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Old 06-10-2008, 11:32 PM   #1
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Code requirements for Vent fan?


I want to add a bathroom to a basement. There are no windows in that area of the basement. Do I need a fan for the bathroom? If so, does the fan need to be vented outside?

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Old 06-11-2008, 12:46 AM   #2
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Code requirements for Vent fan?


Hi Indianer. Yes, by code you're required to install a fan in the bathroom if no operable window exists. The fan must ventilate to outside. This can be accomplished via a roof-penetrating vent, or a wall vent in a rim joist, a furdown that meets an exterior wall, or an attic's gable end. I strongly suggest following the manufacturer's venting requirements in order to get the fan to do its job effectively.

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Old 06-11-2008, 01:19 AM   #3
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Code requirements for Vent fan?


Does it have to vented to the exterior? There is an unfinished area of the basment that would be easy to reach.

The only way to vent it to the exterior would be to have it run to the back of the house (approx. 30') and there is a lot of other HVAC in the way.

I have a feeling this is going to get ugly.
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Old 06-11-2008, 01:30 AM   #4
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Code requirements for Vent fan?


Yes, the code is real clear about this. It must vent to outdoors. That flexible vent can be snaked in pretty easily in most cases.
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Old 06-11-2008, 01:32 AM   #5
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Code requirements for Vent fan?


The do make ventless fart fans that use activated carbon filters. But, they're just for smells and not for moisture.

I've reluctantly allowed them in 1/2 baths when there was NO OTHER OPTION, but never in a bath with a tub or shower. They don't meet the code requirement or the code's intent, so don't let someone sell you one.
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Old 06-11-2008, 03:33 PM   #6
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Code requirements for Vent fan?


I figured out an easy way to route the vent, but I still have to go through the brick exterior. Not fun.
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Old 06-11-2008, 05:26 PM   #7
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Code requirements for Vent fan?


Brick is pretty easy if you have the correct tools. Hammer drill with a good masonary 1/2" bit. A hammer and chisel to clean the edges. You're done in an hour. Switch to a 4 3/8" wood hole bit and go through the rim joist.
Planning the holes are critical or you get to practice your masonary skills.
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Old 06-11-2008, 10:07 PM   #8
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Code requirements for Vent fan?


Ron's talking about drilling a series of small holes close together in a circular pattern. With a little work with a cold chisel and a lot of holes, you've got a pretty good hole through the brick!
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Old 06-11-2008, 11:11 PM   #9
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Code requirements for Vent fan?


That is the plan. Is there no way to tie the vent into the the vent for the sump pump in the adjacent room? I don't think there would be, but just curious.

Also: Putting a small 4" hole in the brick won't effect the entegrity of the brick above right? I mean, it won't require a lintel or anything will it? We're talking 2 1/2 stories of brickwork. I can't imagine it would, but I would like to be sure.

Last edited by Indianer; 06-11-2008 at 11:14 PM.
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Old 06-12-2008, 09:44 AM   #10
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Code requirements for Vent fan?


Nope, can't tie the fart fan in with the plumbing. No way.

You can drill a 4" hole in your brick with no ill effects.
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Old 06-12-2008, 09:17 PM   #11
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Code requirements for Vent fan?


One last question. Are there cany code requirements concerning placement of the vent in the exterior wall? Is it required to be a certain distance from other vents, etc? The area where I want to put it is cluttered with lines coming in and going out, HW heater, gas lines, etc.

I should have at least 12" or more to put it in through the band. Is it required to be a certain distance from other holes in the band?
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Old 06-12-2008, 09:30 PM   #12
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Code requirements for Vent fan?


There are vent termination codes, but I don't think too many inspectors would hassle you over a bath fan vent. That's because it isn't moving combustion or sewer gas (like a fireplace direct vent, gas dryer, or plumbing vent), just moisture and poo smells. The hazard with those other types of vents is that they can let combustible gases back into the house through windows and such.

I don't have them memorized, so I'll try to remember to check the code book tomorrow to let you know for sure.

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