Kitchen Extractor Fan Not Working? (cooker hood fixes)

If your kitchen is getting filled with smoke, fumes and smells, you know your extractor fan is not working. There’s nothing worse than a smoke filled kitchen with moisture running down the walls and the whole room smelling like fish or whatever else you’re cooking. 

In this article we cover all of the reasons why your extractor fan has stopped working and also how to get it back on track again.

Why Is My Kitchen Extractor Fan Not Working?

If your cooker hood (extractor fan) isn’t working. There are a few areas which you will need to check. The kitchen extractor is designed to remove steam, grease and any smells associated with cooking. It is a fairly uncomplicated design which means faults are usually restricted to certain areas.

Disclaimer: If you are not confident or competent with tampering with electrical appliances, we strongly advise you to call in an electrician to do any work on your cooker hood.

The most common complaint with cooker hoods is they don’t extract fast enough, these issues are almost always linked to a lack of maintenance

The Extractor Fan Doesn’t Extract Fast Enough

If your kitchen extractor fan isn’t extracting fast enough, it’s usually caused by the filter being blocked or partially blocked. You’ll find the filter at the bottom of the cooker hood. To remove it simply press the metal filter button, this will allow the metal filter to fall into your hand.

Before we go any further, these metal filters will need to be cleaned to make the hood work faster. Never put them in a dishwasher, as some of these filters are made from aluminium which can easily become tarnished using dishwasher chemicals to clean them. The metal filter should be washed using washing up liquid and hot water and a soft brush.

Carbonised Filter

If your cooker hood is ducted to the outside check for any blockages in the ducting especially outside. If you’re recirculating the air through the kitchen you’ll be using a carbonised filter. The carbonised filter can be washed every 3 to 4 months in a similar way to the metal filter (with hot, soapy water and a gentle brush).

Model Number

If when cleaning the filter you notice any damage at all, the filter will need to be replaced. Before ordering any parts you will need to know your extractor fan’s full model number. This is usually located inside the unit just above the filter housing on one of the side walls. You will find a white plate on which will be the full model number for your cooker hood.

The Cooker Hood Is Making A Funny Noise

If the cooker hood is making a funny noise, it usually indicates a problem with the motor. In most cases, the motor is on the way out and will probably need to be replaced. But sometimes it could just be something less serious like a small piece of the old carbon filter has broken off and is hitting the fan as it spins, or is rattling around somewhere.

However, in the majority of cases, the cause is a defective motor which will need to be replaced. The motor can become rusty or caked up with grease which eventually causes it to start to break. In any event the probable solution is a new motor.

The Cooker Hood Won’t Start At All


If the cooker hood won’t start at all, there are a number of things that could be wrong with it. It could be;

Power Supply Isn’t Working

The first thing to check is that the power supply is connected and operating correctly. Check the circuit breaker or fuse box and ensure the circuit hasn’t tripped for the cooker hood. If the cooker hood has its own plug ensure it is connected and the socket is switched on.

A Faulty Capacitor

The capacitor clicks the hood into action, it’s what makes the motor start to operate. If the capacitor is faulty it will not start. You need to check the power supply first and then the capacitor before considering whether the fault is actually with the motor. 

A Blown Fuse

Check the circuit breaker or fuse box first as this could be the cause of the issue. If not, on newer models there is an electronic control panel which has a fuse to protect the hood. This could blow for any number of reasons including;

  • An uneven electricity supply
  • Jammed fan
  • Blown bulb
  • And more

The fuse is an easy one to replace, but you do need to identify what caused the fuse to blow in the first place. Also you need to check that the new fuse is of the same rating as the one it’s replacing. Too high and you’ll get no protection, too low and it’s likely to blow again.

A Faulty Control Panel

The control panel controls everything on your cooker hood and any fault is likely to stop the cooker hood from operating. If on pressing any button, nothing happens or something which shouldn’t happen occurs, the control panel is likely to be at fault. These can be replaced but it’s best left to an expert.

A Wiring Fault

Due to their proximity to the cooker top, a cooker hood’s wiring can become subject to too much heat. This can lead to melted wires, frayed wires or even loose wires. You can check the wiring using a multimeter if you know what you’re doing or call an electrician if in any doubt.

Light(s) Not Working

If one or both of the lights aren’t working, it could be something as simple as a blown bulb or something more complicated. The bulbs can be accessed by removing the glass fronts on the lights carefully. The glass is pretty thin and very fragile and can easily get broken. Take extreme care when removing.

Always ensure the cooker hood is disconnected from the power supply before removing the bulbs as you could easily blow the transformer or even trip the home’s RCD (Residual Current Device) supply.

The bulbs themselves shouldn’t be handled with uncovered hands as the oils off your skin can cause them to blow. Use a piece of paper to remove the bulb and replace with a new one. Before replacing the glass, turn on the power and check that the light is working again.

If the light is still not working, you’ll need to check that the light socket itself is working and that the transformer is working correctly. Unless you know what you’re doing, this is best done by an electrician.

Is It OK To Use The Cooker Hood Lights When Not Using The Cooker?

The cooker hood lights are designed to be used whilst you’re using the cooker. They’re not designed to be used as lights for your kitchen and as such they should be turned off when not in use. If they are left on for too long, it can cause the bulbs to overheat which will cause them to blow.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my cooker hood not working fast enough?

If your cooker hood isn’t working fast enough it is usually because the filter needs to be cleaned.

Why is my kitchen extractor fan not working?

If your kitchen extractor fan isn’t working it’s likely to be because of a faulty motor. This will usually need to be replaced.

Can an electrician fix an extractor fan?

An electrician can fix an extractor fan and is the best person to call if you suspect your kitchen extractor fan is broken.

Why is my extractor fan light not working?

If the light on your extractor fan isn’t working it could be the bulb has gone, the bulb holder is faulty or the transformer is faulty. Before replacing the bulb disconnect the extractor from the power supply and allow the bulb to cool before removing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *