Installing a bathroom timer switch to a bathroom fan is a simple upgrade that can lengthen the lifespan of the fan and save you from having to remember to turn it off. Fogged up the mirror during a long, hot shower? No problem. With a timer switch, you can simply set the amount of time you want to leave the fan running, and it will turn off automatically.

Even if you don’t have past experience wiring a switch, it's surprisingly easy to install a timer switch on your own. For this bathroom timer switch project, we’re using the 60-minute timer switch listed above, but the steps will be the same for just about any switch you choose.  

Step 1: Disconnect power

The most important thing to do before any electrical project is to disconnect power. To do this, just open your circuit panel, and switch off the breaker that controls the area where you’ll be installing the timer.

Step 2: Remove wall plate

Once the power is off, head back to your bathroom and use a screwdriver to remove the wall plate. (Be careful not to lose the screws—keep track of them by placing them on a piece of tape or in a small container, so they don’t go missing.)

Step 3: Disconnect bathroom switch

You’ll then need to remove the existing switch from the wall and disconnect the wires. (If you’re worried about mixing up the wires, label them now!) Use the screwdriver to unscrew the switch from the wall box, pull it out from the wall, and disconnect each wire from the back of the switch.

Step 4: Connect wires to new timer switch

Match the old wires coming out of the wall to the wires on the new switch. Twist a wire nut onto the ends of the wires until it bottoms out. 

As you pair them, use some electrical tape to hold them together near the wire nut—this helps keep them connected when you put the switch back into the wall. 

Step 5: Test the new switch

Your new switch should work now—but before reinstalling it into the wall, test it out! Turn the power back on and test each button on the switch to ensure it's working properly. 

Once you’re sure it works, turn the power back off before you reconnect the wall plate to ensure the wires aren’t live when you push the switch back into the wall.

Step 6: Reinstall wall plate

Finally, push the connected timer switch back into the wall box, screw it in place, and reattach the wall plate.

And you’re done! Now, you have a set-it-and-forget-it bathroom fan timer switch—no need to worry about turning it off anymore.

For more easy ways to upgrade your bathroom, check out how to make this wood bathroom shelf with towel bar or this simple bathroom storage tower.