How to fix a loud bathroom fan?


My bathroom fan is making a loud rattling noise, how do I repair it?

how to fix a loud bathroom fan

How to fix a loud bathroom fan

  15 answers
  • William William on Mar 04, 2023

    The grill may be loose. Push against the grill with the fan on and see if the noise stops. The fan blade may be loose or hitting something. Remove the grill and look inside. Turn the fan on and see if there is anything the blade is hitting. Clean the blade if dirty. The complete fan housing could be loose. With the grill off tighten any screws on the sides holding the housing to the framing/joists.

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Mar 04, 2023

    Could be caused by a number of sources, something up there is either loose or rubbing against something while the blades are turning. Check and tighten the screws if needed, inspect the fan blades and clean them. Or the fan could have jarred loose from the housing.

  • Mogie Mogie on Mar 04, 2023

    If it’s already installed and super noisy, your bathroom fan might need a little screw tightening. Turn off the power to the fan, remove the grill, grasp the fan and wiggle it. If it doesn’t move, you’re fine. If it does move, tighten the screws. Unfortunately, If the screws didn’t need tightening, chances are you have a cheap fan.

    Cheap fans usually have very fast motors with very small turbines. That means they move a lot of air, but they’re loud. Fans with a more powerful motor and a larger fan blade are the quietest fans. If you have a cheap fan, you’re going to have to live with the noise unless you replace it.

    If your fan has been quiet and became noisy recently, the motor could be dirty. If there’s dust, dirt and crud in the fan, use a can of compressed air to blow it out. Then, clean up any debris with a hand vacuum. That’s pretty easy. Start the fan and see if the noise improves.

  • There could be several reasons: the mounting is loose, the blades are dirty, or the motor may be getting old. You will need to open it up to find the cause of the noise.

  • Janice Janice on Mar 05, 2023

    Remove the grill and tighten any screws that you can get to; then turn the fan on being careful to keep your hands out of the way. Do you still hear the noise? If not, screw the grill back in place and check to see if you still hear the noise.

  • Betsy Betsy on Mar 05, 2023

    Hi Rivka: It just may have gotten loose from the ceiling, tighten the screws and see if that works. If not, shut off the electricity to the fan and remove it. There might be something that has migrated over to one of the blades, like a piece of paper or insulation, or it just may need to be tightened. Otherwise, you may need to replace it. That's pretty easy to do, just be sure you get the same size, that the electricity is off and take a picture of the inside of the old one before you remove it so that you can see where the wires go so you can connect it correctly, and then replace it.

  • Deb K Deb K on Mar 05, 2023

    Hi Rivka, chances are it has a buildup of dust and lint from use. You can easily remove the grill and vacuum it off, or if it's a plug and play, just unplug it and remove the one screw holding it in and clean it up with some soap and water, let it dry out completely be bore putting it back up, be sure to lubricate the spindle that turns or you will have a loud noise.

  • Did it just start making the noise or has it always been loud? If it’s a new noise, carefully check and see if anything is loose. Ideally shut the breaker off before poking around in there as there’s generally lots of exposed stuff inside one of these.

  • Dee Dee on Mar 05, 2023

    Take off the cover and see if the fan is loose. Put the cover back on tightly/

  • GrandmasHouseDIY GrandmasHouseDIY on Mar 06, 2023

    That grill should pop off easily. I would use a can of air to spray the entire inside of it out completely. It may just need that kind of good cleaning.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Mar 07, 2023

    If in doubt - cll in an electrician!

  • Rivka Hellendall Rivka Hellendall on Mar 07, 2023

    Wow, thanks for all the advice everyone, really appreciate it. After reading through all the answers, I think I will try to pop off the grill of the fan and give it a good clean and see if anything is loose. Hopefully that will fix the loud noise

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Mar 07, 2023

    Remove the cover and look for obstructions would be my first guess.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Mar 10, 2023

    Remove cover and Vac out all the gunk that has built up. (Make sure the fan is in the off position first).