3-part bathroom issue...

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3-part bathroom issue...

Postby yolli71 » Thu Jul 11, 2013 11:10 am

I rent out the basement of my home and my tenant recently told me that the bathroom gets extremely humid (thus the rust on the new metal shower rod and bath vanity knobs). He says he uses the bath fan all the time but doesn't think it works, so I just purchased a Panasonic WhisperCeiling 150 CFM fan to help address this (still waiting to receive the fan). Should this hopefully address the humidity issue?

He also mentioned that the basement is fairly warm in the winter except for the bathroom...it's by far the coldest part of the basement. The air vent in the bathroom does not push out much heat apparently. I was thinking about a heat lamp...does anyone have any experience with these in their bathrooms? My bathroom has standard lighting (over the sink/mirror) but also has one random recessed light that's near the toilet/shower. I always thought it was strange that the builder or previous homeowner put a recessed light there, but I started thinking that maybe I could put a heating bulb in the recessed can??? Would there be electrical issues with this? Would I need to replace the light switch for that recessed light to a timer of some sort?

Finally, does anyone have any recommendations for anything I can use as a rust remover so I can clean up the vanity knobs and shower rod, or am I SOL and just need to purchase a new rod and hardware?
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Re: 3-part bathroom issue...

Postby Mingus » Thu Jul 11, 2013 11:20 am

First thing to do is verify the bathroom fan down in the basement actually vents outside of the house.

Steel wool will remove the rust. Is the hardware not chrome?
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Re: 3-part bathroom issue...

Postby yolli71 » Thu Jul 11, 2013 11:26 am

Mingus wrote:First thing to do is verify the bathroom fan down in the basement actually vents outside of the house.

Steel wool will remove the rust. Is the hardware not chrome?


I'll check on that tonight...wouldn't it be unusual to have a bath fan that doesn't vent outside of the home though?

The shower rod and vanity knobs are all brushed nickel.
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Re: 3-part bathroom issue...

Postby Mingus » Thu Jul 11, 2013 11:33 am

yolli71 wrote:
I'll check on that tonight...wouldn't it be unusual to have a bath fan that doesn't vent outside of the home though?

The shower rod and vanity knobs are all brushed nickel.


Yes, it would. But it happens.

Sometimes the vent pipe is not installed due to negligence or its forgotten. Or it gets bumped off somehow when the ceiling is being put in. Sheetrock person plans to re-hook it up, but forgets...
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Re: 3-part bathroom issue...

Postby BestWishes » Thu Jul 11, 2013 11:45 am

yolli71 wrote:wouldn't it be unusual to have a bath fan that doesn't vent outside of the home though?

Agree with Mingus. Sometimes you never know. We did some remodeling and opened up some walls/ceilings. Surprise! One of the bathroom vent is hooked up but just sits there some where further down the ceiling and never goes outside the house :oops:
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Re: 3-part bathroom issue...

Postby user5027 » Thu Jul 11, 2013 1:42 pm

You mention an air vent. Check the balance on the duct work. The airflow to the bathroom may be closed off. A simple fix.

When we bought our home it had a tiny bathroom, just enough room for a commode, sink and half bathtub that you could only use as a shower. It was a "shed" addition to the "summer cottage" and was cold in the winter. We installed an electric recessed ceiling mounted heater-fan-light. The heater threw off just enough heat to nicely warm up the tiny bathroom.

We liked the concept so much that when we rebuilt the house we installed wall mounted electric heaters in both full bathrooms. They work great after 25 years. If you mount the bath towel holder in front of, but a safe distance away from the heater, it warms your towel too.
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Re: 3-part bathroom issue...

Postby Mudpuppy » Thu Jul 11, 2013 1:55 pm

yolli71 wrote:I'll check on that tonight...wouldn't it be unusual to have a bath fan that doesn't vent outside of the home though?

Sadly, not as unusual as you might think. It's common to vent into the attic with single-story homes for example. Other times, you'll find all the bathroom fans share a common duct, which can lead to backflow into the other bathrooms. Or they'll duct to one of the soffit, gable or dormer vents in the attic (almost worse than just venting to the attic since it affects attic ventilation) instead of making a dedicated vent just for the fan. In other words, it's all too common to find poorly ducted bathroom fans.
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Re: 3-part bathroom issue...

Postby MathWizard » Thu Jul 11, 2013 2:10 pm

I would not put a heat buld in a recessed can. Too much heat builup could cause a fire in the
ceiling, and the fixture may not be rated for the wattage you'd need.

Check the vent. If it vents into the attic that could cause cause mold or rot your roof sheathing.

For a renter, I would wire the fan to the light, so that you know that the fan is always
being turned on as long as he doesn't shower in the dark.

Re the cold bathroom:

See if air is actually coming out of the vents. If it is not clogged, but just does not have much
air, possibly a booster fan may be needed.
You could go with a heat bulb in a new non-recessed fixture, or maybe someting like a
Radiant Ceiling Panel which has the virtue of being extremely thin.

See, for example:
http://www.prosupplyco.com/cp123-375w12 ... MgodWhEAOQ
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Re: 3-part bathroom issue...

Postby tyrion » Thu Jul 11, 2013 2:13 pm

I installed a timer switch on my bathroom fan. Now I can turn it on when I get in the shower and it turns off automatically after an hour. Is has settings from 1 to 60 minutes. There were other models as well.

If your fan is connected to the light there is another option where you can configure it to always leave the fan on for x minutes after the switch is turned off. Obviously it requires the wires for the fan and light both reach to the switch.
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Re: 3-part bathroom issue...

Postby dm200 » Thu Jul 11, 2013 2:37 pm

I don't know if this makes any sense for you, but I have seen bathrooms with electric heater (controlled by switch or thermostat) in/on the ceiling with a fan blowing the heat down. That keeps electrical connections very far from water.
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Re: 3-part bathroom issue...

Postby Epsilon Delta » Thu Jul 11, 2013 4:16 pm

yolli71 wrote:... the bathroom gets extremely humid ...

He also mentioned that the basement is fairly warm in the winter except for the bathroom...it's by far the coldest part of the basement.


A cold room can get condensation even if there is no other source of water vapor, so you may want to address these both at the same time.
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Re: 3-part bathroom issue...

Postby prudent » Thu Jul 11, 2013 5:36 pm

Before I opened this thread and just saw the title, I was certain the OP had accidentally forgotten a "t" in front of issue. Whole different subject! :)
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Re: 3-part bathroom issue...

Postby stevep001 » Thu Jul 11, 2013 6:32 pm

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Re: 3-part bathroom issue...

Postby rfburns » Thu Jul 11, 2013 9:44 pm

I'll address issue 1.
Make sure the bathroom exhaust fan works. Turn it on and make sure it draws by placing a tissue on it and the suction holds it.
Since humidity is the culprit of the rust in your basement buy a dehumidifier. You'll be glad you did.
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Re: 3-part bathroom issue...

Postby magellan » Fri Jul 12, 2013 6:18 am

stevep001 wrote:This is the timer you want:
http://www.leviton.com/OA_HTML/ProductD ... site=10251

I agree that these timers are perfect for bathroom exhaust fans. I got this 4-hour GE timer from home depot and it works great.

Jim
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Re: 3-part bathroom issue...

Postby frugaltype » Fri Jul 12, 2013 7:36 am

yolli71 wrote:He also mentioned that the basement is fairly warm in the winter except for the bathroom...it's by far the coldest part of the basement.


I have cold areas in my house in the winter, including the bathroom. I have a little portable (I don't port them) heater in each place and just run it when I'm in there. They shut off if tipped over:

http://www.holmesproducts.com/Product.aspx?cid=227&pid=12508
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Re: 3-part bathroom issue...

Postby NateH » Fri Jul 12, 2013 9:41 am

Please don't put a 150-250 Watt heat lamp bulb in a recessed housing rated for 65-75 Watts. That's asking for a fire.

If the humidity is corroding the metals in the room, you will want to wire the fan to the light switch. What you CAN'T see is the humidity possibly condensing in the winter on the cold concrete wall behind the drywall and slowly rotting the wood in your walls.
4X top-twenty S&P 500 prognosticator. I'd start a newsletter, but it would only have one issue per year.
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Re: 3-part bathroom issue...

Postby yolli71 » Fri Jul 12, 2013 11:46 am

Thanks for the advice everyone. Based on what I've read here and some more research, I think I'm going with:

- Panasonic FV-15VQ5 WhisperCeiling 150 CFM (already ordered)
- Broan Model 163 Two-Bulb 250 Watt Bulb Heat Lamp (to replace the random recessed light by the toilet/shower)
- Leviton LTB30-1LZ Decora 1800W Incandescent/20A Resistive-Inductive 1HP Preset 5-10-15-30 Minute Countdown Timer Switch (for the heat lamp)

I wanted to get a fan w/ a humidity sensor, but none that I saw had the high CFM that this Panasonic has. Should I get a timer for the fan or is connecting it with the light switch sufficient enough? A timer is great in theory, but I don't know how diligent the tenant would be in using it.

I didn't get a chance to check for outdoor venting as I got home late from work last night, but I plan on checking that this evening...boy would that be a real pain if it isn't properly vented!
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Re: 3-part bathroom issue...

Postby yolli71 » Tue Jul 16, 2013 2:59 pm

Mingus wrote:First thing to do is verify the bathroom fan down in the basement actually vents outside of the house.

Steel wool will remove the rust. Is the hardware not chrome?


Well Mingus...you were right...no vent to the outside! I'm having my contractor come next week to install a new fan with proper ventilation to the exterior. And I wondered why the humidity levels were so bad in the bathroom!
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