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Old 10-06-2008, 10:41 PM   #1
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Heavy moisture accumulation on walls when showering


We finished remodeling our master bathroom around three months ago. Previously the ceiling consisted of wooden slats or tong and grove. We ripped that out and hung moisture resistant drywall instead, which has since been painted. The largest exhaust fan Lowe's carries was installed above the shower.

Since then the walls become soaked every time we shower. Almost to the point where the water will start to run, but not that bad. Any ideas why?
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Old 10-07-2008, 12:14 AM   #2
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Heavy moisture accumulation on walls when showering


What is the cfm of the fan and the sq footage of the bathroom? How long are you running the fan after the shower and is it running during as well? Run the fan longer to see if that helps usually like 30 mins after a shower.

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Old 10-07-2008, 09:44 PM   #3
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Heavy moisture accumulation on walls when showering


The fan is a Broan 100CFM exhaust fan. Typically we start the fan when starting the shower and turn it off ~10 min after the shower is off.

I'll let the fan run longer tomorrow to see it if makes a difference.

Thanks,
Matt
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Old 10-07-2008, 10:19 PM   #4
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Heavy moisture accumulation on walls when showering


How was the fan vented? How long is the vent pipe? How many bends, elbows, etc? Is there a gap under the door to allow air in? If the bathroom is tight and 1000cfm can't get in, then the fan can't move 1000cfm...See what I mean?

You might try some smoke in the room...Like a lit cigarette or blowing out a candle. See how the smoke reacts with the fan on...Does it move to the fan or sit there?
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Old 10-07-2008, 10:33 PM   #5
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Heavy moisture accumulation on walls when showering


The very first thing is to check the draw of the fan as the KC termite suggested. Light a cotton shoe lace until it's burning under it's own steam and then blow out the flame. It will then smolder for hours, releasing a steady stream of smoke as it does. You can use this as a poor man's smoke pencil to check the draw of that ceiling fan.

I think this may be a case of a tortuous exhaust duct routing effectively reducing the CFM of the fan to next to nothing.

I'm wondering if it wouldn't be feasible to use a booster fan from a forced air heating system duct on the exhaust duct from this fan? That is, the fan would blow air into the duct, and the booster fan (or two of them) somewhere in the duct would blow that air further along the duct to help the fan evacuate the humid air from the bathroom.

Do you remember the details of the ducting? How many bends and roughly how many feet of duct altogether?

Also, are the walls of this bathroom EXTERIOR walls to your house? It could be that the walls are cool enough that moisture condenses on them instead of remaining suspended in the air as humidity.

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Old 10-08-2008, 07:13 AM   #6
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Heavy moisture accumulation on walls when showering


Undersized fan too.

I would have suggested the largest, Panasonic quiet fan you can get, no less than 150cfm on a timer that runs for 30 minutes during and after the shower. You have an area, just in the picture, of about 300 cu ft (the size of an average bathroom), let alone the rest of the room. To my personal liking, that fan's not enough.

Sure, check the venting pipe runs for effectiveness. What is it? 3", 4" or 6"? Probably 4"... But is there good insulation in the ceiling? If the condensation runs and drips, then you probably don't.
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Old 10-08-2008, 07:26 AM   #7
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Heavy moisture accumulation on walls when showering


my wife and daughter like a 'steam shower', really, really hot. maybe you do too? i'm constantly reminding my daughter to turn on BOTH lights. ("makeup" light AND ceiling fan/light combo) or we get the wetness thing ALL OVER! ceiling, walls....dripping.... when i do the new one, i'm going to use a bigger, better fan for sure. =o) to answer your last question, here's an idea as to why. if you had 'raw' t&g like some i've seen, i would imagine it USED to ABSORB most of that moisture. when you went to new, it does not absorb any more. maybe that's it, maybe not... just a thought.

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Old 10-08-2008, 06:43 PM   #8
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Heavy moisture accumulation on walls when showering


It's scary how accurate you all have been so far.
- Yes, the old ceiling was 'raw' and probably did absorb some moisture.
- The duct work is < 6'
- Two walls are exterior, however the wall with the moisture issue is interior. The other side of the wall is split between the master bedroom and attic. I did notice the moisture is primarily only on the part of the wall that shares a backside with the attic.
- The attic backside of the wall has R-13 on it.. Problem?

I inspected the duct work and didn't see anything too terrible. I softened the one 90 bend into two 45s. I also found an issue where some of the exhaust from the fan was looping back into the bathroom. I would explain further, but it's now fixed and pointless.

We left the fan run for 20-30 minutes after the last shower taken and it has definitely improved. The walls continue to collect moisture, not a lot, but enough to become shinny. It goes away with in 10 -15 minutes with the fan on after the shower is off.

Thank you!
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Old 10-08-2008, 06:51 PM   #9
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Heavy moisture accumulation on walls when showering


Quote:
Originally Posted by mwehnes View Post
It's scary how accurate you all have been so far.
kinda spooky, huh? that's why they pay us the big bucks here.... lol

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Old 10-08-2008, 07:39 PM   #10
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Heavy moisture accumulation on walls when showering


R13 in the attic sounds a bit skinny...not a mjor problem but keep an eye on it during the winter months. Is there a vapour barrier in there somewhere?

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Old 10-09-2008, 07:37 AM   #11
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Heavy moisture accumulation on walls when showering


There is probably too less air circulation. It's important, especially in the bathroom to circulate the moisture air all the time. You can use a ceiling fan for this.


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Old 10-09-2008, 08:32 AM   #12
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Heavy moisture accumulation on walls when showering


Forgive me if I misread your cryptic post, Ceiling Fan Expert, but you call for more circulation by means of a ceiling fan...I think. (?)

There is one.

IMO no modern bathroom should be constructed without; what I recommend in smaller bathrooms that this even, is a 150cfm fan with or without light, properly exhausted outdoors. In this case, there is a cathedral ceiling type construction and therefore a 150 cfm is even more called for than in flat-ceilinged applications.

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