• Nutone chrome exhaust fan cover — still available as a replacement part

    nutone kitchen exhaust fan grille cover in satin chromes
    Reader 48Cape has uncovered that, even though we can no longer buy Nutone’s retro kitchen exhaust fan with its satin chrome grille as an original part — we can buy their setup as sold with the white plastic grille — and then, buy the satin chrome grille as a replacement part. Yes: The satin chrome grille is still available, but only as a replacement part.
    nutone exhaust fan in pam's kitchen
    When I renovated my kitchen about five years ago, I was still able to get the complete setup from Nutone. We put the exhaust fan in in the exact same place as the old one, which was beat. You can also put these centered on the wall behind the stove. I’ve even seen them to the right or left of the stove. Kudos to the sleuthing of 48Cape, who explains:
    …This all started with me trying to figure out how to use my kitchen cabinets, here it is.

    So, I’m working out the kitchen layout and I decide that we have to have a Nutone exhaust fan in the wall over the stove instead of a hood. We have an 8″ circa 1948 Nutone exhaust fan in our upstairs bathroom with the classic “circle in a square” grille. Unfortunately it was spray painted taupe in the late 80′s. Knowing that I probably won’t be able to return it to it’s previous chromed glory, I started looking for a new one. Of course there was one NOS fan on the bay today which as it turns out sold for 250 dollars. Not bad but…

    Of course, the most useful links google provides lead to Pam’s site (as usual) and I read the post she wrote about the fan she used in her kitchen. No model number was given and the post was several years old, also in the comments section someone posted more recently that the fan in question now comes with white a plastic grille…dang!

    Not one to give up when a high speed connection is at my disposal, I continued to poke around. Eventually I found the “replacement parts” area on the Broan / Nutone website, and low and behold, it seems that you can still order silver (and white) metal replacement grilles for their exhaust fans. I don’t think they’re chrome, rather clear anodized aluminum which probably won’t be as brilliant and reflective as chrome, but it’s still a far site better looking and more durable than silver paint.

    From what I could tell, the major difference in Nutone utility fan models old and new is the housing. That means that just a few motor assemblies, grilles, filters, etc. are used interchangeably for all similar models. The fans appear to come in two sizes 8″ and 10″. Ten inch fans (like model 8510) are much more expensive ($300 as opposed to $100) and move almost twice the air. The one in by bathroom is an old 8″ fan mounted in a “through the wall” round duct with a hood outside and a spring loaded damper to keep out the weather.

    I believe model 8310 (180cfm 8″ fan mounted in a flat housing so as to mount between studs or ceiling joists) is the one in Pam’s post. Model 8310, it appears, currently ships with a white plastic grille #S99111332 as standard. However there are several grills listed on the the Broan/Nutone website parts lists as “GRILLE – Silver”. They are as follows:

    17703018 circle in square for 8″ fans ($43.44)
    17707018 circle in square for 10″ fans ($26.62)
    17705018 circular edge for 10″ fan ($20.66)

    Assuming that grilles for both 8″ and 10″ fans attach with a 1/4-20 screw through the middle (they do), one could use a grill made for a 10″ model on an 8″. From what I can tell the 10″ grille is roughly 13.5″ wide. My 8″ grille is about 11″. As long as one installs an aluminum filter behind the grille, no one should ever know that there is an 8″ fan behind the 10″ grill. If you don’t like the look of the filter (which you really should have is using in a kitchen anyway) you could also paint the wall behind the grille immediately surrounding the fan black or even silver to camouflage it.

    Of course everything above is an educated guess. Unfortunately there are few pictures in the parts section of the website, mostly exploded diagrams. I have not seen any of these grilles in person, and don’t know if they are indeed still available, however, when I googled the part numbers I found them offered by other retailers, one of which I have purchased appliance repair parts from in the past.

    The folks who populate the Forum are pretty tenacious, so up pops idiosyncracybydesign aks Gwenn:
    this is fabulous! I also have an 8″ fan that was painted terribly… the fan itself is fine (just needs cleaning… supper excited- most of the used fans I see are the bigger 10″ ones (2 of which are in my attic), but they’re really too big to go over the Kelvinator!

    PS- I found a site with a pic and a decent price here.

    Gwenn

    Update on Oct. 6, 2011 from reader Lynda:
    Just a little update. I talked to the Nutone company this week and they told me that the metal covers are no longer made, but that some stores may have them around the country. She gave the name of a couple of stores. My daughter found the metal cover at House of Fans in San Francisco. She bought a Nutone/Broan 504 fan for her kitchen. It has 350 CFM and 6.5 sones. The metal cover for the 10? fan does fit. The House of Fans also had the aluminum filter and the screw that was necessary to attach the metal cover to the 504 fan. Since Nutone and Broan are now one company some of the fans and the parts are no longer made. The cover was around $25.00, the screw was around $2.00 and the filter was about $15.00. She is installing an induction range by Viking and the opinion is that since the range does not produce heat, a fancy fan is not needed. This fan should go nicely in her “new” 1940?s home. Also, FYI, she was told by the store that these fans work best if a window is slightly open.
    Remember, you can also look at the Trade-Wind. It’s authentic vintage. Consult with a professional regarding your CFI needs.
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    Comments

    1. Hi Pam, I have the original exhaust fan over my stove with similar looking chrome grille cover. It doesn’t have any markings so I can’t tell if it’s a Nutone or some other model. The interesting thing is in each corner of the chrome cover are round magnet inserts which I assume are so you can put a cover over the cover during the winter. The fan also has the spring loaded trap door on the outside to keep the weather and critters out.

      John aka AtomicHipster

      • We have a fan just like that in our kitchen. Unfortunately, it very drafty so we keep it covered with plastic.

        • Hi Olivia,
          I also keep mine covered in plastic over the winter but I use the fan all the time in summer.

          John

    2. johnny dollar says:

      we had one in our 1940 cape cod – it worked great, although as you know they can get kind of gunky – http://www.flickr.com/photos/87039192@N00/4320671036/

      our current 1954 ranch is ducted for an exhaust hood out the roof, so we are going to hook into that ductwork with a Big Chill exhaust hood.

    3. I had a real one in my bathroom of my ’49 Cape Cod that was used as an exhaust fan. So while doing my current ’54 BR restoration, I installed one in there too. Unfortunately, it’s the plastric one, but now I’m gonna get the aluminum grille!
      In the meantime, I have sprayed the plastic grille aluminum, so it’s OK but I’d rather have the real cover.
      The question is – how about the heavy, center nut that holds it on? That’s also plastic on my Broan fan….

    4. johnny dollar says:

      also, ours had a crazy setup with a counterweight going through a mini pully. to operate the fan, you had to lift the weight up and stash if on the custom shelf below the fan.

      http://www.flickr.com/photos/87039192@N00/4320670718/

      again, sorry for the cobwebs and gunk in the photo – typically we had a collection of milk bottles up on that shelf.

      • Our fan has a lightbulb-type pull chain that hooks into a bracket to keep the damper closed. The chain and a key chain I’ve hooked to the end of it (1978 high school reunion I didn’t attend!) just sit on the stove when the fan’s not in use.

        We’ve replaced the chain a couple of times, but I’m worried about the bracket rusting through. Is this a part that might be available? You can see the fan in photos 10 & 12 on the story of my kitchen at http://retrorenovation.com/2010/04/09/the-seven-month-saga-of-susans-steel-kitchen-and-her-recommendation-for-a-metal-cabinet-refinisher-in-new-jersey/.

        Thanks to anyone who has a suggestion or some knowledge.

        • Susan, having just come to this site recently, I went back to look at your remodeling story. I was surprised to see you lived in East Lansdowne. During the nineties, I owned and lived in a house in Bywood, Upper Darby. One of those cute two bedroom rows. The kitchen exhaust fan was stuck in the corner over the counter, kind of hard to reach. It was the pull chain type. My father converted it to wall switch operated by replacing the outside damper and removing the spring activated switch. At my current house, I had a carpenter replace the chain operated fan with a new Nutone set that included the aluminum grille – 8 ” fan as I did not want to go to the trouble of breaking the masonry block construction to accomodate a bigger fan.Something to consider. By the way, the kitchen is beautiful.

    5. TappanTrailerTami says:

      This is great info! I am wondering if the new silver ones are plastic vs. metal? If they are metal, and you are a stickler for details, you can have it chromed. Actually, even if it is plastic, you can still have it vacuum metallized and it will look just like chrome. I have lots of chromed plastic parts on my motorcycle and you can’t tell the difference, except for the weight of the part being a lot lighter than chromed metal.

      Pam: I notice that your fan is up on the ceiling and not necessarily directly over the stove. Does it exhaust pretty well when you are cooking? Mine will be up fairly high also, but will be over the stove in the soffit above.

      Trouble: As for replacement nut to hold the cover on – check your local Home Depot, or Ace hardware. You could use a nice chrome acorn nut which most stores stock.

      Tami

    6. As we were picking up a set of Genevas in Wisconsin, I walked past the owner’s trash bin and noticed the front grill of the Nutone that was once in his kitchen. I asked him if I could have it, because I just loved the design of it (this was before I knew there was such a huge following of Nutone fans (heehee)). His brother had taken the motor because he liked to tinker, so I’m just going to clean it up a bit and display it in our kitchen.

    7. I have totally ordered two of these witht he center nut! Ty for having this post!

    8. Thanks so much! This is exactly what I needed. I have one bathroom with the original fan and the second bathroom looking pretty boring with a plastic exhaust cover. :>
      I’m ordering this pronto!!!

    9. I have tried several cleaners to get the last gunk off my original NuTone; simply will not come off. I don’t want to destroy it in the process of trying to get it clean! Any suggestions for a cleaner to try?

    10. natschultz says:

      Question for Pam (or anyone else with one of these fans in the kitchen):

      How does this fan work as a range hood? Does it actually remove smoke if you are frying something (or burn something)? Also, yours is in the ceiling – is it ducted through the roof? Is it possible to mount this type of fan on the ceiling and duct it out the exterior wall between the joists?

      I know that my original kitchen had one of these fans on the wall behind the stove, but my parents ripped it out and sealed up the hole (replaced with range hood) because apparently it let all the cold air and moisture into the house. I was thinking that maybe a new version will not do this?

      Thanks.

    11. lynda davis says:

      Just a little update. I talked to the Nutone company this week and they told me that the metal covers are no longer made, but that some stores may have them around the country. She gave the name of a couple of stores. My daughter found the metal cover at House of Fans in San Francisco. She bought a Nutone/Broan 504 fan for her kitchen. It has 350 CFM and 6.5 sones. The metal cover for the 10″ fan does fit. The House of Fans also had the aluminum filter and the screw that was necessary to attach the metal cover to the 504 fan. Since Nutone and Broan are now one company some of the fans and the parts are no longer made. The cover was around $25.00, the screw was around $2.00 and the filter was about $15.00. She is installing an induction range by Viking and the opinion is that since the range does not produce heat, a fancy fan is not needed. This fan should go nicely in her “new” 1940′s home.
      Also, FYI, she was told by the store that these fans work best if a window is slightly open.

    12. I have an original (circa 1946) fan over my stove. It has a chain pull that hools into a bracket to keep the louvers open. It was lost by my contractor when renovating. Where can I get a replacement with a slot for the chain?

    13. Hi there,

      I have one of these in my 1952 built home. The kitchen was remodeled sometime in the 70′s – not sure if the fan is original or put in with the new kitchen.

      At any rate, we are wanting to remove the top 1/2 of the wall that the range sits on, in turn removing the under cabinet range hood. Will the ceiling vent be adequate for venting? I don’t really want to drop another $1000 on a new hood that drops from the ceiling.

      Thanks!

    14. Does anyone know where I can find a cover for my nutone fan for the winter.We are in New York State 60 miles north of NY City where is gets pretty cold and drafty in the winter. Thankyou
      Marilyn

    15. I have an original Nutone fan cover if anyone is interested in it. I believe its a 10″ round. No screws for it though

    16. is it still possible to get parts for the nutone fan? My spring activated switch quit working?

    17. This article was a lifesaver. Now I can have a fan with all the crazy air moving capacity of the newer models that will still look authentically mid-century.

      So many great tips here, first that the Nutone 17707018 cover mates up with the Broan/Nutone 504 which is still available. Also priceless was the help I got from House of Fans which hooked me up with the aluminum filters as well as (options!) they have a chrome Emerson cover that also mates up with the 504.

      Color me crazy but I have both on the way since I need kitchen and bathroom fans. I’d have never figured any of this out on my own. Thank you!

    18. Do they make a cover for the fan cover it gets drafty in the winter winds come it

      • I’m not sure but if there were one I imagine House of Fans would know about it.

        I get a bit of a draft from my kitchen fan, I am hoping that between the baffle on the new fan and the filter (which appears fairly dense) will help. I’ll let you know if that makes any difference once I can finally get the electrician over here.

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