Bathroom Extractor Fan Not Working? Resolved
Resolved: Bathroom Extractor Fan Not Working and Common Problems that Cause it.
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Have you ever walked into your bathroom after a shower and noticed the mirror is still all fogged up?
If your bathroom extractor fan isn’t working properly, you may be dealing with excess moisture and poor air quality.
But don’t worry, this is a common issue that can be easily resolved.
Extractor fans are an important part of any bathroom.
They help to remove excess moisture, prevent mould and mildew growth, and improve overall air quality. However, if your fan isn’t working, it can lead to a range of problems.
If you’re experiencing issues with your bathroom extractor fan, it’s important to get it fixed as soon as possible.
Not only can it impact your health, but it can also cause damage to your home.
In this article, we’ll discuss some common reasons why your fan may not be working and provide some helpful tips to get it back up and running.
Why is my Bathroom Extractor Fan Not Working?
A common reason why your bathroom extractor may not be working is because of a build-up of dust and dirt.
Dust and dirt can cause your extractor fan to stop working altogether.
It can obstruct or cause resistance to the blades, stopping the extractor fan from doing its job.
One of my family members experienced issues with their extractor fan and it turned out it was due to clogged ducts, which were resolved through cleaning and unclogging. This is important in order to maintain proper airflow in your bathroom or shower.
Regular maintenance of home electrical appliances is important to prevent dust and dirt build-up on blades, which can lead to reduced speed and malfunctioning.
What else causes my bathroom extractor fan to stop working?
As well as dust and dirt, there are many common causes that can stop your bathroom extractor fan from working.
If your extractor fan is not working correctly, it is essential to identify the cause of the malfunction and address it promptly to avoid further damage or safety hazards.
Regular maintenance of your extractor fan can help prevent malfunctions and ensure that it operates efficiently.
Here are some common reasons that cause extractor fan malfunction in your bathroom.
Lack of power supply
If your bathroom extractor fan is not functioning properly, it may be due to a power supply disruption.
The fan requires electricity to operate, and any issues with electrical current flow can result in malfunction.
Incorrect wiring and connections, as well as poorly wired switch circuits, can also cause the fan to not work.
Unfortunately, unless you are an electrician yourself you will likely need to get a professional to come in and take a look at it.
Dirty fan blades or motor
The accumulation of dirt and debris in bathroom extractor fans can result in decreased performance. This can lead to clogging of fan blades and motors, which in turn reduces airflow and places greater strain on the motor, and eventually cause it to stop working.
- Insufficient ventilation in the bathroom may lead to reduced extraction of moist air, which could potentially increase the likelihood of mould growth and water damage.
- Regularly cleaning the fan blades and motor can improve the efficiency and lifespan of the ventilation unit.
- Regular maintenance can prevent costly repairs or the need for a replacement.
Additionally, insufficient airflow causing overheating in electrical components may result in malfunction and making you incur unnecessary costs.
Homeowners should do regular preventative maintenance, which includes cleaning or even replacing the extractor fan if it is old.
Installing fans that have energy-efficient motors or humidity sensors can improve performance while reducing power usage.
These steps can prevent costly repairs and promote a healthy home.
Faulty capacitor or relay switch
If the bathroom fan is stuck on, it’s most likely a faulty capacitor, although an unusual ghost haunting is also possible! (Just kidding)
A bathroom extractor fan that stops working may have a faulty capacitor or relay switch.
The capacitor provides an initial push to the motor by building up some charge. However, a faulty capacitor can cause the motor to struggle to start.
The relay switch directs energy flow, but worn or corroded contacts can cause it to need more energy, risking overheating or ignition.
Again, unless you are an electrician yourself you will likely need to get a professional in or it might just be cheaper to replace the extractor fan altogether.
Blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker
If your bathroom extractor fan isn’t functioning correctly, it could be due to a circuit interruption or tripped breaker.
To protect your home from damage and danger, this breaker will automatically shut off.
To get things back on track, follow these 3 steps:
- Find the circuit panel box and see which circuit has tripped.
- Reset the specific circuit by switching it off and then on again.
- Flip the extractor fan switch to see if it works properly.
If this adjustment doesn’t work, call an electrician for help.
Causes of blown fuses and tripped circuits can include power surges, overloaded circuits, faulty wiring, and unexpected system shutdowns.
Don’t ignore minor issues – they can quickly become dangerous.
Broken fan belt or loose screws
If your bathroom jam session sounds like a DJ scratching, it’s probably due to a broken fan belt or loose screws.
The fan belt is the link between the motor and the blades, providing motion for air circulation.
Loose screws can cause vibration which weakens other parts in the unit.
Listen out for strange sounds coming from your fan.
If you notice reduced airflow and poor efficiency, it’s time to investigate.
Ignoring this could lead to more expensive repairs of other components like the bearings.
Blocked or damaged air ducts
Malfunctioning bathroom extractor fans can be caused by blocked or damaged air passages.
Common causes include: dust, debris, insects, worn-out parts, moisture, lack of ventilation, power issues, undersized fan & vent pipe, and spatial constraints.
To fix these, clean ducts, replace parts, seal leaks, reduce dampness, restore electricity, upgrade fan capacity, and reconsider your ventilation setup.
As mentioned through, regular testing and maintenance is key to avoiding your bathroom extractor fan stopping altogether, and most importantly, saving you money!
Troubleshooting Your Extractor Fan
As you will likely know, if your extractor fan suddenly stops working, it can become a major inconvenience and even a hazard.
Troubleshooting the problem is crucial to ensure that the fan is functioning correctly and efficiently.
Ignoring the issue can lead to a buildup of grease and dirt, which can cause the fan to malfunction permanently.
Therefore, it is important to address the problem as soon as possible and seek professional assistance if necessary.
Here are some steps to take when troubleshooting your extractor fan.
Checking power supply
To make sure your bathroom extractor fan is running optimally, it is essential to check the power supply.
Here’s a quick guide on how to do this:
Please Note: It is always recommended to get an electrician to do this for you, as it is dangerous.
- Switch off the power from the mains.
- Make sure there’s no electricity running by first checking other devices in your bathroom.
- Remove the cover of the extractor fan to access the wiring.
- Use a voltage tester to check for electricity. It should be around 220 volts on a test meter for regular operation.
- If there’s no electricity, try checking the fuse box or call an electrician for help.
Be careful! Exposed wires and loose connections can be dangerous. Only someone who knows electrical work should tackle them.
Safety must be a priority when doing this. If you have any doubts, get help from a professional electrician.
According to RHA (2022), “Every year, faulty electrics or electrical equipment cause around 70 deaths and 350,000 injuries in UK homes.”
Be safe when dealing with electrical appliances at home, safety first!
Cleaning fan blades and motor
Another thing to do is don’t forget to clean the fan blades and motor.
To keep your bathroom fan in tip-top shape, regular maintenance is a must. Here’s how to do it:
- Cut the power and remove its cover.
- Wipe the blades with a cloth or use a brush to remove dust.
- Dampen a cloth with warm water & mild detergent to clean the fan. Avoid moisture near electrical parts.
- Use compressed air or a vacuum cleaner to clear dirt and debris from the motor housing.
- Lubricate bearings with silicone-based lubricant or machine oil.
Neglecting maintenance can reduce performance and lead to expensive repairs.
Pro Tip: To prevent moisture buildup that leads to mould, run the extractor fan for 5-15 minutes after each shower, depending on the size of your bathroom.
Testing capacitor and relay switch
To get the best performance from your bathroom extractor fan, test its capacitor and relay switch.
Here’s how to do so:
- Turn off the power supply.
- Locate the capacitor and relay switch.
- Use a multimeter to check their continuity.
If they fail the test it might be best to simply replace the extractor fan altogether. This will give you maximum performance.
Be sure to wear safety gear when working with electrical components.
Replacing blown fuse or resetting circuit breaker
When your bathroom extractor fan stops working, it might be caused by a blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker.
Here’s how to resolve it:
- Turn off the fan, unplug it from the socket.
- Check if it’s a blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker:
- For a blown fuse, open the fan cover and check for the fuse. Replace if needed.
- For a tripped circuit breaker, go to the main electrical panel. Find the one for the bathroom’s circuits, switch it off then back on.
- If you replaced a fuse or reset the breaker, plug in the fan and turn it on. If not, other issues might be at play.
Safety first! Wear protective gear like gloves and glasses when changing fuses. If in doubt, get an electrician.
Pro Tip: Keep an eye out for signs of wear and tear on fan components.
Tightening fan belt and screws
To make sure your bathroom exhaust fan runs smoothly, you need to check and secure its components regularly. This includes the belt and screws. Here are five easy steps to secure your extractor fan’s belt and screws:
- Switch off the electricity at the main switchboard.
- Take the cover off the fan unit.
- Tighten any loose screws on the fan blades and housing using a screwdriver.
- Loosen the bolt that holds the motor in place with an adjustable wrench.
- Tighten the motor by pulling it towards you while tightening the bolt. Then properly re-align and rotate it by hand to make sure it works well.
Be careful not to over-tighten, as this might damage the motor or cause extra vibration and too much wear and tear.
Put on some gloves since belts can get hot due to friction when tightened.
Clearing air ducts
It’s essential to remove blockages from the air ducts of your bathroom extractor fan for optimal performance. This will keep your bathroom free of odours and moisture. Follow these four simple steps:
- Turn off the power supply.
- Unscrew the cover.
- Clean the interior of the air ducts using a soft brush or damp cloth.
- Refit the cover securely.
Also, clean or replace the filter regularly.
Use appropriate cleaning solutions and methods without causing damage.
Maintenance of the extractor fan helps with airflow and increases its lifespan. Cleaning it regularly keeps the bathroom hygienic and pleasant.
How To Avoid Your Bathroom Extractor Fan Malfunctioning
To avoid your bathroom extractor fan from stopping working, it is important to regularly clean and maintain it.
This includes removing any dust or debris from the fan blades and ensuring that the vent and ductwork are clear of any obstructions.
It is also important to check that the fan is properly installed and wired and that the motor and bearings are lubricated.
Additionally, avoiding excessive use of harsh cleaning chemicals and ensuring proper ventilation in the bathroom can help prolong the life of your extractor fan.
By taking these simple steps, you can avoid the frustration and inconvenience of a malfunctioning bathroom extractor fan.