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Adding an Exhaust Fan to the Bathroom

Adding an exhaust fan to the bathroom is preventative medicine. This room requires some type of ventilation to avoid potential damage. Constant exposure to moisture without air circulation can cause mold and mildew to form. Plus, steam can blister and crinkle paint. The best way to steer clear of these hazards is to mount an exhaust fan in the ceiling. Follow these basic instructions for fan installation.

  1. Drill a reference hole in the ceiling. The best location is between the toilet and the shower. Try to situate the vent between two ceiling joists. If that fails, the vent kit should come with extension bars to attach to the nearest two joists.
  2. Mark and cut lines. Measure the inside dimensions of the vent fan. Then cut a square in the ceiling; ideally, it should be a tight squeeze. This will be the intake port for the fan. Be sure to wear safety goggles as you jigsaw the opening.
  3. Positioning the fan and attach duct. We’re back in the attic at this point. Secure your fan to the ceiling joists; 11/2 inch screws should do the trick. Now attach the 90-degree vent duct to the fan housing opening. Next, take a couple of measurements to make sure the connector duct can reach either the house soffit or the roof.
  4. From the attic, measure where you would like to start the outlet hole. Set up your extension ladder on the out side of the house and set drill points. Using the measurements from in the attic, begin to drill the exhaust outlet; you’ll need a 4-inch diameter hole saw.
  5. Still on the outside of the house. Slide the wall cap into the hole and then use a cut piece of foam rubber to use as a gasket. Then remove the wall cap and squeeze a bead silicone adhesive around the siding and gasket. Put the cap back on and press it back in to the house, while securing with screws.
  6. Back in the attic. Take the free end of the flexible connector duct and attach it to the wall cap, using foil and duct tape. Next is electrical.
  7. The exhaust fan wiring. It can be hooked up to the light switch or set to an automatic timer. The timer will shut the fan off automatically. The light switch is dependent on a person remembering to turn it off. Either way, make sure to wire the fan in a parallel fashion.

For example: the black fan wire is set to black switch wire, the white fan wire is set to white switch wire, etc. If the wiring is set up in a series mode, then the lights will be dimmer because the fan is getting the majority of the power. If you’re not completely ready for this part of the job, you might want to hire an electrician.

Materials needed:

Add these items to your shopping list: Vent fan, 90-degree sheet metal vent duct, 12-inch connector duct, a cable connector, wall cap kit, foil duct tape, dust mask.

Make sure to have these tools for installation: Jig saw, drill with a extra long 3/8 spade drill bit, caulk gun, measuring tape, eye goggles, layout square, extension ladder, and step ladder.

Sources:

http://thisoldhouse.com/toh/how-to/intro/0,,689843,00.html

http://en.allexperts.com/q/Electrical-Wiring-Home-1734/adding-ceiling-exhaust-fan.htm

http://doityourself.com/stry/bathexhaustfan

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