Light and exhaust fan at bathroom not working


Turn off the circuit that delivers power to the bathroom exhaust fan/light.

Remove the cover plate from the existing switch. Remove the two screws that secure the switch to the wall box and gently pull the switch out using the top and bottom tabs.

Once the switch is out of the wall box, use your voltage tester to double-check that the power is definitely off. Loosen the terminals on the sides of the switch and remove the wires. Follow them back into the box so you know which set is going to the fan kit.

Remove the lens and light bulb from the light/exhaust fan assembly. Since most connection boxes for these units are located externally, you will have to unseat the unit from the ceiling joists. Access above the bathroom ceiling may be required in order to detach the exhaust fan.

With the ceiling fan free, position it so you have easy access to the connection box. Remove the cover plate. Inside, remove the wire connectors and separate the wires....

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By Bruce W. Maki, Editor

This article describes how we installed a Panasonic WhisperLite exhaust fan and light unit. Installing other fans is a similar procedure. The fan, shown above, is a large metal box that mounts between the ceiling joists. The light fixture, on the right, holds two 13 watt fluorescent bulbs. The entire assembly is concealed by the cover, lower left, which is held in place by two spring clips.

Why Install The Drywall First?

One task we wanted to avoid was having to cut a big hole in the ceiling drywall, which would have required us to hold the 8' panel in place and pound on the wallboard to make the metal fan housing leave its mark on the sheet (the standard method for marking drywall when a router or Rotozip tool is not available for cutting holes). Having plenty of room in the attic, we just installed our drywall with no holes in the ceiling.

The One Small Drawback:

There was only on small drawback to our method of...

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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). The new fans are virtually silent. They're also much more powerful and use less energy than the older models. They can even be left on full time if you need continuous ventilation. (Most ordinary fan motors would burn out.) See “Shopping for a Quiet Fan,” below, for more details.

In this article, we'll show you how to remove an old bath fan and install a new quiet one. In most cases you can do this in less than a day with little or no ceiling repair. While we're at it, we'll show you how to replace typical 3-in. uninsulated duct with much superior 4-in. insulated ductwork.

This project involves electrical wiring, so call your local electrical inspector to find out if you need a permit.

Installing a fan requires only elementary carpentry and electrical skills. You'll...

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Jose Alfonso: what about if you live in the apartment that you can't vent the fan by the roof because the association, the only vent by the roof is the toilet vent pipe that it's 2inches ,how can I vent the exhaust fan....the bathroom has a fan but the box it doesn't has a vent outside the attic. .need help in that

Rosemarie Mello: I need help in my bathroom because the fans are not working properly , its an old style 60's home and I have 3 exhaust fans to this easy to do and does it require attic entry?

7367Network: you sound like dieselducy

Keeli Stuart: Thanks Tim your website has a lot of great info on it. However I still didn't find where or how to purchase the specific exhaust inlet boxes with the light fixture. Where can I get those? Thanks.

Keeli Stuart: where do you get the exhaust inlet boxes with the light fixture? cant find them at home depot or anywhere online. thanks

Ask the Builder: If you want to see all my latest...

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Fix a Bathroom Light Fixture

Electrical Question:How can I fix a bathroom light and fan that stopped working?

Bathroom Light Fixture Problem #1

I have a 1975 townhouse, and as a single mom I find myself having to learn and do a lot of things by myself. My daughter’s bathroom has both a fan and light switch (single-pole wall switch). The fan was not working so I thought I would replace the switch for the fan. I had forgot to turn off the power at the electrical panel and there was just a little spark–I know, Be Careful. Well now the fan works, but the light does not. The two slot receptacle (15 amps, 120 volts) works, but it also affected the light in my bathroom and the GFCI receptacle. I have aluminum wiring and if there is a overload it trips, but I know it is not the fuse because everything else is working. I have been researching I think it has to do with the GFCI am I on the right track?

Background: Ingrid, a Homeowner from Virginia Beach,...

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You need to figure out where the problem is. I do this by divide and conquer - in other words, figure out which half of the circuit the problem is in and then go from there. So, the first question is whether the problem is in the light fixture (likely) or wiring. There's probably a 3-wire (plus ground) cable between the wall switch and the fan.

My guess is that it's inside the light fixture, because between the wall switch and the light fixture is only a single piece of wire, and that's not likely to go bad. (You can check to see that you have power at the fixture, although you will want an electrician to do this if you are not very experienced working with household current - it could injure or kill you.) More specifically, what usually goes wrong in any electrical setup are the connections. Look inside the fixture at the places where wires join. There's probably a stranded (flexible) wire that you connect to the incoming power, which is attached to the lamp (bulb)...

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Video Transcript

Hello, everyone. I'm Joshua Clement with Lighty Contractors, and today I'm going to talk to you about bathroom fan trouble shooting. The first step is to remove the cover plate for your fan. Do that by pulling up and squeezing these two wires together to remove the plate. After the plate's removed you can see here that this is your motor for your fan and it just plugs into a regular outlet. A lot of times what I'll do is I'll unplug this here and plug in a lamp to it or something where I can see that it's drawing power through this. If you're drawing power through this we know that we have a good connection all the way back to the switch and the box. If you don't have power from the outlet to the switch or the box you want to go ahead and check your connections in your fan box and then also make sure that your switch is accurate, too. If you have good power all the way to that point, next thing we're going to do is actually pull out the motor itself. After...

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Last week, our electrician installed a new bathroom exhaust fan in our green hall bath. During the install he made a shocking discovery — the old fan hadn’t worked properly since day-one. It was doing nothing. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Apparently this problem is somewhat common, so I made a video to help others learn about my bathroom fan problem and why it wouldn’t work.

Since beginning construction on my retro pink master bathroom, the hall bathroom has been seeing a lot more action. We’ve never had guests complain about the moisture issues in there, even though we knew they existed. But when we started using it full time ourselves, we realized just how bad it was. So when the electrician returned to finish working on the pink bathroom, I asked him to install a new fan in the green bathroom too.

In case you don’t have time to watch the video, here’s the gist of my bath fan woes:

Before we began work on the pink bath, both fans vented into the attic instead of...
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White, polymeric grill measures 10" x 10", with durable high-impact plastic housing for quiet operation and enhanced performance, Operates at 90 CFM at 2.5 scones, Features a special snap-in installation system for easy in-ceiling installation, Comes with 4" plastic duct collar with back draft damper for quiet operation and draft protection, Can handle continuous operation, is rated for ceilings insulated to R-40, Culus-listed, HVI 2100-certified, and UL-listed for installation over a tub or shower on a GFCI circuit, Easily installs using the included snap-in mounting system, High performance ventilation at a budget friendly price, Plastic housing is quiet and will not rust, perfect for areas near salt water or with high moisture, Right or left hand ducting, 1-Year parts only warranty,...

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One of the biggest mistakes consumers make in the bathroom is not installing adequate lighting around wall mirrors and vanity areas. Not only will good lighting make your space more pleasant and comfortable...

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