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danielrg 09-04-2011 07:02 PM

Can I put my bathroom exhaust fan outlet where I want to?
Question is: Can I put my bathroom exhaust fan outlet where I want to?

I am finishing my basement, and want to figure out where to run my bathroom exhaust fan duct out of the house.

The most convenient location is back through the utility room and out a rim joist. I read this in the IRC:

M1506.2 Exhaust openings.
Air exhaust openings shall terminate not less than 3 feet (914 mm) from property lines; 3 feet (914 mm) from operable and nonoperable openings into the building and 10 feet (3048 mm) from mechanical air intakes except where the opening is located 3 feet (914 mm) above the air intake.

Where I want to put the exhaust is easily 3 feet from any other opening, but what is a "mechanical air intake?" I have a vent on the side of the house for the utility room that is just a vent grille through the rim joise that passively provides fresh air to the utility room. This grille is about 4 feet horizontally from where I'd vent the bathroom fan.

The room it "technically" vents is the utility/mechanical room, so is that related? Would that be considered a "mechanical air intake", or does that mean an active sucking intake to some piece of mechanical gear?


Doc Holliday 09-04-2011 07:05 PM

I think mechanical air intake would mean fresh air brought into a furnace, such is with 95% condensing furnaces.

You'd have a 2 or 3 inch pvc pipe running from outside of your home directly into the furnace if you had one.

Doc Holliday 09-04-2011 07:07 PM

You don't want to bring in dirty "poo" air that you're trying to exahust outside to begin with back in to spread throughout your home is it. :laughing:

danielrg 09-04-2011 07:25 PM

Ha Ha I was only thinking about the moist air from the bathroom causing a problem. I didn't think about smelly air. Funny.

Well, since the grill is passive (not actively sucking in poo air), I am going to assume it is okay.

I am going to put this in the basement plan, and we'll see if the permit guys/inspector says anything about it.

I do have an alternative location if they do give me grief that is another 10 or 11 feet away (current plan is 17 feet from bathroom) and quite a bit harder to install that would meet the 10 ft requirement - but I'll try to get away without doing it.

I do have two more options:

1) exhaust into garage - this would be easy but I don't think it's right.

2) exhaust right next to dryer vent exhaust. But I understood the IRC that two outlets can't be within 3 ft of each other either, right?

Doc Holliday 09-04-2011 08:07 PM

I'd have to think so.

beenthere 09-04-2011 09:29 PM

The grille for you utility room is considered a passive intake. Since no fan is directly connected to it.

danielrg 04-05-2013 05:54 PM

I like it when threads wrap up... some.

I put the exhaust near the utility room. About 5 feet horizontally from the passive air intake to the utility room.

I have inspection in a week or two. I don't expect any problems...

jagans 04-05-2013 08:37 PM

If you guys that are HVAC pros don't know for sure about these things, I think the code needs some work. The "Mechanical intake" might be explained in the definitions section of the code, as an intake having a powered fan?

Anybody know?

beenthere 04-06-2013 02:05 AM

Post 6 pretty much says that.

ben's plumbing 04-07-2013 07:44 AM


Originally Posted by beenthere (Post 1153330)
Post 6 pretty much says that.

in my understanding thats just what it says.....should be a good enough explanation..ben sr

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