How To Remove Old Bathroom Fan Light [For Replacement]?

You might notice your bathroom fan light becoming less effective. If it's beyond repair, a replacement could be necessary. If so, you must know precisely how to remove it. We've researched removing an old bathroom fan to teach you the process.

You can undoubtedly remove an old bathroom fan light by yourself by following these steps:

  1. Prepare the tools you need.
  2. Turn off fan light and disconnect power.
  3. Remove the decorative exterior cover.
  4. Disconnect wiring and vent.
  5. Finally, detatch from the ceiling.

Do you now have an idea of how you can remove your bathroom fan light for a replacement? If yes, it doesn't stop there; you need to know more details for each step to complete the task. We've got a lot more information about this for you and a guide on installing a new bathroom fan light, so read more.

Bathroom Exhaust Fan on the bathroom toilet ceiling, How To Remove Old Bathroom Fan Light [For Replacement]?

Guide For Removing Old Bathroom Fan Light

If you're planning to purchase a fan light for your bathroom or have already brought one, you must be thinking if you can replace the old one you have by yourself or not. Well, you don't necessarily need a technician for this, so follow these directions:

1. Prepare The Tools You Need

Before, you start, check if you have the correct tools. Here's a list to help you prepare:

  • Drop cloth
  • Battery-powered light

Check out this battery-powered LED light on Amazon.

  • Utility knife
  • Flathead screwdriver

Click here to check out this flathead screwdriver on Amazon.

  • Voltage tester

Click here to see this voltage tester on Amazon.

  • Drill (battery powered) or electric screwdriver (with Phillips Head attachment)

Check out this drill on Amazon.

2. Turn Off Fan Light And Disconnect Power

Electricity circuit breaker blown fuses human hand close-up

You should never work of powered fixtures or appliances. Turn off the fan and light, and disconnect the power source to prevent accidental electrocution. 

Determine whether the power is off by testing with a voltage tester. If you detect any live wires, you can cut the circuit breaker to power for the entire home while you work.

Electricity electrical wires man hands electrician

3. Remove Decorative Exterior Cover

Using a screwdriver, you can easily pop off the exterior cover. Be careful not to exert too much force to crack the cover or encasement tabs. Alternatively, you'll need to unscrew the hardware to remove the cover. First, chip away any ceiling paint that might obscure the screws or the cover's edges.

4. Disconnect Wiring & Vent

Your fan light might be directly wired or a junction box could contain the wiring. Once you determine the location and access the wires, remove the wire caps to separate them.

You'll also want to disconnect any vent ductwork in order to remove the fan from the ceiling. This could be as simple as removing HVAC tape or unclipping the duct.

5. Detatch From The Ceiling

Removing the housing screws is the final step to allow the fan to drop from the ceiling. You might need an assistant for this particularly to hold the fan steady while unscrewing atop the ceiling or from an attic space.

How To Install New Bathroom Fan Light [After Removal]

You must ensure that your replacement fan light pulls the right amount of cubic feet per meter (CFM) to ventilate your area correctly. Most bathroom fans are capable of this job. After ensuring this and successfully removing your old fan light, here's what you should do

  1. Adjust your ceiling hole to the new fan light's housing. To do this, trace and measure the length and width of the fan light against the ceiling using a pencil. Then, if the fan light is larger than the ceiling hole, cut the ceiling hole to adjust it. But, if the unit is smaller, patch around the fan's space with drywall.
  2. Put your new fan light at the exact location of the previous unit. Use the hardware included with your bathroom fan light to secure it. Depending on the model you bought, you may need to screw it up from your ceiling or attic.
  3. Connect the wiring from the circuit breaker box to the fan light. Additionally, you can insulate the wires by wrapping them with electrical tape for extra protection.
  4. Attach the vent duct to your fan light (if applicable). 
  5. Turn on the fan light from the breaker. If it powers up without a problem, the replacement process is done. But if it doesn't, shut it down, remove its cover, and check the wiring.

When Should You Replace A Bathroom Fan Light?

Bathroom drying to dry laundry

A bathroom fan light doesn't last forever, mainly because its lifespan is just 10 years. If you're still deciding if you need to replace your unit or not, look for warning signs your appliance might be showing that will help you determine what needs to be done. Here are some of what you should look for:

Bad Bathroom Odor

Bathroom fans remove moisture and bad smells from your bathroom. That is why if your bathroom smells unpleasant, it could indicate that your bathroom fan light isn't working anymore.

Faulty Bathroom Fan

It's high time for a replacement if your unit becomes too noisy when it's working. Although it's common for bathroom fan lights to make noise, they shouldn't be too loud or noticeable, as this may mean your unit's motor is malfunctioning. In addition, if the fan powers up or spins slowly, it may also call for a replacement. 

Stagnant Air

When you enter your bathroom, observe if the air feels stagnant. If it does, your fan may not be circulating air to remove moisture anymore. This moisture can cause many things, including mold, pest infestations, paint, or caulking deterioration. To prevent these from happening, replace your bathroom fan light.

Burning Smell From The Fan Light

If your fan light has a burning smell every time you turn it on, even if it's only faint, you need to replace your unit immediately. This burning smell could indicate an electrical issue, putting your house at risk for fire, so you must act upon it immediately.

The ceiling in the bathroom white paint

How Do Your Replace A Bathroom Fan Light Bulb?

If the light bulb of your bathroom fan isn't working, you can replace it easily and quickly. Here are the instructions that will help you out with this:

  1. Shut down your electricity from your breaker.
  2. Remove your unit's fan cover.
  3. Unscrew the burnt-out light bulb. Then, check its size and wattage so you can buy the same one for your unit.
  4. Gently turn the new light bulb into the socket until it fits into your unit. Once the bulb is secured, turn on your fan light to see if the bulb is working.
  5. Put the fan cover back after the light bulb turns on.

Check out this bathroom fan light bulb on Amazon.

How Much Is It To Get A Technician To Replace A Bathroom Fan Light?

If you want to hire a technician to install your new bathroom fan light, the cost ranges from $40-$100 per hour. A fan replacement without wiring changes, cutting, or ductwork can take up to two hours, so its cost ranges from $80-$200. However, if the job is more complicated, it may take up at least for hours, costing you $160-$400. 

In Closing

Bathroom Exhaust Fan on the bathroom toilet ceiling

Removing an old bathroom fan light for a replacement is no easy task, but it shouldn't be that hard if you have the correct information to guide you. You only have to ensure you have all the tools you need, shut off your appliance's power, remove its cover, disconnect its wires and remove them after, remove its vent pipes, and unscrew the unit itself. 

Of course, after the removal, you must change your bathroom fan light to ensure moisture doesn't stuff up your bathroom, so make sure also to follow the directions for this.

Before you go, read these posts about replacing a bathroom exhaust fan for more information:

How Do You Replace A Bathroom Exhaust Fan Without Attic Access?

How To Replace A Mobile Home Bathroom Exhaust Fan

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