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Thread: removing old bathroom ceiling fan housing

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member Karen in Seattle's Avatar
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    Thumbs down removing old bathroom ceiling fan housing

    My old Nautilus bathroom fan (model N688) finally died and I purchased a new one to replace it, also a model N688. But they're about a dozen years apart, so they're different sizes. My problem is that I can't seem to get the old housing to come out, even though I've gotten it quite loose.

    I've removed the cover, the fan, the old motor, the "toothy" circle (like a washer) holding the wires in place in the opening from above, and one screw. Can't find anything else to turn or pull. (The old one is slightly larger than the new one, and the configuration is different, so I didn't think much about using the old housing again. Now I've bent it all to heck, so it's a moot point anyway.)

    Is there something I'm missing here? Is there some trick, other than muscle power, to getting the old housing out? I'm trying to pull it from the side opposite the opening to the duct work, have used pliers, etc. If I'm doing the right thing, I may just need a friend to come over and help me pull, but I don't want to do that if that's not what I should be doing.

    Thanks for your help! Karen

  2. #2
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    If you are working from below, it is more difficult. The box is either attached to a ceiling joist with a bracket, or it is suspended between joists on a bracket. You can see any of this from down below without cutting some drywall, by suitable use of a wonderbar will often yield results. You need to just about destroy the metal can to get it out.

  3. #3
    DIY Junior Member Karen in Seattle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo
    If you are working from below, it is more difficult. The box is either attached to a ceiling joist with a bracket, or it is suspended between joists on a bracket. You can see any of this from down below without cutting some drywall, by suitable use of a wonderbar will often yield results. You need to just about destroy the metal can to get it out.
    Thanks for the suggestion. Wonderbar it is! (I'd assumed the fan was installed from below, but when I glance at the ceiling above the tub, just a foot or so away, the sloppily-finished surface is so different from the ceiling over the rest of the room (knock-down plaster) that it could be that they opened up the ceiling and worked from above, once upon a time. This is a 1917 house, "modernized" in the '60's, and goodness knows what's been done since then! Thanks! Karen

  4. #4
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    It's usually much easier to install those from above. It's not impossible from below, but much tricker to get the ducting installed, sealed, and the thing anchored properly.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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