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Various activities create excess moisture in bathrooms.The more occupants in the home, the more bathroom activity, the more moisture generated. Additionally, we ensure both your exhaust fan and dryer exhaust to the outside rather than into your attic space to avoid moisture problems in your attic. A BIG SHOUT OUT  to honest guys that know their craft!  You don’t always see that any more!  Thanks Superior for a job beyond well done!
Originally called to explore a whole house fan to cool the second floor of our home, which runs 10 plus degrees warmer than the first floor.
We had heavy condensation in the attic which was dripping down through electrical wiring into the smoke detector.
Cory and his crew were on time, efficient, and the price was actually less than what he quoted, since he did not have to install a thermostat. Bath vent fan installation, troubleshooting, repair: this article series explains why bathroom vent fans are needed and describes good bath vent fan choices, necessary fan capacity, and good bath vent fan and vent-duct installation details. We explain how to install bathroom exhaust fans or vents, the vent ducting, the vent termination at the wall, soffit or roof, vent fan wiring, bath vent duct insulation, bath vent lengths, clearances, routing, and we answer just about any other bathroom ventilation design or installation question you may have.
Ventilation in bathrooms is important to prevent moisture damage to wall and ceiling surfaces, decay of wood trim, saturation of building insulation, and mold contamination. Especially in bathrooms where a shower is used, large amounts of moisture are added to room air and are concentrated in this area. Our photo (above-left) shows a horrible bathroom ceiling vent fan ductwork job: multiple ducts sprawl around in the attic, all joining to terminate at an attempted through-roof vent that has fallen back into the attic.
Flexible plastic vent fan ductwork: shown at above left is a common use of un insulated, flexible ventilation fan duct. Flexible metallic exhaust fan ductwork: shown at above right is flexible metal exhaust fan ductwork. Our photo at above left illustrates a solid metal bathroom exhaust duct along with the bath vent housing installed in a cathedral ceiling during new construction. Because this is a sloped cathedral ceiling it was not possible to slope the fan ductwork back down towards the shower below the fan. I'd have preferred using a fire-resistant foam, but if the above conditions are met you should be ok. Flex duct routing details: If you are using flexible fan duct, stretch the flexduct tight to keep it as straight and smooth inside as possible. Do not spill bath vent air into the building attic or roof cavity where it will condense on and damage building insulation, roof sheathing, possibly framing, and where it will certainly encourage mold growth. Isn't there a danger of wet bathroom exhaust air re-entering the attic through the soffit vents if the fan is exhausted through the soffit?
Our article BATHROOM VENTILATION cites the importance of venting bath vent fans to the outdoors, not into an attic or crawl space.
The question about moist air reentering an attic through soffit vents after it has been blown out of an exhaust vent opening is a fair one, but I don't think that's likely to be a significant building moisture source. Or speaking from empirical experience, having inspected several thousand homes and having looked very carefully at moisture and mold stains and patterns in attics and under roofs, I've not found any instances of back-venting of problem moisture into the attic through the soffit vents near the bath exhaust vent that presumably is blowing out through the same soffit or a nearby building vertical wall. Bath exhaust fan duct length specifications and restrictions are discussed separately at BATHROOM VENT DUCT LENGTHS. Reader Question: is it OK to vent a bath vent fan straight-up, vertically out through the roof?
I am going to install a new bath fan, I am having a new roof put on the house and decided now would be a good time to put the vent on the roof. My question is I got a vent for 6" ducting, I will need a reducer at the fan end to 4" Would this be a good size duct for the fan.? You've raised several key topics, and your question helps us realize where we need to work on making our text more clear or more complete. For example on site I might notice something about your attic and roof structure, ease of routing venting, placement of insulation, and even very basic stuff like - where the heck is your home? I prefer to run a bath vent to outdoors via a horizontal line that goes across an attic and out through a gable-end wall or one that vents down and outside through a roof overhang or soffit.
The vertical run guarantees that any condensation runs back down into the fan (risking damaging the wiring or fan motor) and back into the bath or bath ceiling. The vent fan manufacturers installation instructions typically give maximum run lengths and recommended vent diameters for their products; long vent runs and vents that use plastic dryer-type flex-duct (not your case) cut the effectiveness of the fan by adding airflow resistance and thus increase the risk of accumulated moisture too. I am guessing that for a very short bath vent duct run, going to a larger duct size is fine - it'd make no difference but you're probably not gaining a thing on a short run by using a 6-inch duct to vent a fan that expects to vent through a 4-inch duct. In my experience inspecting and troubleshooting buildings, I've seen many bath vent fans that seemed ineffective.
The fan capacity you need depends on the size of the bathroom being vented - usually calculated in cubic feet. Sorry that these notes are a bit long on arm-waving and short on more specific details, but as we've got no information about your particular installation except what's in your original note, I have to stop here.
Bathroom vent fan duct length restrictions: keep the fan duct length as short and straight as possible. Some manufacturers require a minimum distance between the duct outdoor termination and the fan assembly; a review of installation guides for several bathroom vent fan models did not come up with a maximum distance.
Details about maximum and minimum bath fan duct run distances or lengths are at BATHROOM VENT DUCT LENGTHS.
Typically the bathroom vent fan is powered by the bathroom ceiling light fixture circuit; some installers, particularly in hotels or rental units, hard-wire the bath exhaust vent fan to force it on when the bathroom ceiling light is on - thus assuring that the vent fan is in fact used. Continue reading at BATHROOM VENTILATION DESIGN or select a topic from the More Reading links or topic ARTICLE INDEX shown below. I have come across your site 3 times, as I continue to get our recently purchased 1950's home up to snuff. Are there any restrictions on how close an exhausting bath vent may be placed to an exhausting vent for a gas water heater? You will see that the required distances range from 1 foot to 7 feet depending on what's being cleared-from. My builder has installed a small 4" extractor fan in a newly created utility room with a door to outside, but no windows. Mary I'm not sure I've got the whole picture, but I'd agree that a metal or plastic duct liner would have made cleaning easier and would have reduced the chances of damage should moisture accumulate in or condense on the sides of the air path. Question: Can I vent a bathroom into the attic space that has soffit vents and a ridge vent? Well air flow may carry moisture but enroute, flowing across attic surfaces it will also deposit it on cooler surfaces - leading to mold-sorrows later. We get a sewer smell in two of our four bathrooms in the fall when it turns cold and also in the spring. You might also be facing odors exacerbated by partly clogged drains or defective vent piping.
Anon the best answer is site specific - depending on framing and construction details such as which way ceiling joists run I might go into the ceiling and then out through the wall, or I might place a vent right into the exterior wall. Your installers needed to adequately seal or baffle around ceiling vents, ducts, HVAC air intakes, etc. There is a more serious worry here if your bath vent is for a ceiling exhaust fan: loose fill insulation that enters a power-operated bath vent can clog it leading to overheating and a fire.


We moved into a house built in 1999 in north Florida and learned that the bath exhaust fans are connected to the HVAC ductwork and not to the outside. I can't be as smart as an on-site expert who will see important details we can't, but what you describe sounds wierd to me. Why is the air from my bathroom exhaust fan blowing down into the bathroom instead of blowing up and out?
If your fan is ONLY an exhaust fan then it's running backwards OR there is no exhaust vent.
John Cranor is an ASHI member and a home inspector (The House Whisperer) is located in Glen Allen, VA 23060. Our recommended books about building & mechanical systems design, inspection, problem diagnosis, and repair, and about indoor environment and IAQ testing, diagnosis, and cleanup are at the InspectAPedia Bookstore.
The Illustrated Home illustrates construction details and building components, a reference for owners & inspectors.
Specifications for the placement of plumbing fixtures and the dimensions of pipes are intended to make the bathroom a comfortable space with plenty of capacity for incoming water and outgoing drains and vents. The framed opening -- not the finished wall -- must be 60 inches long to accommodate a standard tub.
These plans call for 3-inch-diameter PVC pipe for the main drain and the short length leading from the toilet to the drain, and 2-inch PVC for the other drain lines and the vents. Cast-iron drainpipe is making a comeback in some areas because it's quieter than plastic pipe. Rigid copper pipe is the most common material for water-supply lines, but PEX or other plastic materials may be permitted in your area. A bathroom with a 5x8-foot interior space allows the minimum clearances that most municipal codes require for fixtures.
Once you have decided on the basic layout and have a general idea of how the drain and vents will run, make specific plans. If the new bathroom is on the second floor, the bathroom's main drain will have to travel through the wall on the first floor and down to the basement or crawlspace. In the room below the installation, the drain lines turn outward at 45-degree angles to avoid running 3- or 4-inch pipe through studs.
Seal openings where pipes enter attics or crawlspaces to prevent drafts and to act as fire stops.
Bathroom vent fans serve an important function by removing humid air from your home to prevent mold and mildew from forming. You can follow comments to this article by subscribing to the RSS news feed with your favorite feed reader.
I installed a 5″ duct fan for bathroom exhaust The total length of duct to outside is less than 6 ft.
Our master bath opens to our bedroom (no door separating the rooms) should I take this into account when choosing a fan?
Sign up for Danny's Monthly Newsletter and stay up to date on tips and tricks for the home. The Broan Roof Vent Kit is Designed to Vent Kitchen or Bath Exhaust Fans Through a Slanted Roof. NEC (National Electrical Code) does not require bathroom exhaust fans to be installed on a GFCI protected circuit. To test if a bathroom exhaust fan is GFCI protected, turn the fan ON, and push TEST button on a bathroom GFCI receptacle or GFCI breaker dedicated for this bathroom.
You should always check manufacturer tag before attempting to install a ceiling exhaust fan directly above the bathroom tub or shower stall.
For those who always forget to turn ON the bathroom exhaust fan (or forget to turn it OFF), I highly recommend one with a humidity-sensing switch. Controls on the bathroom humidity-sensing fan allow for the time of operation and humidity level adjustments.
We offer a variety of bath fan models including Braun, Panasonic, Nutone and more, depending on your specific requirements. Our installations include labor and materials.  All bathroom fans  are vented externally via insulated duct to a pampered roof cap.
My house feels much warmer, no more cold spots where I used to experience them in previous winters.  I am certain the extra insulation will be noticeable in the summer months too.   I am extremely pleased! After coming out to inspect the house, Cory indicated all we would need was an attic fan, which was considerably less expensive. Crew and owner were very professional and knowledgable, would highly recommend to anyone needing attic care.
Hooked up my attic fan and bathroom fan, and also added some eave vents.  I was very happy with them. In this installation the duct is improperly installed, spilling directly into the attic space of the building.
This material is more smooth-surfaced than the plastic product shown at above left and by its flexibility, can eliminate the need to install many elbows in the system. Solid ductwork has a smoother interior surface that improves airflow, though it is indeed more trouble and a bit more cost to install. The ceiling cavity between the I-Joists was later insulated with solid foam, as shown at above right.
I sprayed insulation foam ( not the fire block ) around the bathroom vent fan in an attempt to seal small air leak from the attic .
Take a look at the bathroom vent fan duct installation in the photographs above and you'll see a succesful bath vent installation in a foam-insulated cathedral ceiling.
Once blown at any velocity into outdoor air, the moist bath vent exhaust air is diluted significantly. Is it ok to vent the bath vent fan through a larger duct size than the fan's outlet diameter? A competent onsite inspection by an expert usually finds additional clues that would permit a more accurate, complete, and authoritative answer than we can give by email alone.
Bath ventilation worries may be a bit different in a cold climate than in a warm dry one and different again in a wet humid climate. I prefer to minimize the number of roof penetrations on any building since every penetration is a potential leak point, more so if the penetration flashing is not installed correctly.
Metal duct work (your case) is in my opinion always a better installation: smooth interior means better airflow.
A fan that nobody uses because it's too noisy means a bathroom that is rarely vented adequately (risking mold, smells, even wet insulation). That figure is matched against the fan manufacturer's recommendations for fan capacity measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM). Our photo (left) illustrates damage we found in a building ceiling where the exhaust vent duct had been torn during installation. The electrician wants to finish the job quickly and get paid and go home for a beer and to watch the World Cup on TV. The building inspector doesn't want to crawl into a hot attic, and furthermore, cannot possibly inspect every detail of every job - so over time the inspectors tend to get to know individual contractors and to trust (or not trust) their work, making just spot checks on it.
I am following up on this with the buildings inspection office and getting everything rerouted properly.


Cramer is a past president of ASHI, the American Society of Home Inspectors and is a Florida home inspector and home inspection educator.
The text is intended as a reference guide to help building owners operate and maintain their home effectively. The specs shown here will meet the requirements of most building departments, but check local codes to be sure. Most homes will have a "wet wall," which is an interior wall that is thicker than most walls because it contains water lines and the main stack. The following pages show how to install a basic 5x8-foot bathroom -- just enough room for the three major fixtures with adequate space between them. There must be at least 24 inches of space in front of the toilet, although it's OK for a door to swing into this space. Local codes may call for a 4-inch main drain, and some plumbers prefer to run larger vent pipes. While exploring layout options, maintain these clearances in your plan to ensure ease of use and installation. As a general rule, the drain line for each fixture should connect to a vent within a few feet of the fixture. If the new bathroom is on the first floor, you can probably just tie into the house's main drain line in the basement or crawlspace below. If a drain line is nearby, you may choose to run a pipe to it, rather than running a new line. If the room below is finished, you will need to build a soffit around these pipes or run the pipes through the studs. Vent fans are rated by the number of cubic feet of air they move per minute (CFM), and it’s important to buy a large enough fan for the size of your bathroom.
Simply enter the dimensions of your bathroom in the calculator below to determine the minimum size vent fan you need for the bathroom in your home. Run the fan for 15 to 20 minutes after showering or bathing to expel all the excess moisture.
Will it damage the impeller bearings and will this installation provide and acceptable level of venting to avoid moisture removal? Will it be of help if we deploy a set of fans at the lower height to pump in the outside air and another set at higher height to take the hot air out? In addition to posting comments on articles and videos, you can also send your comments and questions to us on our contact page or at (800) 946-4420. However, there must be either an openable window or a correct size mechanical exhaust installed.
This is extremely important if your bathroom contains any significant humidity source like a shower stall, bathtub, steam shower, etc. If the exhaust fan is still running after the receptacle or the breaker tripped, it is most likely not protected (there are occasionally some hidden GFCI receptacles installed).
I’ve been using two of those in my bathrooms for almost 4 years, and I am very happy with their performance. This helps to protect your bathroom structures (cabinets, doors, carpeting, drywall, painted surfaces and more) from moisture damage and mold. If you have a bath fan installed but continue to have moisture problems, mildew, or mold it may be time to upgrade your bath fan. They are very knowledgeable when it comes to attics, every thing went as it was suppose to. This duct material is least costly at the time of installation but may be most costly when a combination of accumulated condensation and duct damage leaks into the building insulation or ceiling cavity.
The CFM rating of the fan in turn presumes that the vent routing, diameter, length, and number of obstructing turns and bends is within the company's specifications. I have two concerns; first when I have this running for one bathroom i don't want it sucking all the heat out of my house (in winter) from the other 3 bathrooms.
Or should I try to go around the upstairs rooms to get to the gable attic, and to a vent there?
Minimize long horizontal runs of drain and vent pipes by installing fixtures on or close to the wet wall. A true vent never has water running through it, although wet venting -- routing drain water through a vent -- is permitted in some situations. However, it may be difficult to run a toilet's 3-inch (or 4-inch) drain to an existing line, especially if you have to go through joists.
The fan won’t even push the damper open even with the spring on the exhaust damper removed.
My question is would I need to leave a exhaust fan on the whole time that we are in the hot tub or just when we open the cover and the humidity rises? Will I have installation problems (new fan too large or too small) with the new fans of today!! One of the humidity sensors failed during the first year, but manufacturer replaced it without any problems. If that moisture is released into your attic space it can cause significant damage to your insulation, floors, ceilings, walls, joists, and roofing structure.
The second just seems like a long distance, but I can't find much info about venting out the side of the house. Special Offer: For a 10% discount on any number of copies of the Home Reference Book purchased as a single order. This plan calls for running a new vent up through the ceiling and either tying into an existing vent in the attic or running out through the roof. Second I have some long runs in my conditioned attic (60-70ft) is this too long and should I pitch the pipes or worry about condensation ? Galow specializes in residential construction including both new homes and repairs, renovations, and additions.
Thanks to Alan Carson and Bob Dunlop, for permission for InspectAPedia to use text excerpts from The Home Reference Book & illustrations from The Illustrated Home. Should I have one and can I get a fan with back draft attatched to it or can I buy an inline back draft damper to add to the duck work? We had just gotten our Angie’s List booklet and found Superior Insulation and gave them a call. Carson Dunlop Associates' provides extensive home inspection education and report writing material.
Special Offer: For a 5% discount on any number of copies of the Home Reference eBook purchased as a single order. For instance, if you install an upper-story bathroom and tie into an existing stack, you may end up draining water through a pipe that is now used as a vent.



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02.12.2013 admin



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