I have a dead bathroom extractor fan and I've read many posts and watched numerous videos about how to replace bathroom fans but none have helped me figure out how to get this particular one out. I did remove the first part of the housing but I am unable to go any further. I am guessing the fan's motor has burnt out. To confirm this, I would remove the plug shown in the picture and test the resistance of the motor windings. However, I am unable to remove the plug. It looks like some kind of Molex connector but no matter how hard I try to prise it off, it won't come free. I know sometimes these kind of connectors have some kind of flange you need to bend before the plug will come free but I haven't found one that helps. Any suggestions? As an alternative, I was wondering whether I could take out the complete housing but this is going to be very difficult as the attic space above is very cramped.

photo of bathroom fan showing internal connector

closer picture of connector

another picture of connector

  • 1
    The plug is a snap in type, find the snap part and press it to pull the plug
    – Traveler
    Commented Apr 25 at 6:03
  • The fan has to come out with the outer housing as one assembly, which is usually screwed to the sides, once out you can disassemble the actual fan motor
    – Traveler
    Commented Apr 25 at 6:04
  • I've seen snap connectors before but am unable to find how to release this one. Need more specific instructions.
    – julian
    Commented Apr 25 at 6:57
  • Regarding the outer housing, this is held in place by side screws that are only accessible via the attic space which I mentioned is too cramped to be accessible.
    – julian
    Commented Apr 25 at 6:59

1 Answer 1


The snap is the tiny piece on the bottom. It should be hinged from the inner edge if it's part of the harness. A small flat head screwdriver help move it.

It also looks like there's a small screw next to it. If you're disassembling the unit, then that screw might need to come out anyway.

  • The connector may have a plastic retainer on the clip top too.
    – Huesmann
    Commented Apr 25 at 11:53
  • Yes, probably both sides. I can't tell from the photo if it's the squeeze type or the one where it has to be pried loose. Commented Apr 25 at 14:59
  • I added some closer photos of the connector. I've tried pressing and prodding it every which way but it still won't come free. I also tried to remove that screw nearby but it seems too tight and I am worried about stripping it. May need to get an impact driver or something although there's not a lot of space to get at it.
    – julian
    Commented Apr 25 at 17:59
  • 1
    @julian Wow, that thing has clips on 3 sides. What a pain. Try grabbing that bottom edge with needle nose pliers and then rocking the whole thing firmly in every direction. Commented Apr 25 at 18:43
  • Yes you were right. Just needed to manhandle the connector more aggressively with some stronger pliers and then it came out finally. Thank you for feeling my pain! Tested the fan and it's open circuit so will need to replace it. So now my question is what to do about that stupid connector. A new fan, if I can find one that fits, will have a different type of connector no doubt.
    – julian
    Commented Apr 25 at 20:21

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