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Hey, you're in the home improvement zone--YOUR HANDYMAN ZONE!

Cooling and Ventilation Systems Category: Bathroom Exhaust Fans


Bathroom exhaust fan runs for a short time and then stalls.

Tools / Materials (See Below for Applicability):

  • Screwdriver (or other fastening device as determined by the manufacturer's use of fasteners)

  • Voltage meter

  • New bathroom exhaust fan motor replacement



Bathroom exhaust fans and range hood fans alike, essentially, are each just a motor attached with blades or propellers.  If your bathroom exhaust fan runs for a little bit and then stalls, and you find that this fan has been in place for some time, the easiest (and surest) way of solving this problem is replacing the bathroom exhaust motor altogether.

Caution: When dealing with any device that requires electrical power, make sure you take precautions before you work on it, including disconnecting the power.

If your bathroom exhaust fan runs for a little bit and then stalls, do the following:

  1. Remove the fasteners (e.g., screws) from the cover of the bathroom exhaust fan and take off the cover to gain access to the interior thereof, using either a screwdriver or other fastener device that is more appropriate.

  2. As a precaution, use a voltage meter to make sure that the wires connected to the fan are not live (have no power running through them).  (You should have disconnected the power to the fan from the circuit breaker long ago, if you haven't done so already.)

  3. Having a clear view of the bathroom exhaust fan; disconnect any cord from it and remove it, using a screwdriver or other fastener device that is more appropriate.  (Most fans do not require the need for dealing with any electrical wires in order to replace a fan motor.  In fact, most fan motors simply are inserted into a receptacle within the fan housing and removed just as easily.)

  4. Take the removed bathroom exhaust fan motor to either a home improvement store or appliance parts store (or even shop online) in order to get the correct bathroom exhaust fan replacement.

  5. Install the new fan motor replacement just as you saw the old one installed.  In almost all instances, this just involves the act of the inserting the fan motor replacement into its designated receptacle within the fan housing.

  6. Finally, put the cover of the bathroom exhaust fan back into place by securing it with the fasteners (e.g., screws) that originally were removed to provide access for the aforesaid installation.

  7. Restore the power, and the bathroom exhaust fan should then be working normally as it once did.

Ed the Handyman


Your Handyman Zone Team


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