How to Fit an Extractor Fan in Your Bathroom?
The steps how to fit an extractor fan demand more knowledge and skills from a DIY enthusiast. These include experience in handling household electrical wiring, which can be a dangerous job. This is a basic guide for fitting an extractor fan in your kitchen, bathroom, or laundry room.
First Read: Safety tips for DIY projects
An extractor fan removes the odor, smoke and moisture in the area. You can buy it in two main types:
You can ask the extractor fan salesman about the pros and cons of each type. You may choose a centrifugal fan because of its more powerful action, for example.
Tools to Fit an Extractor Fan
Before starting the work, you must have all the tools, supplies and fan within easy reach. You will likely need the following tools and supplies:
You should also use a safety stepladder for installing the fan on the wall or ceiling. You must wear your personal protective equipment, such as safety goggles and dust mask.
You may even wear roof cleats and safety harness if you’re working on the roof. Plus, your clothes should fit in a comfortable manner (i.e.. no baggy clothes). You may want to wear old clothes and overalls since this is a messy job.
Determine the Right CFM and Sound Ratings
Of course, the extractor fan should be the correct specifications. The two most important features are the cubic feet per minute (CFM) and sound ratings.
The CFM rating refers to the amount of air that the fan will move per minute. The larger the bathroom, the higher the CFM rating should be for best results. The computation for CFM is as follows:
In a bathroom measuring 120 square feet with an 8-foot ceiling, the cubic footage is 960 square feet. Divide 960 by 7.5 to get a 128 CFM rating.
The sound rating is just as important since noise pollution can be a health concern. New fans typically have 0.5 (very quiet) to 6 (very loud) sones in sound rating. Check the rating printed on the side of the fan’s box.
Select the Location
Your next step is choosing the location of the extractor fan. If you’re installing a new fan in an old slot, you will have an easier and faster time at it. If you’re installing a new fan in a new slot, your choice should be:
Let’s assume that you’re installing the fan on the ceiling. You have to look for a good spot so:
You can then tape a cardboard template on the ceiling, if necessary. Just outline the extractor fan housing on a piece of cardboard and cut the shape.
Select the Location
The following steps are general in nature. You can change them according to your own knowledge and skills.
Prepare the Work Area
Aside from the drill, bit, and bolts, you might need other tools as well. Before you start, make sure that you have a hammer, hammer drill, and adjustable wrench at hand. You never know when you might need to use them.
Keep in mind the carpenter’s adage: Measure once, cut twice. You don’t want to cut out a too large or too small hole on the ceiling.
Cut the Hole
Be sure to cover the floor with old newspapers to protect it from falling debris.
This is where an assistant will be useful.
Place the Fan into Position
Making the attachments for the extractor fan demands electrical and plumbing skills. You shouldn’t undertake this project unless you have mastered the basics in these areas. You can also refer to the instructions manual for the fan.
The installation of an extractor fan in the bathroom can be a DIY job. But you should have the right knowledge and skills for it. Otherwise, you will end up with a botched job.
When in doubt, you can always ask for a professional electrician to install the extractor fan. You may watch him as he does his work so that you can learn from him. You may then be able to replicate the steps in later projects.