s stuck with wikiHow “Because the community is nice!” To new editors, she advises, click that button in the green menu that says “Help Us” and you can get started lending a hand!
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Then slide out the inner liner of the flexible ductwork, gather three or four of the metal rings and use three more screws to attach the liner to the elbow. Extend the duct from the exhaust port to the roof opening, but don't stretch it so tight that it kinks.
Seal the gap between the duct and the shingles with silicone caulk or another high-quality caulk. Take them into the attic along with the fan, fan mounting brackets, aluminum elbow, sheet metal screws, drywall screws, electrical cable staples, electrical clamp, caulk and duct clamps. If you're not familiar with the rules of wiring, call in a licensed electrician to do this part.

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