bathroom exhaust fan placement

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coalcracker
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bathroom exhaust fan placement

Post by coalcracker » Thu May 08, 2014 2:45 pm

I are remodeling our guest bathroom, installing an enclosed glass shower stall approximately 3' x 3.5', and an adjoining tub. Overall the room is small, about 10' x 6'. I am thinking of 2 options with regard to placing the exhaust fan:

1. In the shower - completely enclose the glass walls up to the ceiling and place the fan inside the shower.

2. In the center of room outside the shower - leave maybe 1-2 feet of space between the top of the glass walls and the ceiling for steam to diffuse around the room. Fan would be about 2 feet from glass shower wall.

Any thoughts on advantages/disadvantages of each approach?

sport
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Re: bathroom exhaust fan placement

Post by sport » Thu May 08, 2014 3:02 pm

I live in a newer house. The builder used option #2.
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sport
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Re: bathroom exhaust fan placement

Post by sport » Thu May 08, 2014 3:09 pm

The fan can be part of a combination fan/light unit. In this case, you would want to choose the position of the ceiling light.

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cheese_breath
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Re: bathroom exhaust fan placement

Post by cheese_breath » Thu May 08, 2014 3:16 pm

I'd go with number 2 and leave the shower door open for a few minutes after showering to allow the humidity to escape. I'd be concerned about the safety of option 1. Sucking that much humidity past the electric motor at one time would make me worry. Whichever option you choose I'd still want to leave some open space at the top for breathing space.
Last edited by cheese_breath on Thu May 08, 2014 3:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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mhc
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Re: bathroom exhaust fan placement

Post by mhc » Thu May 08, 2014 3:18 pm

You may want to see what your city code is.

I like hot, steamy showers, so I would not want the fan in the shower with me.

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Epsilon Delta
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Re: bathroom exhaust fan placement

Post by Epsilon Delta » Thu May 08, 2014 3:25 pm

Typically a lot of moisture comes from wet towels, those are usually not in the shower, so you want the fan to pull air from the entire room in no matter where you put it (and run the fan after the shower has ended -- putting the fan on a timer can help).

If you do put a fan over the tub there may be additional requirements, probably putting it over the tub will require a GFI. You'll want to check the manufacturers installation instructions.

SteveB3005
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Re: bathroom exhaust fan placement

Post by SteveB3005 » Thu May 08, 2014 3:43 pm

#2 if you have a choice. Sometimes, and especially if you are venting through the wall and not vertical through the roof, exhaust vent line routing will be constrained by ceiling or floor joists.

Also, spend the extra and get a quiet model of 1 sone or less and go with 100-110 cfm instead of an 80cfm.

Also, I would get one with a built in light and an electronic wall timer switch and wire the light to come on with the fan. Kids tend to forget to turn on a fan, but will never forget to turn on a light. With the timer the light goes out with the fan, becasue kids never remember to turn off a light.

Pretty much covers my thoughts on bathroom fans.

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Boglegrappler
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Re: bathroom exhaust fan placement

Post by Boglegrappler » Thu May 08, 2014 3:48 pm

You have the issue of odor control to consider with exhaust fans, so the inside the shower wouldn't work that well in that regard.

I would vote for the whole room coverage, and I'd also vote for buying the quietest fan you can find (and also reading the installation instructions about how to mount it). We have some terribly noisy fans in a new house and they didn't need to be that way. In the installation instructions they ask you to use more nails if you care about noise mitigation. It would have also helped if the builder had spend an extra $70 or so for the high end model fan.

On a separate note, a friend of ours rebuilt a town home from scratch and located the exhaust fan remotely in the attic. Its wired up using a motion sensor so it comes on with occupancy of the room, but since the fan itself is far away there is literally no noise from it. On a retrofit, I would guess that would be hard to do.

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dratkinson
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Re: bathroom exhaust fan placement

Post by dratkinson » Thu May 08, 2014 4:12 pm

Investigate a Panasonic bath vent fan, quietest I've encountered. By comparison, everything at the big box stores is much louder.

Ditto the recommendation on above timer. Works great. I only have it connect to the fan, as I don't forget to turn off the light, so timer's job is to continue to vent shower's moisture after I've left.

Ditto central place in room for vent fan.
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earlyout
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Re: bathroom exhaust fan placement

Post by earlyout » Thu May 08, 2014 5:04 pm

Three recommendations. 1. Get a Panasonic fan because they are quiet. 2. Get a fan with more capacity than the typical specifications for your room size. 3. Do not place the fan in an enclosed shower since the fan would have to pull air from around the door or from other cracks in the shower enclosure. This would make the fan much less effective and would result in cold drafts inside the shower.

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magellan
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Re: bathroom exhaust fan placement

Post by magellan » Thu May 08, 2014 5:05 pm

dratkinson wrote:Investigate a Panasonic bath vent fan, quietest I've encountered. By comparison, everything at the big box stores is much louder.

Ditto the recommendation on above timer. Works great. I only have it connect to the fan, as I don't forget to turn off the light, so timer's job is to continue to vent shower's moisture after I've left.

Ditto central place in room for vent fan.
Ditto. Ditto. And ditto. I installed a Panasonic fan with a timer a couple of years ago and both work great.

I used this timer because it runs the fan for the desired number of minutes with one button press, instead of having to use multiple button presses to get the exact time you want.

Finally, IMO if you place the fan outside the shower, it's much less likely you''ll hear it over the shower.

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123
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Re: bathroom exhaust fan placement

Post by 123 » Fri May 09, 2014 1:18 am

Just repeating a comment I made some time ago on a similar topic. If you're installing a bathroom fan the quiet model is not always the one that you want. If the guest bathroom is adjacent to a living room, kitchen, or public area of the house some reasonable folks might intentionally select a noisy fan as a means to mask bathroom noises and accordingly provide greater privacy to their guests.
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user5027
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Re: bathroom exhaust fan placement

Post by user5027 » Fri May 09, 2014 12:22 pm

123 wrote:Just repeating a comment I made some time ago on a similar topic. If you're installing a bathroom fan the quiet model is not always the one that you want. If the guest bathroom is adjacent to a living room, kitchen, or public area of the house some reasonable folks might intentionally select a noisy fan as a means to mask bathroom noises and accordingly provide greater privacy to their guests.
+1

nordsteve
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Re: bathroom exhaust fan placement

Post by nordsteve » Fri May 09, 2014 12:57 pm

1. Panasonic fan
2. Outside shower
3. Leave shower door open a bit after shower to help things dry out
4. Opening above my shower is about 4 ft^2; with the Panasonic fan and that size of opening, my mirror never fogs up.

I have two of the Panasonic fans. The downstairs one is fan only and is on a timer. The upstairs one is the FV-11VQCL5 with motion and humidity detector to trip the fan. That one is on an ordinary wall switch, as the fan turns itself off automatically when the humidity declines.

tomd37
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Re: bathroom exhaust fan placement

Post by tomd37 » Fri May 09, 2014 1:20 pm

Based on the configuration of my master bath (MB) prior to and after a recent major home renovation, including the master bath, I would recommend several things. Our 20 year-old MB had a totally enclosed (except for about 6" above the glass door) shower area. There was always the formation of mildew and mold if it was not cleaned periodically. The only fan in the MB was one across the room above the toilet. As part of the renovation the shower area was made larger, the former sloped ceiling as reconfigured to a flat ceiling in which a combination recessed light and fan was installed, and there is about ten inches of space between the top of the surrounding glass and the new ceiling. Also a new recessed light and fan was placed over the toilet resulting in two fans to operate as desired/needed.

I cannot comment about the brand of fan to get (you can rely on comments from others) but the cubic footage of air movement should be a definite consideration for any exhaust fan. Also you might have to ensure you meet current code requirements when installing a new fan(s). During our renovation all the fan replacements had to be ducted outside, just not into, the attic. This was achieved by running 3" ducting to the outside soffits for all the fans replaced.
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yolli71
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Re: bathroom exhaust fan placement

Post by yolli71 » Fri May 09, 2014 1:46 pm

earlyout wrote:Three recommendations. 1. Get a Panasonic fan because they are quiet. 2. Get a fan with more capacity than the typical specifications for your room size. 3. Do not place the fan in an enclosed shower since the fan would have to pull air from around the door or from other cracks in the shower enclosure. This would make the fan much less effective and would result in cold drafts inside the shower.
I agree w/ all 3 points mentioned by earlyout. I was having condensation issues in one of my bathrooms and replaced the old fan with this Panasonic fan: http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-FV-15VQ ... r-mr-title

I was so impressed with it I bought two more for my other two bathrooms. This thing is quiet and moves a lot of air! Please note that these higher CFM fans typically require larger ducting (6") than the standard 3" - 4". Also, you want to make sure the ducting has a direct path (if possible) to the exterior of the home (avoid 90 degree elbows, etc.). With these fans, trust me, you won't have condensation issues; in fact, your bathroom mirror won't even steam up after a hot shower.

Midwest Dave
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Re: bathroom exhaust fan placement

Post by Midwest Dave » Fri May 09, 2014 1:55 pm

Are we really talking about number 1 or number 2 in the bathroom??? :mrgreen:
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FrugalInvestor
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Re: bathroom exhaust fan placement

Post by FrugalInvestor » Fri May 09, 2014 2:03 pm

You need to vent the entire room. The shower is a major producer of moisture but not the only one and showers are not air (or moisture) tight. Go with option number two.

I am a fan of the Panasonic units. :D
Last edited by FrugalInvestor on Fri May 09, 2014 2:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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cheese_breath
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Re: bathroom exhaust fan placement

Post by cheese_breath » Fri May 09, 2014 2:03 pm

Midwest Dave wrote:Are we really talking about number 1 or number 2 in the bathroom??? :mrgreen:
We're talking about humidity from the shower. Get a good fan and placement that takes care of that, and it should take care of them too.
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