Author Topic: Bathroom Ceiling exhaust fan questions/ suggestions  (Read 992 times)

Dules22

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Bathroom Ceiling exhaust fan questions/ suggestions
« on: August 27, 2017, 04:59:16 PM »
Well I'm trying to add to my list of home improvement/repair skills. We recently had water dripping from the ceiling in our bathroom and when I investigated it was coming out of the ceiling exhaust fan. I've been poking around in the attic and from what I've been reading it seems to be a bit of a hack job as far as the ceiling/exhaust fans are concerned. Seems that there was some condensation that would accumulate and then back flow and end up coming out of the exhaust fan and back into the bathroom. Couple of things. The duct work was simply duct taped to the exhaust port and that seems to have rotted over time and seems to have gone to shit. So that will have to be replaced. What I've read is that I should use aluminum tape and a duct clamp to make that connection tight. My major concern though is the length that the duct work runs in the attic. There were several pieces of duty that were duct taped together to make the long journey out to the side of the house- some plastic, some metal. It's probably ~40ish feet (I haven't had the tape measure up there yet and that is a rough estimate) and I'm wondering if this distance is too long for the fan to actually do anything. Alternatively should I route the exhaust out of the ceiling (seems like a daunting task) or I've seen some exhaust systems ported out of the soffit. Or should I just hook up the fan to a new 40 ft of duct, clamp it down tight and call it good? Also - should I take this opportunity to replace the fans? They seem fine to me but I don't know much about bathroom exhaust fans (which should be obvious by now....)
Any thoughts? Advice? Thank you in advance. 

lthenderson

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Re: Bathroom Ceiling exhaust fan questions/ suggestions
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2017, 08:12:20 AM »
I would look into adding an inline exhaust fan to the 40 feet of line. They typically move three to four times more air than a conventional ceiling mounted exhaust fan and I'm guessing 40 feet of line is too much for a ceiling mounted exhaust fan which is why you are ending up with condensation before it gets out of the house.

The inline exhaust fan mounts in your attic along the 40 feet of line and you can run a wire from it to your old exhaust fan in your ceiling so that you can control it with your bathroom switch. I generally gut the components out of the old exhaust fan so that it essentially is just a grill in the ceiling covering and empty box. Then all you will hear for noise is the sounds of air getting sucked through the grill, no more motor sounds.

Since I've switched to using only inline fans, I never even get condensation on my mirrors or have to leave the fan running for a half hour after I'm done using the shower.

bender

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Re: Bathroom Ceiling exhaust fan questions/ suggestions
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2017, 11:30:02 AM »
I vent my bathroom fans to the soffit.  The duct goes directly to the soffit and connects to a plastic exhaust connector there.  A run like that is probably less than 15 feet in most homes.  I'd think that's better than any 40 foot run.

Wanderer10

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Re: Bathroom Ceiling exhaust fan questions/ suggestions
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2017, 08:58:17 PM »
Can you vent it out the roof? Warm air rises so it works best through the roof. Granted you will have to go up and cut a hole in your roof. But I think that's best. I've probably installed 50 bath fans in my time and I always tried to go through the roof. The distance from the fan to the vent is shortest then, usually only a few feet. If you have a horizontal run like you describe, try and use insulted duct work. When the warm air runs through the cold attic, it condenses inside the vent pipe and collects in the low spots. I have taken some of these out and they have literally gallons of water in them. The insulation will help prevent the heat transfer and condensation

Also the bath fans you buy at Home Depot or Lowes are garbage. They mostly make noise. If you are going to replace the fan get a panasonic one. These things are amazing.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B003TJAGO4/ref=asc_df_B003TJAGO45143897/?tag=hyprod-20&creative=394997&creativeASIN=B003TJAGO4&linkCode=df0&hvadid=167138746282&hvpos=1o1&hvnetw=g&hvrand=15894125419094368687&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9005543&hvtargid=pla-272328548542
« Last Edit: August 28, 2017, 09:01:32 PM by Wanderer10 »

Dules22

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Re: Bathroom Ceiling exhaust fan questions/ suggestions
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2017, 10:46:47 PM »
Thanks for the great suggestions! I can vent it through the roof but I am a little hesitant to cut a hole in the ceiling. I've see the Panasonics come highly recommended. Will replace with one of those for sure.