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Odor in kitchen cabinet when bathroom exhaust fan is running

Odor in kitchen cabinet when bathroom exhaust fan is running


  #1  
Old 06-04-19, 06:41 AM
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Odor in kitchen cabinet when bathroom exhaust fan is running

One of my wooden kitchen cabinets (the one by the floor, perpendicular to the kitchen sink) suddenly acquired a strange odor, but this smell seems to dissipate whenever I turn off the exhaust fan in the bathroom. The kitchen and bathroom in my first floor apartment share a wall, and the cabinet in question is along this wall. However, the upper cabinet along the same wall does not have an odor. I took everything out of the cabinet and everything looks normal.

The smell is hard to describe. It's somewhat strong, but it isn't foul. My husband and I can't really identify it. The farthest we've gone is "Maybe there's something up with the wood."

We had a tornado last week, and during the storm, I noticed that the exhaust fan was making incredibly loud guttural popping sounds. It's made sounds like that during high wind before, but never that bad. The first time I noticed the smell was the first time I cooked after the storm. I have no idea if any of that is relevant, but I thought I'd include it anyway.

Does anyone have an idea of what could be going on?
 
  #2  
Old 06-04-19, 08:34 AM
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It's possible that the bathroom vent ducting has cracked or come unhooked somehow. You might be able to see something with an inspection camera endoscope.
 
  #3  
Old 06-04-19, 09:44 AM
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Being a bathroom the first thought is bathroom odors but you said:
"suddenly acquired a strange odor"
Then you said:
"I noticed that the exhaust fan was making incredibly loud guttural popping sounds."
I'm thinking ozone. It is produced by an electrical arc and it would have a strange unrecognized smell:
"The smell is hard to describe. It's somewhat strong, but it isn't foul."

Pilot and others can comment but I would vote to pull the fan assembly and inspect. Some can even be powered up to test outside of the enclosure.

Bud
 
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Old 06-04-19, 11:52 AM
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Interesting! That could be it. Thank you for the comments.
 
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Old 06-04-19, 06:13 PM
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Update: It is definitely coming from the exhaust fan and not from the kitchen cabinet. I left the fan off all day and just turned it back on a few minutes ago. The smell immediately came back, and after I turned the fan back off, the smell went away. Why would turning my bathroom exhaust fan on and off affect the smell?
 
  #6  
Old 06-04-19, 06:28 PM
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If there is an electrical problem with the fan then it only smells when power is applied. The "incredibly loud guttural popping sounds" doesn't sound good for that fan. And if it is an electrical problem it becomes a safety issue that is why I suggested you pull and inspect the fan assembly.

Others here know more about how those units go together than I do, but the ones I have worked with allow the fan and light unit to be removed and had a plug inside to just unplug. If it isn't obvious and simple post back with make and model and someone will walk you through removing it.

if it has the plug as I mentioned it can be plugged into a power source and tested. The electrical crew here can confirm.

Bud
 
 

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