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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Solution Selected - Problem Appears to be Solved!

Thanks to all for the advice and observations. After considering a number of options, we decided on a contractor's suggestion to reroute the troublesome bathroom vents to soffit exits on the back side of the house. The work was done about four weeks ago. We had a small amount of water dripping just prior to the "fix" and none since. I also replace the conventional manual fan switches with timed switches that permit the fans to remain operational longer without being forgotten "on" for long periods of time. It's hard to determine which of these two variables (1. soffits fan exits, 2. switch timers) made the difference but after some snow, wind, and very cold weather - we have had no further moisture dripping from the fans and the CFM exchange appears to remain as it was under the original installation. Cost: $375. Hopefully, this case is closed.
The original roof vents remain on the roof - blocked. Next spring we will remove the old vents and patch the roof.
 

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I saw that too Scuba. There's bound to be some moisture sucked back into the soffits that is going to cause mold and mildew. I believe this is against code in quite a few areas now. I think a Panasonic fan with some decent spring loaded roof vents was the solution needed.
 

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May as well just routed them up to the roof vents. Would have saved alot of time and money, but that's what ya get when you get a contractor through a job-lead website I guess. Looks like decent work, but not really correct.
 

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Newbie Bill
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A very sharp looking installation.

Unfortunately, I agree with many others in that in the long run this will create some different issues.

I was watching some home improvement show recently (maybe it was Ask this Old House) where a vent went through the soffit. The moist air was finding it's way back into the attic and there was mold issues on the underside of the roof sheeting.
 

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I've always Hated that design - Roof vents

We live in a three-year-old home in Fargo, ND. We have four bathroom exhaust fans that vent through our roof. Each of them, to some degree, "chatter" and clatter when the wind blows. Even more of a problem is that snow blows in during periods of heavy snow/wind, eventually blocking the duct and/or fan itself. This does not appear to be condensation building up on an inadequately insulated duct. The ducts appear to be properly insulated and installed. When I remove the interior fan cover, one can readily see snow packed in around the fan which ultimately melts and drips down in the bathrooms and damages the ceiling sheetrock. Is my theory of snow infiltration rationale? Does anyone have a recommended solution? Can one purchase some sort of roof vent cover that provides some resistance to opening so it isn't so easily and improperly opened by wind?
I really never liked the roof vent bathroom fan, especially in snow the counrty of Northern States. Keep the roof cleared from snow and ice or vent on the gable ends.
 

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“Another common, but unsatisfactory practice, allowing heat to enter the attic, involves installing the bathroom exhaust vent duct into the soffit vents, rather than correctly installing this duct to an outlet vent. Soffit vents are inlet vents, not outlet vents! Everything that exits the house at a soffit vent immediately re-enters the house in the attic space, because that is what soffit vents do, they bring in outside air flow. Not only will this add heat, but it will also add humidity and moisture to the attic, defeating the very reason for installing the bathroom fan in the first place. This is a Real Problem! Even a home with functional attic ventilation can now develop molds on the roof sheathing cavities above these unsatisfactory ducts.”--------
http://www.ronhungarter.com/roofing_ventilation.html


Be safe, Gary
 

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Interesting... I have thought about that, but was never really too concerned. I used to instal insulation in 2002 and most if not all vents I worked around went out of the soffit. I guess that the bathroom vents, AKA Fart fans, really didn't dispel a whole lot of water vapor to make it too much of a concern. Where do vents now 'days vent out to, other then the roof top?
The quantity of water vapor that is expelled through the bath termination cap in the soffits will evaporate within seconds, not giving the water vapor enough time to recirculate back into the soffit vents. Not to mention, they make special soffit bath termination caps that have a 45 degree bend to them, where it truly redirects the water vapor content away from the home. I would be more concerned about blocked roof cap by snow than a soffit terminated bath vent.
 
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