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Old 12-26-2010, 12:32 PM   #1
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Shower exhaust - stained ceiling


I installed a shower exhaust a while ago and vented it to the outside with aluminum duct. I have recently noticed a water stain around the exhaust that is slowly getting worse. I didnt see any stain in the summer but notice it now. I'm wondering if I need to put the exhaust on a timer - I think the cold air in the attic is causing condensation in the duct which works its way back to the joint between the fan and the duct where it leaks onto the ceiling. Does this sound like a reasonable solution - other suggestions?

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Old 12-26-2010, 12:45 PM   #2
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Shower exhaust - stained ceiling


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Originally Posted by jmm1678 View Post
I installed a shower exhaust a while ago and vented it to the outside with aluminum duct. I have recently noticed a water stain around the exhaust that is slowly getting worse. I didnt see any stain in the summer but notice it now. I'm wondering if I need to put the exhaust on a timer - I think the cold air in the attic is causing condensation in the duct which works its way back to the joint between the fan and the duct where it leaks onto the ceiling. Does this sound like a reasonable solution - other suggestions?
You are probably either dealing with condensation or leakage from the outside. Does the ductwork vent straight up to the roof, or does it vent out to the side (through a gable or soffit)? If you are venting straight up to the roof, you may have some leakage around the ventcap when it rains.

Using a timer is not a bad idea to make sure that the fan runs long to remove the moisture in the room, but you'll still have condensation issues. You can insulate the pipe in the attic to help minimize the condensation, but make sure that you don't have any roof leakage, also.

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Old 12-26-2010, 03:16 PM   #3
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Shower exhaust - stained ceiling


Thanks - the exhaust ducting does not go straight up but vents to the side. Is there a specific type of insulation for the flexible ductwork?
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Old 12-26-2010, 06:32 PM   #4
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Shower exhaust - stained ceiling


Often, when I see flexible bath exhaust ductwork there are dips which can trap condensed water, sometimes when enough water collects the flex duct moves a bit, and there is a sudden flow of water back toward the fan housing.
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Old 12-27-2010, 10:25 AM   #5
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Shower exhaust - stained ceiling


JMM, condensation is your problem. Buy an aluminum basting pan (10"x16") and bend it to fit under the duct and adapter (if possible) at your fan (make sure it is under the lowest point of the duct). Cut a couple of small drain holes in the bottom of the duct hose (1/8") where it lays in the pan. This will catch the condensation in cold weather before it leaks out into your ceiling. A timer also helps to keep air moving through the duct longer to dry it.
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