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Unread 01-29-2021, 09:42 AM   #1
SpaceCadet
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in-line bathroom vent fans

I have a small 4'x6' half-bath I need to install an vent fan in. There's not a good place to mount the normal in-ceiling/wall bathroom fan so I was going to use an inline one and run ducting to a grill in the bathroom wall for an intake and exhaust it out a roof vent. The bathroom is in an attic so that wall has unfinished space behind it.

The problem is I can't find a suitable fan. Everything I see is either an axial booster fan or something way too powerful. I was looking for something around 80 cfm but that might actually be more than I need. Could anyone please suggest an in-line fan that I could use?
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Unread 01-29-2021, 10:26 AM   #2
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I've used these many times. Had great luck with Panasonic fans.

https://www.supplyhouse.com/Panasoni...n-Fan-1-0-Sone

With this inlet...sometimes wyed for two. One around toilet, one near shower. If going through insulation I extend ridgid duct to clear then insulated flex the rest of the way to outlet:

https://www.supplyhouse.com/Panasoni...t-Inlet-Grille

https://www.supplyhouse.com/Fantech-...lex-Duct-25-Ft

Out the roof or sidewall with these, forget that they say dryer vent, the air doesn't know the difference:

http://www.betterventing.com/PRODUCTS/Exterior-Vents/

And finally, this countdown switch:

https://www.lutron.com/en-US/Product...elNumbers.aspx

And Bob's yer uncle.
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Unread 01-29-2021, 01:44 PM   #3
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If there's an attic above and you're going out the roof, had you considered something like a Solatube tubular skylight with their exhaust fan? This could replace your overhead light fixture (assuming you have one!). I have had one in my place now for nearly 15-years...quiet, and since my bathroom does not have any windows, I rarely need to turn the light on during the day. The skylight provides up to about the equivalent of 300W light bulb for free during the day. There's an optional light fixture that goes into the tube for night time use.
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Unread 01-29-2021, 02:05 PM   #4
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https://www.build.com/nutone-ilfk120...88?uid=2608954

Broan offers solutions.

What is the problem with the ceiling installation? Literally NO space, or limited? We do have low profile fans as well.
https://www.broan-nutone.com/en-us/p...ationfans/lp80
These can fit INSIDE a 2x4 wall. Yes, I said wall. NOT ceiling. Check out the installation instructions. Page 4
https://www.broan-nutone.com/getmedi...0.pdf?ext=.pdf
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Unread 01-29-2021, 04:48 PM   #5
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Some of the Panasonic fans have a built-in moisture sensor, and will turn the fan on if someone forgets, then run it for a time after the sensor dries to ensure the rest of the room gets dried out. They also have a wall switch version that can be installed with any fan, but the moisture needs to get down to that level before it turns on. Since the hot, moist air rises, it's better to have it in the fan assembly, but the switch works, too. https://na.panasonic.com/us/home-and...us-onoff-white

My preference is to use this type of switch versus a timer, as it will always turn on, whereas, the timer might not, and if it is, the timer might not run long enough or longer than needed, wasting conditioned air in the process.
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Unread 01-29-2021, 05:45 PM   #6
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All good points by Jim, but I'll offer that there are times when an automatically activated fan exhaust fan is not desired.

I can imagine that some people want the heat to remain in the room while, for instance, taking a long soaking bath, and that humidity controlled fan is going to, to usurp the human-in-charge and do its best to remove that heat.

So having the option to prevent the fan from running until after that tubby has been concluded might be of higher importance to the decision makers of the home than is ensuring the fan cannot be over ridden by the non decision makers.

Appears to be a marketing opportunity.
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Unread 01-29-2021, 06:41 PM   #7
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a lot of info, thanks everybody.

The bathroom is very small and in the attic. There's no shower so the fan is more for stank than humidity. 130 CFM would be overkill. I have one of the lutron timer switches and like it so I was going to get another one for this bathroom.

It's on the 2nd floor of a cape so most of the ceiling is directly under the roof and there is foam between the rafters so I can't put a fan and ducting there. There's a small horizontal section of the ceiling but above it is still interior space encased in foam. The short knee wall behind the toilet has attic storage space behind it where a roof vent is already installed so that's where I was going to put in a panasonic ceiling/wall fan. But the studs got rearranged so there isn't a good spot for it. So it's going to be a grill low in the wall next to the toilet, duct to a remote in-line fan, then duct to roof vent. Maybe an extra valve in there somewhere too to keep drafts out.
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Unread 01-29-2021, 07:31 PM   #8
jadnashua
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You definitely want a damper in the roof cap. In mine, there's one built into the inline fan, and another on the roof. I do not notice any breeze or loss of heat from the room.
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Unread 01-29-2021, 10:25 PM   #9
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Alternative...

I just completed a 3rd floor kneewall bathroom.

I also have spray foam between the rafters.

I used oval ductwork and sculpted out the foam to install the duct, then re-foamed any gaps after install.

I use a Panasonic to vent both this bath and the 2nd fl full bath (both with showers)...these units move a lot of air, efficiently...definitely too much for your situation.

...but if you can sculpt out a location in the ceiling area you could use one of the normal Panasonic units.

-Mark in St. Louis
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Unread 01-30-2021, 09:36 AM   #10
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I fail to see the logic in " 130 cfm would be overkill". It's just a number. Seems like that's saying it's preferred to have the stink waft around for a while. If it's a size of fan box thing, that's a different story.

Some food for thought:

Fans are rated at their outlet, ductwork will compromise that number.

CFM, and noise to some extent, can easily be controlled by fan speed. Sometimes that's built in. I installed a Panasonic fan some years ago that had a dual CFM rating. Curious how they managed that, I tried both settings. The "more" setting just upped the fan speed. As I recall, the numbers were similar to what we're discussing here 80-120 CFM.

Bigger, slower fans and larger ductwork will generally minimize air movement noise.

Lastly, outflow will be limited by inflow. No bath fan will create much, if any, vacuum inside a room. 80 CFM exhaust fan will need 80 CFM coming from under door, through HVAC register or somewhere in order for it to move 80 CFM. Picture an airtight room with an exhaust fan. No matter the CFM rating, it won't exhaust much. This effect exacerbated in more airtight houses and now you have need for make up air induced into system.

Thus CFM rating is more about marketing than performance. For stink removal, big and quick would be my preference over small and slow.
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Unread 01-31-2021, 07:13 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carbidetooth
I fail to see the logic in " 130 cfm would be overkill". It's just a number. Seems like that's saying it's preferred to have the stink waft around for a while. If it's a size of fan box thing, that's a different story.
A big 130 cfm fan would work great for stank removal. Why I'm reluctant to use one:
  • The bigger full bath downstairs uses a smaller 80 cfm fan which works great. I feel stupid using a much bigger fan for a tiny half-bath.
  • I'd rather not spend much beyond $100 on a fan. I already spent that much on a nice panasonic ceiling/wall fan that I can't really use.
  • The fan is in a 4'x4' knee wall behind the toilet. It would be good if it was quiet since it's right behind whoever is on the toilet.
I'll use a big fan if I have to.
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Unread 02-01-2021, 09:52 AM   #12
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not all fans make the same noise. one company's 130cfm can sound quieter than another's 80cfm. It is all in the sones. The path to the roof cap will also determine sound.

I recommend Broan, seriously. Better value if money is an object. I also work for them.
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