I have a replacement fan motor assembly for a bathroom vent but the cable for the plug is too short to reach the existing fan socket in the mounting. Is there any reason why I can't just cut the plug off the new fan and then cut the socket off the mounting and just splice it together with wire nuts? If not, is it OK to just cut the fan cabling and splice in an extension for the plug to reach the socket?

  • 1
    Are you sure you can't rotate the assembly in the housing so the plug reaches the outlet? Or rotate the motor?
    – JACK
    Commented Sep 7, 2022 at 20:04
  • The mounting for the fan is offset from the center with no real way to adjust it.
    – Jason C
    Commented Sep 7, 2022 at 22:04
  • I guess I am just trying to understand why it has to go through a plug anyways. Other then maybe they are making it easier to replace but it's not when the company doesn't make a replacement assembly.
    – Jason C
    Commented Sep 7, 2022 at 22:10
  • 1
    How unique is the plug and socket set? Can you get another pair? - This sounds like a job for the world's shortest extension cord. Commented Oct 8, 2022 at 0:03
  • This is the wrong question. Objective: replace fan motor. Then get the right fan motor.
    – Mazura
    Commented Oct 8, 2022 at 22:44

2 Answers 2


replacement fan motor assembly

That's the key right there.

Older light fixtures (e.g., Edison bulb and other types of easily removable/replaceable bulbs) take care of the common repair issue by allowing bulb replacement. Newer (LED) light fixtures often have no easy way to replace the lights because the expectation is that the lights will last the lifetime of the fixture - i.e., when the lights go out, time to replace it all. Because of that, the lighting portion of an exhaust fan/light combination device will often not have a plug-in portion in the fixture - i.e., it would very rarely be needed because you either swap the bulb or replace the entire thing.

On the other hand, fan motors often wear out before the expected total lifetime of the fixture. Unlike light bulbs, they can't be easily configured for a simple swap. But the next best thing is to make the electrical connection a plug. That is often a proprietary plug, so the replacement motor needs to have the correct plug and the right length cord. But that is all by design - it's not a bug, it's a feature.

If I recall correctly, I did have a replacement fan where the original fan did not have a plug, so I had to cut off the new fan's plug and wire it with wire nuts (like the old) inside the included junction box. Your situation is a little different, as you need an extension, and that is a bit trickier because the splice for the extension really should be within the junction box too - but if it was in the junction box then you probably wouldn't need the extension.

You may want to check with either the fixture or replacement motor manufacturer to see if there is a replacement that will fit properly.

  • 1
    I have [the wrong] replacement fan motor assembly, +1. This is why I get paid the big bucks; somebody does the wrong thing and makes my job harder to put it back to the correct way, so that it's easy the next time.
    – Mazura
    Commented Oct 8, 2022 at 22:37

Fans have tiny splice box behind the receptacle where the circuit comes into the fixture. That's the only place splices are allowed.

  • Any reason why I can't just cut the plug off and feed through to wire nut it to the wall wiring?
    – Jason C
    Commented Sep 7, 2022 at 22:05
  • @JasonC If you're asking about the rules for wiring the fixture, any modification of the fixture contrary to the manufacturer's instructions would not be allowed. If you're asking if it's physically impossible to do whatever it takes to hack together a fan that might start a fire or kill someone standing in a puddle of water, then that really wouldn't be appropriate for the Home Improvement website. Commented Sep 7, 2022 at 22:48
  • This is a bathroom ceiling vent fan so not sure why someone would be standing in a puddle of water and touching it. Maybe sitting on the toilet underneath though.... I guess that could count as a puddle. lol. Gotcha though you are saying it's for some sort of safety thing which is a valid answer to the question I asked. Not sure why the ceiling lights are all hardwired in then, especially the one right above the shower/bath tub.
    – Jason C
    Commented Sep 8, 2022 at 0:20

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