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Water from Recessed lights


olson2334's Avatar
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01-31-09, 06:51 PM   #1  
Water from Recessed lights

My wife and I built the home we currently live in just over a year ago in ND. Today it is around 40 degrees here today and very windy. We were watching a movie and heard a bunch of dripping. I got up and I noticed we had water dripping from one of our recessed lights in the ceiling. It dripped for just a couple of seconds real fast and then it quit. This happened one other time from another recessed light as well in our living room/kitchen.

Also, we have water that accumlates in our bathroom vents too from time to time as well as our tube light. I did call the manufacture of the tube light, Velux to ask them why this was occuring. They said that I have air seepage around the base of the unit and needed to buy some tape they use for around windows when building a house.

I haven't installed the tabe around the unit, but do you think this is the issue also with the fans/lights? Could this be lack of insulation in our attic as well? It is blown in fiberglass that is on average around 10 inches deep i would guess which doesn't seem deep enough for ND winters.

Thanks for the help.

 
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Bud9051's Avatar
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01-31-09, 07:52 PM   #2  
You have a couple of issues. The water leaking out on a warm day is probably being caused by condensation that has frozen in or above the recessed lights. Check to see if you can determine if your lights are IC rated and air sealed. Insulation Contact (IC) would be most desirable in ND and air sealed would prevent any moist air from entering your insulation/attic. The condensation in your bathroom vents is being cause by them being too cold and the warm moist air that passes through them. Make sure they are vented outside the attic, well insulated, and drain any water that may collect to the outside. It shouldn’t collect, but just as a precaution. Of course through the roof vents can’t tilt to the outside.

If the moisture is on the inside of your light tube, then you will need better insulation around it. The air sealing may also be necessary and is good.

The 10 inches of fiberglass is minimal at about R=3 per inch. Anything you disturb will be less when you fluff it back in place. It doesn’t like to be moved. Fiberglass also doesn’t block the flow of air, so any air leaks from below, lights as you have noted, electrical boxes/wires, chimneys, plumbing, drop ceilings over cabinets and others may all need to be sealed. Save that job for just before you add more insulation.

Check all recessed lights for their ratings and take a look up in the attic to see how your bathroom venting is insulated and vented.

Bud

 
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01-31-09, 09:29 PM   #3  
Yes the air sealing will take care of this. Bath vents are the same. Air seal around them. Insulation on vent pipe will not help.

 
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02-01-09, 04:23 AM   #4  
Thanks for the comments. I dont' see any further snow accumulation in the attic at all due to our warm day yesterday so if this happens again I will have to up there and check to see if there are piles of snow and they are melting causing the dripping from the canned lights. The lights are IC rated, but I don't know how to tell if they are "sealed"? My guess is they are not.

The venting from the bathrooms is first run parallel with the sheetrock and then runs straight up to the roof and vented out. The tubing is insulated and it looks like another layer of insulation was added around the pipe as well. R11 it looks and was wrapped and duct taped on.

I had been up in the attic a couple of times since it's building. About a month ago i purchased another 14 bigs of fiberglass blow insulation to be put up there as soon as I got a day where it was warm enough. Sounds like i should get any issues up there fixed first here, blow this in and then leave it be.

 
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02-01-09, 01:37 PM   #5  
OK. I just went up in the attic again today as this morning when I woke to try and turn my recessed lights on in my bedroom (different lights then the one that was leaking yesteray) i blow a circuit. this hasn't happened before.
Anyway, when I went up there to try and see if those recessed lights might be wet, i noticed that there was only about an inch of insulation over the top of the light itself. I don't know if this makes a difference or not or may cause it to get wet inside the light and short it out? Also there were spots up there where I would dip my hand into the insulation and it seemed that the top number of inches were damp to wet.

Does there need to be more insulation on the top of these recessed lights and could this be the cause of why they are shorting?

Those few inches of insulation as i mention that are damp, is this normal and if not, what do i need to do about that?

Thanks for all the help.

 
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02-01-09, 02:21 PM   #6  
Fiberglass insulation being wet is certainly not normal. We mentioned air sealed recessed lights. If they are not air sealed and it sounds like they are not, or air is leaking around the outside of the light, then that air is carrying moisture into the attic where it is condensing out in the colder temps. Just like a glass of ice water that gets wet on the outside, it is the moisture in the air. Anywhere moist air can contact a colder surface, you have the potential for condensation, tube light, bath exhaust fan, recessed lights, and a long list of hidden air leaks that can carry moisture into your attic. The ones you are troubled with are obvious ones, but there are many more.

You stated that your lights are IC rated, but fiberglass will not block air. You need to determine if the air is leaking around the fixtures or up through holes in the can. Inspect the cans to determine if there are any holes or air paths.

If they are not both IC and air sealed, I don't know if you can make them so. You may need to replace them. Check what you have.

Bud

 
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02-01-09, 02:54 PM   #7  
High RH in the home is a major contributer to this. Do you know what the RH is in your home?

 
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02-01-09, 04:39 PM   #8  
RH? is that relative humidity? If that is what it is, i am not sure what it is. My guess is it is high as it is a new house with full concrete basement. wE have been told it is still "bleeding" mositure due to its young age??? Our windows have a lot of condensation on them as well if that is any indicator?

 
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02-01-09, 07:16 PM   #9  
There you go reduce the RH and your problem will go away! Winter time condensation problems are do to not enough ventilation. Increase ventilation and you should be fine.

 
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