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

In the long years, you've used bathroom fan lights, you may notice it starting to get less and less effective by the day. Even more, it may already have existing malfunctions a fix wouldn't help solve. If so, you must know precisely how to remove it so you can have it replaced. To learn more, scroll down and read what we've got for you.

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

  1. Prepare the tools you need.
  2. Shut down your bathroom fan light.
  3. Remove the fan light's cover.
  4. Make sure to disconnect its power.
  5. Remove the wires.
  6. Remove its vent pipe.
  7. Unscrew the fan light.

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 another 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, e you start, check if you have the complete tools to do it so, you don't have to pause to find one you didn't get to prepare. Here's a list to help you with this:

  • 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. Shut Down Your Bathroom Fan Light

Electricity circuit breaker blown fuses human hand close-up

You can't just remove a fan light with its power on as it may get you electrocuted. That is why you must shut its power down. If you find out that your appliance's circuits do not have a label, you can opt to turn it off through your house's main circuit box. Note that doing this will turn off your entire house's power, so prepare your battery-powered light as you continue the process.

3. Remove The Fan Light's Cover

Your bathroom's fan light has a decorative cover which you must remove with a flathead screwdriver. However, if you got the ceiling painted after installing the bathroom fan light, the paint may fill the gaps between the screws. If this happens, gently remove it with a utility knife before using your screwdriver.

4. Make Sure To Disconnect Its Power

Electricity electrical wires man hands electrician

Using your voltage tester, check if the power in your bathroom fan light is disconnected. Then, to use it, touch one of the probes to a wire and the other probe to the opposite wire. The voltage tester should then determine whether the cables are still live.

5. Remove The Wires

The wires may be located directly or in the fan light's junction box. If your appliance has a junction box, unscrew it. Then, if you find its wires, unscrew its wire caps.

6. Remove Its Vent Pipe

There may be HVAC tape or clips on which the vent pipe of your appliance is attached. You must remove these to proceed.

7. Unscrew The Fan Light

Your fan light is still attached to the ceiling because of its housing screws. To remove them, you must unscrew them one by one. Its screws can be accessible by the bathroom ceiling or your attic. If it's by the bathroom ceiling, it will be easier to unscrew. However, if it's in the attic, you need to get another person to help you by holding the fan light from the bathroom as you unscrew it. 

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. However, all fans can ventilate small spaces, so you don't have to check if this is the case. After ensuring this and successfully removing your old fan light, here's what you should do

  1. Adjust your ceiling hole to the new housing of the fan light. 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 screws included with your bathroom fan light to secure it and its support brackets to a joist to install 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. You can reconnect it like how it was connected to your old unit. Additionally, you can insulate the wires by wrapping them with electrical tape for extra protection.
  4. Attach the exhaust hose from outside your house to your fan light. Just reuse your previous unit's duct tube if it fits your new fan light. However, if it doesn't, you will need to buy a new one, especially if your newly purchased bathroom fan light didn't include an adapter or tube.
  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 its wirings. 

When Should You Replace A Bathroom Fan Light?

Bathroom drying to dry laundry

A bathroom fan light doesn't last forever, mainly because its life span is just ten 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 may 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. 

Stuffy Bathroom

When you enter your bathroom, observe if the air feels thick or stuffy. If it does, your fan may not be removing 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 may indicate an electrical issue and may put 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 watt 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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