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Old 08-25-2016, 07:28 PM   #1
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bathroom fan upgrade

A very cheap upgrade for your bath vent fan. Cut a 12"x 12" pc of plexiglass and cut a 6" hole for the fan blade and 3/8 hole for the crank. Lay it on top of the screen. Noise level is about half and though not scientific cfm is prbly doubled. Used 1/4" plexiglass that I had around so no cost and the light still comes in like before.
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Old 08-25-2016, 07:33 PM   #2
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Got any pics? we love pics.
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Old 08-25-2016, 08:25 PM   #3
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pics

plexiglass fan shroud. I thought I attached a photo to op but its not there. Try try again.
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Old 08-26-2016, 06:28 PM   #4
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I looked at ours today and thought about your modification. I can see how that would improve outflow as it would stop a lot of recirculation. I just happen to have a piece or two of acrylic sheeting, and I just might try your mod one of these days whn I get caught up modding the cabinets and A/C.
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Old 08-26-2016, 08:37 PM   #5
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fan mod

I also cut a notch in the plexiglass for the switch because the stem of the switch is not long enough to go through the plex and the screen frame. It actually made reassembly easier. After cutting the glass to size my was 12 1/8" square I held it up to the screen and marked centers. The fan measured 5 7/8" so if you use a 6" hole cutter it is a close fit. I also put 3/8" weather stripping around the perimeter of the screen between the plexiglass and screen frame to seal it and raise the plexiglass up so the fan is just inside the hole.
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Old 08-30-2016, 09:35 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by markb422 View Post
I also cut a notch in the plexiglass for the switch because the stem of the switch is not long enough to go through the plex and the screen frame. It actually made reassembly easier. After cutting the glass to size my was 12 1/8" square I held it up to the screen and marked centers. The fan measured 5 7/8" so if you use a 6" hole cutter it is a close fit. I also put 3/8" weather stripping around the perimeter of the screen between the plexiglass and screen frame to seal it and raise the plexiglass up so the fan is just inside the hole.

Thanks so much for posting this. Looks like a great idea. I was considering a Vortex fan upgrade, but after reading the mixed reviews, I think I will try this first. A couple questions: Were you able to remove the screen from the inside? Can you share a few more details on disassembly and reassembly?
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Old 08-30-2016, 06:43 PM   #7
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I cut the 1/4" plexiglass to size 12 1/8" x 12 1/8". I removed the crank handle (one philips screw recessed up in the shaft) and removed the jam nut from the switch and pushed the switch up out of the way. I held the plexiglass up to the bottom of the screen and with a sharpie marked the EXACT centers of the fan, crank shaft and switch. I cut a 6" dia. hole in the plexiglass for the fan using a adjustable hole cutter. I drilled a 3/8" dia. hole for the crank and switch. I finished the hole for the switch by cutting a 3/4" x 3/4" notch in from the edge for the switch body.
Remove the trim frame with four screws. The two philips head screws that hold the screen are recessed. I removed the screen and put 1/2" foam weather seal around the top outside edge of the screen frame. After re-assmbling the switch to the screen frame, I laid the plexiglass on top of the weather stripping inside the screen frame and reattached the screen to the cross brace of the fan. The weather stripping will seal the plexiglass to the screen frame and push the plexiglass up so the bottom of the fan blades should be roughly flush with the bottom of the plexiglass. If you use 3/8" or 1/2" wide weather stripping you will not be able to see it from below after reassembly. The hole for the handle shaft and the switch sitting in the notch will keep the plexiglass aligned. I you cut the holes correctly, the hole for the fan should align. Reinstall the trim frame with four screws.
To test I did a before and after by closing all doors and windows exept one small window I opened a crack. I turned the fan on before and held a butane lighter up to the openning. The flame barely flickered. After I did the same and the flame almost blew out. Not scientific but to me obvious improvement. The plexiglass blocks most of the fan motor noise. You will still hear the fan moving air but it seems like the motor noise is much less. The light coming trough the vent should not be any different.
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Old 08-30-2016, 10:04 PM   #8
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I know the idea is to do an inexpensive modification but I broke down and bought a Vortex II upgrade fan from Amazon. On sale when I got it for about $55, now they are about $65 shipped. The Vortex II is a 3 speed fan with a 2 speed reverse. Takes about 30 minutes to make the change over if you don't read directions, takes longer to read the directions than to do the job. You can get a Vortex I single speed fan for about $45 shipped. Do a search on the forum for how easy it is.
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Old 08-30-2016, 11:29 PM   #9
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Let us know how it works. The one I did was a bathroom fan and I have 3 other vents in the MH that could be modified. I looked at the fantastic and the vortex. Did not want to tear off the vent for the fantastic for the BR and was a little concerned about reviews of poor design and vibration of the vortex even at the reduced cost. I thought for the BR I would try this. I have not actually had a chance to camp with the mod yet.
I retired from engineering about 5 years ago and I enjoy doing a little design and fab on my own. Part of the camping culture is being inventive and inovative. Or at least it used to be. So this for me was just a fun afternoon making things a little better in my world.
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Old 08-31-2016, 12:05 AM   #10
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I haven't noticed any vibrations. The Vortex moves a lot more air than the fan it replaced. Noise level on high speed is about the same as the old fan. I just run mine on low speed continuously in the 95 degree weather and it keeps the bathroom cooled down and can hardly hear it run. When you replace the old fan, don't cut your old wires short, leave them long. Notch one side of the fan unit so you can run your wires behind the frame out of sight. Granted it isn't a Fantastic Fan but it didn't cost $200 either plus you do the complete mod in the inside, no getting on the roof.
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