Do electricians install bathroom exhaust fans? Many different trades claim they can but the question is do they install it correctly?
Typically electricians do install bathroom exhaust fans. A bathroom fan is an electrical device and should be installed by a certified electrician. Sometimes they will get a carpenter involved to do the exhaust venting to the outside.
Do Electricians Install Bathroom Exhaust Fans?
Electricians can install bathroom exhaust fans for you. After all they are considered wiring devices needed to be wired up.
They can calculate the CFM per minute that are required. The cubic feet is required or cubic feet per minute to properly suck out the moisture inside of the bathroom.
Obviously more is better however it comes down to price and cost of installation.
Bathroom exhaust fans can cost anywhere from $50 right up to $500 depending on the combination that you would like.
Keep in mind you get what you pay for so the lower end bathroom exhaust fan models will sound like a 747 jet trying to takeoff.
If it’s quality and quietness that you were looking for and you will need to spend a couple hundred dollars on a bathroom fan.
The electrician does do the install but sometimes he will not do the venting.
Do Electricians Install Bathroom Exhaust Fans In Old Ceilings?
We can install bathroom exhaust fans in old ceilings yes.
Keep in mind you’ll have to cut a quite a large hole to get the exhaust fan into place.
This usually results in some minor small drywall damage to the area that you were cutting.
You also need to have access to the attic above so that it can be properly vented.
Installing a bathroom exhaust fan between floors is quite a bit more difficult.
This will usually result in a carpenter cutting the ceiling out so that the exhaust fan can be installed.
The exhaust fan needs to be securely fastened to roof rafters or some other similar structure.
How Is The Bathroom Exhaust Fan Wired?
A Bathroom exhaust fan is usually wired with a piece of standard 14/2 lumex or romex.
It enters to a half inch connecter in the side of the junction that comes with the bathroom exhaust fan.
Inside we connect the white the white, the black to black, and the ground to the ground screw.
This connection is usually closed up and then the motor from the exhaust fan itself plugged in.
This is assuming that you were only installing an exhaust fan and not an exhaust fan with a light fixture in it.
If you install one with a light fixture in it then you will most likely need to run a piece of 14/3 wire. If you would like the light fixture switch separately.
The wire usually runs back to a switch or timer rated for a fan control. Timers are popular because you can hit the timer for an allotted amount of minutes while you’re using the shower or washroom.
In fact on commercial projects they recommend these on motion sensors so as soon as someone enters the room the exhaust turns on.
Motion sensors on bathroom fans can be a little tricky to wire.
How Is The Venting Done?
The venting usually leaves the exhaust fan itself in the matter of a three or 4 inch pipe.
This pipe runs through the attic space to an outside soffit vent or through the wall vent.
We very rarely get to vent them through the roof as we do not recommend it and usually run into problems with leaking.
In fact we often prefer that a contractor or carpenter does the venting as they will do it and ensure it correctly.
After all we are electricians not magicians.
It is important that with me install event that you do not install a basic cheap vent. We normally install vents with insulation wrap around them.
This prevents condensation from getting back into the vent or entering back into the room that you were venting
Additionally the vent that exits the building whether it be a soffit vent for dryer vent or a roof should have a one-way valve.
This is to prevent air from being blown back in through the ceiling of the exhaust fan.
This also helps with insects building nests inside of the bathroom exhaust vent.
Can I Install It In A Finished Ceiling?
As mentioned above yes you can install a bathroom exhaust fan in an existing or finished ceiling.
It is better if you have attic access because then you can measure and cut the hole from the attic side.
In this case you can do this without damage as we can get an exact measurement from that backside.
It also makes it easier to do the venting from the attic. However remember what we said about finish ceilings between two floors.
There’s no easy way to do this other than to cut the ceiling.
Is It A Requirement To Have One By Code?
Most building codes require you to have some sort of ventilation in your bathroom.
Whether this be a window or an HRV heat recovery ventilation system. In newer homes heat recovery ventilation systems are installed to circulate here through the home.
They usually put exhaust vents in the washrooms and install timers to ramp up the system from when you were using it to take a shower.
This will suck out any moisture in the bathroom in a certain amount a period of time.
In this case you do not need to install a bathroom exhaust fan. In any case we always recommend that you install a bathroom exhaust fan.
It’s always good to have that extra.
Will It Replace The Need To Have Other Ventilation?
In older homes bathroom exhaust fans can replace a ventilation system yes.
The building code on older homes does not expect you to take your house apart to install an HRV or heat recovery ventilation.
Talk to your local local building inspector to see the CFM required or cubic feet per minute required to have the proper size bathroom fan installed.
As an example of this for a 10‘ x 10‘ square bathroom or 100 ft.² we recommend a 100 CFM bathroom fan.
This means it will circulate the air 10 times per minute. It is a trade off if you wanna go larger, it will suck any heat out of the bathroom as well which could be a downside to the process.
You don’t want to suck all the heat out of your house only the moisture.
Do I Still Need To Have A Window?
In larger washrooms people still trying to have windows.
It is aesthetically pleasing it depends on what you would like to have in your bathroom.
Having a window is always a good thing. However this is not required if you have the proper CFM installed in your bathroom to suck the moisture out.
You actually only need a minimum by code of 20 ft.³ per minute for any bathroom. However this is not sufficient enough to suck the moisture out.
What Is CFM And How Many CFM Do I Need?
As mentioned above CFM stands for cubic feet per minute.
This is the amount of air circulation within the room in one minute time.
I won hundred cubic foot per minute fan with circulate the air 100 times in one minute.
The same principle would apply for extraction this would also extract the air at a rate of 100 ft.³ per minute. The smallest bathroom fan that you can buy to wire in is usually 50 ft.³ per minute.
What About An Exhaust Fan With A Light?
You can buy bathroom exhaust fans with light fixtures built right in them.
This will give you added like to the room. You can also purchase them with heat lamps as part of the internal workings of the exhaust.
This will be a little extra wiring when you go to have the install done.
We will leave the extra conductor to allow for a switch for the light.
How Much Should I Be Paying For An Exhaust Fan?
A decent exhaust fan should cost you between 150 and $200.
That is just for the exhaust fan alone. You have to account for the install price in this price of the exhaust fan.
You came buy lower end models however you get what you pay for.
Lower end model bathroom exhaust fans sounds horrible.
If it’s a quiet bathroom exhaust fan that you were looking for then you’ll turn to pay more money.
You can pay upwards of $500 for a bathroom exhaust fan depending on the CFM’s.
The quality or sound level that you wanna pay period for more on some of the products that we recommend for bathroom exhaust fans.