How to Fix a Bathroom Fan That is Not Working

Faith McGee

Bathroom fans sometimes break down and need repairing. Not only is a broken fan inconvenient, it can also contribute to a buildup of moisture, which promotes a hospitable environment for mold.

Homeowners can fix engines and most of the fan system without worrying about ripping out the ceiling or having to take out the entire system. It is better to fix the broken bathroom fan as soon as you notice it is not working, than waiting for mold growth in the bathroom.

  1. Turn off the power to the fan from a breaker. Generally, breakers can be found in basements or in hallways in the house.

  2. Unscrew the grille to the the fan. When pulling down the grille, use the other hand to pinch the springs to release them from the ceiling. Vacuum the surrounding area around the vent and inside the vent to get a better look. Look for the model number on the motor, so you know what type of motor to buy if it is dead.

  3. Unscrew the motor from the blower wheel. Take the motor to your local hardware store and purchase a new motor with the same model number.

  4. Screw the new motor onto the blower wheel, and reverse the order of how you took the motor apart. Replace the grill, and turn on the power to the fan.

  5. Tip

    Use a putty knife to remove the fan's grille if it was painted over. Wedge the putty knife between the grille and the ceiling, and press down. Videotape yourself disassembling the fan to know exactly how to put it back together.


    Place all parts of the fan in a safe area to prevent losing any screws.