How To Get Insulation On Top Of New Bathroom Fan When Installing From Below? - Kitchen & Bath Remodeling - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum
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Old 04-17-2014, 08:23 PM   #1
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How to get insulation on top of new bathroom fan when installing from below?


I'm replacing our original bathroom fan with a bigger Panasonic model, and I'm replacing it from below. This is in our upper level bathroom, and above that is our attic, which has lots of loose, blown-in insulation. Because that part of the attic above the fan has really difficult access, and is basically a crawl space, I'm planning to do everything from below. But once I displace the existing insulation, how do I get insulation to cover the new fan when I'm working from below? Does anyone have any tricks to doing this? Was thinking about fastening a square of fiberglass roll insulation to the top of the fan when I insert it into the hole, and maybe spraying expandable foam around the sides, once I have it inserted. Would this work or does anybody have any other ideas? We're in frigid Minnesota, so insulation is pretty important around here.
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Old 04-18-2014, 04:52 AM   #2
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You would be far better off installing it from above for a lot of reasons.
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Old 04-19-2014, 10:27 AM   #3
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Panasonic fans are pretty easy to install from below, and that's really my only option here. Only problem is the insulation. Has anyone run into this before ... how did you insulate above your fan when replacing from below?

Another idea I had was to fill a garbage bag with the loose insulation, put it up in the ceiling through the hole in the sheetrock, covering the hole, and then sliding the fan into the hole and hopefully the garbage bag will keep the insulation in place over the fan.
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Old 04-19-2014, 10:39 AM   #4
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Someone got the insulation over the old fan once, it can be done again exactly the same way. Crawl up to the attic and use a small rake or something to cover the new fan after it's up.
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Old 04-19-2014, 02:52 PM   #5
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You are exhausting this bath fan outside I hope?
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Old 04-19-2014, 02:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roofermann View Post
You are exhausting this bath fan outside I hope?
That was my concern also.

Nothing like soggy insulation to mold, and smell really bad.

You might try using a blow in insulation machine, and blow it from a distance.
Maybe pile insulation near the fan opening then use a shop vac exhaust side to blow it over the fan box. Using a long pole on the vac hose to reach over closer.

ED
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Old 04-19-2014, 05:00 PM   #7
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Quote:
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You are exhausting this bath fan outside I hope?
Yes, I'm venting it outside.
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Old 04-20-2014, 10:51 AM   #8
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I recently faced the same situation.

I wanted to replace an old cheap 'builder's special' fan in an upper-level bathroom with a larger and more powerful BROAN model. I chose to install it from below as well because the fan wasn't "easily" accessible from above (it was located near the eaves) and I thought I would create more work for myself by disrupting the blown attic insulation as I trenched through it to get to the fan. I respect the view of the pros here, and in retrospect I think they're right. It may have been easier to do it from above all things considered. Even though the Broan instructions showed how that the fan could be easily installed from below...here's what I encountered:

1. The larger fan required me to cut a larger opening in the ceiling. With respect to your original question: When I was cutting the hole in the ceiling, I expected that some loose insulation might fall out so I had a couple of pre-cut a pieces FG roll insulation ready to work up into the hole as I removed the cut-out and pulled down the old fan. The pre-cut pieces created a barrier to keep insulation in the attic and it helped me create a cavity to work in for the new fan.

2. The new fan was much TALLER than the old fan and the width of the truss, so I had to append some lumber to the truss so that I could anchor the mounting screws on the top of the unit.

3. Also, in order to position the unit to connect to electric, I had to re-route the vent pipe--which was a good thing because I eliminated all the bends and kinks that the builder had.

Bottom line: Even installing a new fan in the bathroom is a bigger project than you might expect. And when I remodel my next upstairs bath I may try installing the fan from above. But there's more question about it can be done from below.
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Old 04-20-2014, 11:54 AM   #9
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Push some rolled insulation up through the hole before the new fan goes in--create a blanket that will be pushed up as the fan box is installed---

Installinf a fan from below is done frequently---a little drywall patching is sometimes needed--but it can be done.
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