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.
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.
On Dec 11, 3:34 pm, firstname.lastname@example.org 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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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