How did my bathroom fan get hacked?
No, there’s not any secret computer chips in it, or NSA recording devices watching my every move. Well I hope not, I wouldn’t want to be the agent on the other end monitoring that footage. What happened is my exhaust fan in my bathroom fan / light combo stopped working, and I had to figure out how to get it working again. I’ll admit it stopped working a few years ago, and we’ve gone without the exhaust fan part working for a while now.
The bathroom fan and light combo was originally installed in 2010 (i know this explicitly because after our wedding on 10-10-10 <– Yes that’s real (& it was Canadian Thanksgiving), we built a bathroom. The fan was installed during this renovation. A Big thanks to all of our weddings guests that helped fund this renovation, i truly use your wedding gift everyday 😉
Fast Forward a bit to around 2015
It was around 2015 / early 2016 that the fan actually stopped working (I’m almost certain) because I remember thinking that if there was a warranty it would have probably been about 5 years (IF I WAS SO LUCKY). I could have bought this fan closer to the end of the renovation, and perhaps just squeaked it into the 5 year mark, but that receipt was long gone, and proving it would be a lot more hassle than it was worth.
Instead I went to Lowe’s, where i had originally purchased the bathroom fan, to look for a replacement. My plan was to just pop out the fan box with a new one. This seemed like the easiest route to go. Originally we went to Lowe’s because they had a much better selection that Home Depot had for bathroom fans. Ours had a nice chrome (nickel) finish with a frosted glass cover. (For some reason i lost my photo of the light with the glass installed.) I will edit this post with an updated photo of it hopefully once it goes live.
Anyway I had no luck finding a match to this light. Which was strange. They didn’t even seem to have any nice looking bathroom fan’s anymore. They only had the generic square white / ugly looking ones. The same that home Depot had 5 years prior.
Speaking to an associate I found out they no longer carry the “Designer styles” of bathroom fans anymore.
That sucks… So I looked online, Lowe’s (in the USA) seemed to have it listed, however shipping to Canada was not an option for me.
Online retailers had ones that looked similar but i wasn’t 100% sure they matched inside, and i had issues with shipping as well. I didn’t want to buy the wrong fan either and have it not fit. I would either be out about $130, or have to tear a hole in my ceiling to put a new fan in. (I also have an issue where the output of this fan box is DIRECTLY against a ceiling joist cross member) Not a true joist just the fire block. So I originally had to notch it to accept the exhaust piping. If a new fan didn’t line up exactly i was int he attic making it work.
Bathroom fan meet back burner.
So it seems I may have exhausted my options at this point, so i took a break. I wasn’t overly concerned about the fan not working. The light still functioned, and even if it didn’t I still have 5 other lights in this bathroom (but that’s a story for another day) or when you sit on my toilet and ask why there’s a spotlight pointing at you… seriously don’t ask.
before you yell at your screen and tell me to call the manufacturer, i tried looking for their information on the fan, and it was not the easiest to get a hold of. Finding their phone number seemed to be a tricky task, so I honestly just left the whole thing for a bit.
Eventually I started digging into their company a bit and came across a website that was Spanish i think, but it had their company name listed and a phone number, so I called it. I explained the situation, and their response to me was rather deflating. “We do not manufacture bathroom fans anymore, we only manufacture ceiling fans now.” I ask about old stock parts, or Service parts for repairs needed to old bathroom fans they produced. “We no longer support any old products.” I don’t know what their policy is, but my company seems to have to keep parts around for 15+ years for service vehicles. a measly 5 years and they don’t have any old stock parts anywhere.
So here we are I must figure out what to do. Essentially I figured out how to retro-fit a new fan into the casing, BUT this post took up quite a bit of space. So rather than double or triple the page with a how to, I am going to simply put my how to on another page, and you can read all about it here.
Here are some teaser pictures of the hacking I did to get this fan back up and running again.
So If you were in this situation what would you have done? Found a way to retrofit something in there? Replaced the whole fan unit with a new model? tore out the entire bathroom and rebuild it around a new fan style? burn the house to the ground and start over? Honestly tho let me know in the comments below what you would have done if you came to a dead end on parts like I did.