The Cost to Install or Replace an Extractor Fan

All you need to know about installing or replacing an extractor fan including costs of materials, labour and time frames.

Extractor Fan

What the job entails

Why have an extractor fan installed or replaced? Extractor fans are almost always used in bathrooms and kitchens, particularly bathrooms that do not have an opening window. Extractor fans suck out the moisture in the air and prevent damp problems and steam build up. The modern near silent extractor fans are the most popular for obvious reasons, in fact, many replace perfectly functional extractor fans just to get a modern low noise unit. With extractor fans it is generally worth paying a bit extra and fitting a quality product, the labour costs will be the same and extra cost for quality is less than you might think.

So how much does it cost to replace an extractor fan in a bathroom? Well, the prices vary of course depending on your location and the type of fan fitted. But as a rough guide, expect an electrician to charge around £200 to supply and fit an extractor fan. This price does assume a standard install and basic extractor unit and assumes a straight swap, simply removing the old extractor fan and fitting a new one, checking the existing wiring is up to standard and the external grill is not blocked and is working correctly. If there is currently no extractor fan and you require a completely new installation, then this is a more time-consuming job and involves additional work including the supply and install all the wiring for the fan, cutting through the wall installing ducting to the outside with a new grill. Expect to pay around £350 for a completely new installation. Note that although the electrician will bury the wiring in the wall, he will not decorate or tile over this.

There are three types of bathroom extractor fitting, a ceiling fan, a wall fan, or via a fan in a glass window. The glass window type of fan is much less common these days as it involves cutting a hole in the glass. So this article deals with wall or ceiling mounted fans. In terms of cost, there really is not much difference, but the electrician will let you know which type of installation is easier and therefore cheaper! The location of the fan and the distance to the exterior vent point will affect the cost, but the wiring required is the bigger consideration. If locating the existing wiring circuit and connecting to it is difficult then this will greatly increase the time and cost, but in most cases, the electrics are easily available via the loft, though in flats it may mean lifting floorboards, carpets or laminate flooring to find the wiring. Extractor fans can be operated either by a pull-cord or switch in a separate location, or they can be wired to the light switch so will switch on with the light and stay on for a preset time after it's switched off. Others come be set up to come on when the humidity in the room reaches a certain level. Fitting a separate pull switch is the most expensive option as there is more labour and wiring involved.

If you're planning on making changes to a lighting or power circuit in a bathroom or kitchen yourself, then you must inform your local authority's Building Control Department first and ensure that all work carried out on any circuit comply with the latest IEE Wiring Regulations. If replacing an old extractor then the new or replacement cables may need RCD protection fitted. you will at some point need an electrician to check the work so you may as well just hire one in the first place and get the job done right! Fitting an extractor fan in a bathroom or shower room is a real safety issue because of the increased risk of electric shock and the latest IEE Wiring Regulations split bathrooms up into zones. Zone 0 for a bathroom is the area inside the bath, Zone 1 is the same floorspace and width as zone 0 but extending to 2.25m above the finished floor level, Zone 2 for a bathroom is the same height as zone 1 but extended further to 0.6m around the bath. There are regulations regarding the type of fans and the installation for each of these zones, once again it is best to get an electrician in to ensure the work is done to current IEE Wiring Regulations rather than trying to do it yourself, breaking the law and possibly exposing yourself or your family to risk of electric shock.

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Installation or Replacement Cost of an Extractor Fan

The material cost of a new extractor fan will vary depending on the type and quality of the extractor fan fitted. A new fan alone can cost anywhere from £20 to £50 or even more depending on quality.

The average rate an electrician will charge to install an extractor fan is typically around £150 to £200 per day. Replacing an old extractor fan with a new model will only take a couple of hours maximum, whilst a completely new installation potentially taking a full day.

Below are some estimated costs of hiring an electrician to install or replace an extractor fan:

Job Description Avg. Cost Duration
Replacing existing extractor fan £150-£200 2-4 hours
Installing a new extractor fan £250-£350 4-8 hours


Cost Breakdown

Individual Costs of Installing a New Extractor Fan - Total Cost: £300

33%

Materials
£100

67%

Tradesmen
£200

0%

Waste Removal
£0

FAQ's

The standard size extractor fan is 100mm and this is the size fans, grills and ducting are designed to work with. Larger fans are available but these are designed for industrial-scale extraction.
Hard to say, it really depends on the nature of the problem, if the fan is making a mechanical grinding or grating noise, then it probably does need replacing. However, if the fan is not moving at all, then it may be dirt and grime are clogging the motor stopping it spinning. You could try cleaning the fan and seeing if things improve, if not, you should call a local electrician or the fan manufacturer for further advice on troubleshooting.
The noise really depends on the type and quality of the fan, but most modern fans sold in the UK are whisper quiet. If you have an older fan fitted the modern ones will be a revelation, they are so much quieter and can be used even next to bedrooms where little ones are asleep with no complaints! It can be worth replacing an old extractor fan just for the reduced noise alone.
Cleaning extractor fans is pretty easy, just turn off the power supply to the fan, remove the grill front, then simply wipe over the surfaces using warm soapy water or bathroom cleaner.