…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.
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!
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.