This might be downright trivial for a lot of people, but it was an ”Achievement Unlocked” moment for me.
There was a Nutone exhaust fan in our bathroom that was really loud, as in louder than any sound made by anything else at home.
So after several months of this, and reluctant or embarrassed to call someone to fix it, I decided to fix it myself.
Step 1: Buy replacement fan and motor
Step 2: Watch a few YouTube videos for morale
Step 3: Get a ladder, get a torch (bathroom is in an awkward spot, no natural light!)
So, today, after turning the appropriate circuit breaker off (which, as everyone discovered to their annoyance, also turned off both the TV and the WiFi!), I climbed up and took a good look at the grille.
Now the grille in the videos just snapped off easily, but this one didn’t budge at all; and when it did, it sort of rotated with a grinding noise.
At this point, I realized I was on my own, and just clawed at whatever I could, and that obviously, obviously, since there was a light in front of the fan, the light cover should come off first.
So this happened, and revealed a light bulb with a nut-and-screw above it. So off came the light bulb, and the nut, and after unplugging it, so did the grille.
Great, I thought, now face to face with the motor assembly, the videos say to remove any screws visible and then “pop out the tabs”. The screw came off easily, but the tabs didn’t exactly “pop out” at all.
No, they were quite fixed, and the metal of the motor assembly scraped against the metal of the housing as I tried all kinds of trial-and-error pushing and prodding to get it off. In the end, it did come off.
So at this point, I was exactly half-way through the whole affair, and thought that all I had to do was retrace my steps. Except that now the new motor assembly didn’t fit in the same way, it was a tiny bit less well-adjusted, and for a moment I thought I had ordered the wrong part (has happened before!), and would have to first put everything back and then do this all over again, but luckily (very luckily!) the moment passed, and then the tabs “popped in” (smiley face!)
One more unknown obstacle, which might seem almost tedious at this point as a reader, but which, having to hold up the grille plate while doing it, was something more for me: the motor assembly had a loose screw which had to pass through a hole in the grille so that a nut could be fastened on it. Sounds easy enough?
No, because of the looseness of the screw. Every time the grill was not exactly positioned, the screw was pushed back up. When it was exactly positioned, but the nut wasn’t exactly positioned, the screw was pushed back up. Only when all three were in perfect alignment (which eventually did happen, and I survived to sit here and tell you of it) did the grille finally get secured in place.
So in the end then, a happy ending. The fan and the light work, and make less noise, and I have had a happy weekend.
(Imagine the epitaph: ”Here lies Agam. He fixed his bathroom exhaust fan. Forgive him his hyperbole.”)