Steamy showers feel great on cold mornings, but all the moisture can be terrible for the bathroom walls, ceiling, and everywhere else. Luckily there are exhaust fans to send the humid air out of the house but to be most effective the fan should stay on for 20 minutes after you're done showering. We have a fan in our master bathroom, but sometimes we find ourselves having to fly out of the house after getting ready (or we're too lazy to go back upstairs after breakfast!) and we can't stick around to make sure the fan stays on, so we turn it off prematurely, keeping extra moisture in the room.
Without sounding too much like an infomercial, "All our problems were solved with this little device." We found a simple $19.99 fan timer that lets you push a button to keep the fan on for a certain amount of time. It will help make sure we leave our fan on long enough and it was a good excuse for me to play with electricity! Katrina likes the multiple timing options so she can turn on the ten minute button to time her shower! She turns it on again when she's out to keep the fan pumping out the steamy air, the second time for 20 minutes, so she can make sure she gets ready in time.
- A voltage tester that warns you if a wire has electricity in it
- Flat and philips-head screw driver
- Needle nose pliers (only if your wires need to be straightened or bent)
- A timer switch, we went with a Leviton from Home Depot
- A new electrical face plate since you're going from a small switch to a big rectangular timer
**Warning, I am not a licensed electrician. If you're unsure of what you're doing please do not attempt to work with electricity - it can kill you.
1) Admire your current switch but feel good about changing it out.
2) Turn off power to the switch from the breaker box
3) Remove the faceplate and use your voltage tester to make sure the power is really off.
4) Unscrew your current switch and look at the mess of cables
5) Unhook the two wires from your old switch. There should only be two cables, one will be black or red and the other can be any color but should have a black marking near the end. There may also be a green or copper wire used for grounding. If there are more than two wires (not counting a copper or green ground), if something looks out of place, or if you have no idea what you're doing PLEASE call an electrician at this point.
6) Connect your new timer two the two wires that were connected to your old switch. If you get the same timer switch as we did, you'll notice it doesn't have screws to connect the wires, instead it has two black wires that are meant to be spliced to the old wires with the supplied wire nuts.
7) Also splice the green wire that is attached to the timer switch to the copper or green wire in the box. If there isn't a green or copper wire in the box please call an electrician.
8) Put everything back in and screw the timer to the gang box.
9) Turn the power back on.
10) Enjoy your new timer!