Non-vented bathroom fan w/ light option

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Old 04-28-16, 09:48 AM
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Non-vented bathroom fan w/ light option

All,

My condo has the misfortune of just having circulation fans rather than proper exhaust fans in the bathrooms. I'm in the process of redoing one of the bathrooms and it's probably time to replace the fan. It's old, tired, loud, and doesn't do a whole lot.

Does anyone know of any non-vented bathroom circulation fans that have a light built into it? I've looked, but I've been unable to find any (though there are plenty of vented light/fan units). I would love to have an overhead light in the bathroom, in addition to the vanity light, and this could potentially solve this if it exists.

Thanks,
Andy
 
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Old 04-28-16, 09:54 AM
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I would not bother with a fan if it's not vented. Just pick a light fixture you like.
 
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Old 04-28-16, 11:33 AM
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No way to route a duct to a side wall so that it can be power vented . . . . like normal? That seems like it would have been proper in the original design of any recent (Post WWII) Condo, just to minimize mold and condensation.

What's the Condo Association say about making that ventilation change . . . . if yours is configured like that, then all of the units in the complex probably suffer form the same deficiency

I just bought a new induction motor for a "noisy" Broan Vent Fan/Light (for $12.00 on eBay) and then found that all my old motor needed was to have the bearings cleaned up . . . . NOT replaced.

Then I used that "old" Broan motor to replace a fan motor on a Myson Toe Space Heater in the kitchen; and it's been running quietly now since February. That's called stretching $12.00 !

I don't think induction motors suffer much wear. Not having carbon brushes, the bearings are the only points of potential wear.
 
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Old 04-28-16, 11:58 AM
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I do wish that it were possible to run a vent. Both bathrooms are interior rooms, on the first floor of a 2 floor building (2 floors, 4 units per floor, 8 total). I would have also thought that they would be properly vented as well, but I learned that to not be the case when I went to replace one of the fans with a vented unit (with a light) and found that it was only circulation fan.

I'm sure all units are like this, as the builder was... Let's just say "budget conscious" when they were built. Condensation is definitely an issue that I'd love to solve, and am also investigating small dehumidifier units, but that's a different (though still connected) discussion entirely.

Honestly, the condo association is unlikely to care less if I torched the interior of my unit, as long as there were no external signs. They're only good for lawn care and trash pickup...
 
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Old 04-28-16, 12:50 PM
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I don't see what State or City/Town you're located in; but if the Condominium is of recent construction, and it was properly Permitted, wouldn't your State or local Building Code have required the Bathrooms to be vented ?
 
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Old 04-28-16, 01:05 PM
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I would have thought that as well. I'm in Virginia, and this should be covered under 1203.4.2.1 of the Commonwealth of Virginia Construction Code:

Rooms, containing bathtubs, showers, spas and similar bathing fixtures shall be mechanically ventilated in accordance with the International Mechanical Code.
But that's the 2009 edition, so I don't know what revision was active in the mid to late 80s, when the units were built.
 
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Old 04-28-16, 01:48 PM
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Based on what you already said about your HOA above, I guess I would take a moment and visit the local Town or County (or whatever jurisdiction) that would have been responsible for issuing the Original Building Permit and Certificate of Occupancy and identify the edition/version of the "Code" that was in effect at the time the Condo was constructed.

At least then you'd know if Ventilation was required at that time, or if it could have been omitted by the Architect, Builder, Electrician/Plumber, Inspector from the local Authority . . . . and others. Then you'd be able to determine whether you and the other Owners would have an actionable complaint.

Condensation and Mold don't really care if the construction was done to Code . . . . they'll behave according to their own nature anyway.

As a Real Estate Broker, I'm curious as to how long you've owned this Unit and whether you had it inspected prior to Purchase . . . . pre-purchase Home Inspectors usually catch such omitted features. It's certainly something to be aware of BEFORE it comes time for you to sell the Unit.
 
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Old 04-28-16, 02:04 PM
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I've been there ~15 years, and I did have a home inspection done prior to purchase. There were a couple small issues noted if I recall, but they were taken care of prior to closing. This was not among the issues noted.

I do agree that I need to find out what code was, so I know if there's something I need to take care of, but I don't know what could possibly be done at this point that wouldn't be invasive and/or expensive.

I've been battling condensation issues, more in one of the bathrooms than the other, for years and will now be trying one of the little Eva-Dry E500 dehumidifiers to see if that cuts down on my issue. I've considered a louvered door as well for ventilation.

But at least in the short term, a circulation fan with a light would be my best solution, though it may just be a light until the time comes where it HAS to be taken care of to code.
 
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Old 04-28-16, 03:56 PM
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Are there rooms surrounding the bathroom with an outside wall? If so you may want to consider a horizontal chase in one of the rooms for a through the wall vent to the outside. A build down of 8"x8" would probably be enough and not that intrusive.
 

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Old 04-28-16, 05:06 PM
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Ray's idea is good, and if every Unit in the Complex has this same problem, then the HOA might be interested in having one Contractor consider retro-fitting them all. The HOA would have to approve the appearance and placement of the external vents anyway; so they may as well try to do it as a Class Action !
 
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Old 04-28-16, 05:20 PM
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I have seen construction like this before. Even if it wasn't in the code.... interior bathrooms are supposed to be vented outside. Sounds like a case where the builder cut corners and the inspector really didn't look or check for external venting.

Non vented bathroom fans..... the silliest thing I ever heard of.
 
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Old 04-28-16, 06:44 PM
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I don't think you will find a non-ducted bath fan with light. There's only a few models of non-ducted fans available and you probably have one of them. These fans were designed for odors, using a charcoal filter which should be changed on occasion.

You can add a ceiling light to the same switch as the fan. You can get help here.
 
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Old 04-29-16, 08:35 AM
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I thank everyone for their input. I certainly agree, for it not to be vented is ridiculous, and if there were something to do at this time, I would. One of the bathrooms has a closet between it and the outer wall, so going through the wall, and installing conduit in the upper corner would be at least be doable. However, the other bathroom doesn't have a clear shot to the outside wall without running into AC duct work, which is already run in the upper corner of the room on the wall shared.

At this point, it looks like just finding a light fixture I like is the best option. I'll have to install the box where the cut out for the fan is now, but I assume that something like a fan box with joist supports should allow me to get that mounted. I could then run the existing wiring into that and hook up a light as one would usually.
 
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Old 04-29-16, 08:58 AM
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I would keep the fan even though it's almost useless. You can tap off the power to the fan for the new light and position the ceiling light anywhere you want. The easiest is probably to have the fan and light share the same switch.
To mount the new light you would use an old-work plastic ceiling box.
 
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Old 04-29-16, 10:54 AM
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While I would love to leave it and tap power from it from a light in a different location, that would involve cutting through the drywall (not a big deal), and then a double layer of 3/4" plywood of some kind just behind the drywall. I assume it's a pressure treated, flame retardant layer used as a fire barrier between units. As there was already a cutout for the circulation fan, my preference is to use that if possible, rather than cutting an additional hole in this.

If it comes down to cutting another hole, and just leaving the thing as it is, I would come down on the side of leaving things be.
 
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Old 04-29-16, 04:46 PM
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Let us know if you need help. You might be able to find a light that fits in the fan hole.
 
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Old 04-29-16, 05:29 PM
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You might be able to find a light that fits in the fan hole.
Or jerry rig a ceiling box in the middle of the hole and cover the area with a medallion. Or patch the hole and install an old work ceiling box if the wires or long enough*.

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*If the wires are not long enough you would need to leave the hole so a splice in a second box, perhaps the Jbox of the fan once it is gutted, would remain accessible.
 
 

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