Bathroom Exhaust Fan

I smoke cigars in a small powder room in our townhome. It has an exhaust fan. The fan is on but doesn't seem to be sucking up the smoke anymore and it is wafting through the house. My question is: Who would I call to investigate and fix this problem? An electrician? I have no idea. Also, where does the exhaust fan suck the smoke to? Where does it go?
I'm not handy, as you can tell.
Thanks.
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Most municipalities have codes that require that bathroom exhaust fans to be vented to the outside. If this was installed properly and according to code, then that is your answer as to where it should go. If the fan still works, then it's likely that the duct outlet is blocked. If you can figure out which pipe or vent on the outside of your home is the exhaust for this fan, then I would inpsect it and check to see if some critter has built a nest or otherwise in the ductwork (which in winter would be a nice warm place). Clear it out, and install a shield over the vent outlet to prevent this from happening again. If you're not so inclined, call a chimney/vent cleaning company to come and clean it out for you. If your townhome has a property-owners association, call them to come inspect it.
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On Dec 11, 3:34 pm, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

If you pull off the fan cover you may be able to tell which direction the hose runs. As pointed out, it should be vented outside. That's frequently done through a vent in the underside of the soffit above one of the outside walls or through a roof vent or sometimes through a vent in the wall itself. The pipe is usually 3" and the vent outlet should be obvious. If it's a relatively new townhome, and was part of the new construction, then it probably does vent outside. If it were a DIY job, sometimes they are vented improperly into the attic, which is a code violation and bad idea.
Also, there should be a flap or vent fins that close when the fan is not running to prevent cold air coming in and to keep birds out. Some fans also have a flapper in them as part of the fan housing. Check to make sure they are working freely.
If you need to call in someone, an electrician certainly could do the job, or most general home repair type guys. Also, since you have some special requirements, getting one of the newer higher capacity fans that are also quiet sounds like it could be a good idea. The typical builder ones are noisy and not sized to best deal with cigar smoke.
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A bath fan is not made to remove smoke. I'm guessing that the fins on the fan blade are covered in dust and as a result are not very efficient right now. As the blade gets heavier from being caked it puts a strain on the motor which could cause it to burn out prematurely. Try calling a company that cleans ducts or dryer vents. Also cracking the window open a little will help move the air.
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The fan is probably gummed up with tar. Formula 409 will disolve it but the thing to do is to replace it or better yet, do your drugging outside. To replace a bathroom fan is usually trivial: remove cover, remove a couple of screws to remove fan, and unplug it, assuming there's an outlet up there.
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After yelling at my kids for at least 15 years, especially daughters who could shower forever, to turn on the vent fan, I discovered that the builder had used a sheet metal screw to hold the duct to the fan which prevented the flapper from opening. Easy to fix. Good idea to hold a sheet of paper near the fan to make sure it really is drafting.
Your flapper may be stuck. You should be able to pull the fan cover and gently push on it to make sure it works.

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wrote:

Sucks that you gotta sit in the bathroom to have a cigar. Get a window fan!
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Lexis wrote:

than the exhaust fan can? If you don't know where the exhaust fan vents, you should find out .....it is on the ceiling? wall? What is above or outside of where the exhaust fan is located?
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Before you go and start calling roofers, the homeowners assoc., and everyone else you can find, try leaving the door open a crack and open a nearby window. If no air is coming into the unit, no air is going out of the unit.
Better yet, stop smoking.
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We just got a wicked range hood - Broan Elite. They recommend cracking a window (I guess so your house doesn't implode).<G> I can smoke a cigar while working in the kitchen with NO odor.
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No odor to you because you cant smell it. Years of smoking that has killed your olfactory system. I can guarantee you that I could walk in your front door (and no further) and tell you if someone smokes cigarettes or a cigars. Bubba
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Bubba wrote:

I know the solution to your problem.
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I'm glad you know the solution and you're not just some self-righteous prick who was gonna say something trite like "quit smoking."
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wrote:

If my wife got a whiff, I wouldn't be smokin in the kitchen no mo. When I said no odor, I meant no odor.
BTW, my olfactory senses are just fine, despite an occasional cigar.
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Your wife is either: Dead Has a bad smeller too Doesnt really give a shit Either way, your smeller is gone too. You just dont know it being a smoker. Bubba
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wrote:

No, you can't.
Maybe no odor that you, or anyone in your household, can smell. But *anyone* from a non-smoking household will be able to smell it.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
  Click to see the full signature.
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