Overhead Light-Fan-Heat in bath

Discussion in 'Remodel Forum & Blog' started by Mike50, Oct 6, 2006.

  1. Mike50

    Mike50 DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    699
    Location:
    Southern California
    I need to replace my old ceiling unit that has died.
    Need: Fan-Light-Heat functions.

    Brands to consider/avoid?

    Are the current infrared heating units comparable in heat output to heating elements?

    Also I'd like to change out the older 3-way wall switch and go with something more modern if possible.


    just realized this should be in "electrical"....
  2. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    We're not fussy about where you post!

    Nutone/Broan is the big gorilla brand. Panasonics are good, but not as widely available in store. Google is your friend.

    In any brand, the big differences in price boil down to CFM, and especially noise level. With me, and a lot of people, the noise is a big issue, so I opt for maximum 1.0 sones, and 0.8 or 0.6 are even much better. You will pay a lot for the lower sones levels.

    For CFM, I usually calculate a minimum 8 air changes per hour. Codes probably accept 6 or less.
    eg. 10 X 12 room, 8 foot ceiling = 960 cubic feet. 8 change per hour = 8 X 960 = 7680 CF per hour; div. by 60 = 128 CFM.
    ( short cut: 1 cfm per sq. foot)
  3. Mike50

    Mike50 DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    699
    Location:
    Southern California
    CFM is much more important to me because any new unit will be vast improvement of this old junky unit re: Sones
    Thanks for that Jimbo.
    And even more important is how fast it warms up the bathroom to an acceptable temperature.
    This is a small bathroom with cross ventilation so odor isn't a big issue.
  4. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Ceiling heaters are intended to "take the chill off" but not to be the principle source of heat in a cold climate. If heat is a major item, I would opt for a wall heater, or even in-floor electric radiant heat if you are doing a major remodel.
  5. rdtompki

    rdtompki New Member

    Messages:
    115
    Location:
    Iowa
    I've just remodeled a large (225 sq. ft.) bathroom and installed a remove Panasonic vent fan; found a good deal on the web but I can't recall the website. I was concerned about noise because of the 250 cfm, but even withoutthe sheetrock or ceiling insulation I could barely tell the vent was on. I've seen other posts praising the Pansonics for their quiet operation.
  6. Mike50

    Mike50 DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    699
    Location:
    Southern California
    Jimbo I need the heat feature for showering purposes only.
    My home is heated with a wood pellet stove which works great.
    Which I only need here in the high desert Nov-thru March
    This is my best option----and the current unit is trashed anyway.

    I need to buy from local big box in case I need to exchange it.
  7. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,334
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    I put a Broan in my basement bathroom. As noted, they are OK for taking the chill off, but not for really heating. The Nutone/Broan are found in most any hardware, electrical, or plumbing supply including the Big Box stores.
  8. Mike50

    Mike50 DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    699
    Location:
    Southern California
    Today I saw a Nutone at big box with average sones, 100W light and 1500 watt heater. Price is right at 75 dollars. But it's rated for 40-80 sq ft (small in comparison to others) and is 14 5/8 inches long,which is pretty big which would require cutting the ceiling
    substantially.

    You get what you pay for so I'll compare with the other big box later this week and decide.

    I wish some panasonics were available locally reasonably priced. They look pretty nice.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2006
  9. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,928
    Location:
    New England
    The things almost never arrive DOA...what's the aversion to buying over the web if you can save substantially?

    I buy locally when the prices are close, and once in awhile, actually less (especially if it is big - shipping can be expensive).
  10. Mike50

    Mike50 DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    699
    Location:
    Southern California
    I love buying on the web. Im only concerned that it wont fit and I'd need need to exchange it...
    maybe you're right.
  11. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,928
    Location:
    New England
    If you must, using the dimmensions from the spec sheet, make a box and check it out first.
  12. Mike50

    Mike50 DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    699
    Location:
    Southern California
    I picked up a Broan at big box for 75 dollars. About 70 CFM and 4 sones.
    It has fan driven heat I need so I think this will be fine--we will see.
    Not an item I want to spend a lot on. I still need to get a good 3 way switch.

    Unfortunately I had a catalog of all the 3 way switches available and threw it out a couple weeks ago. Ideally I'd like a timer on the heater and motion on/off light but that may not be realistic.
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2006
  13. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,928
    Location:
    New England
    If you are skimping on the fixture, you'll faint from the fancy motion and timer switches...
  14. Mike50

    Mike50 DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    699
    Location:
    Southern California
    I've installed premium items in about 4 projects in 2006. But..you are right Im willing to skimp on the actual fan. I'm determined to get this done
    inexpensive but safe.

    I like the exterior design of this unit. I dont buy anything-I dont care what a technical marvel it is--if I don't like the design.
    As it turns out -many of the premium fans look like crap imo.

    I'm willing to pay more for the switch than the fan...and knew that going in.
  15. chris8796

    chris8796 New Member

    Messages:
    100
    Location:
    Illinois
    I got a broan l/f/h for my basement bath. I picked up a 20 amp timer on sale for $10-15 and put the fan and light on regular single pole switches. The good thing is the broan has separate neutrals for each item, so you have alot of flexibility in wiring it up.
  16. Mike50

    Mike50 DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    699
    Location:
    Southern California
    Thanks--good idea.

    I'm hiring an electrician to do the install.
    It appears this unit will pop right in without any alteration to ceiling.
    I have no clue whatsoever as to what you guys would think a fair cost would be..???

    Can I get a flat fee??
  17. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,714
    Location:
    Central Florida
    $100 just to show up.
  18. chris8796

    chris8796 New Member

    Messages:
    100
    Location:
    Illinois
    I assume you have a Broan 655, I'm not sure how you can install it without making a hole bigger than the box in the ceiling. They are designed for new construction applications.

    Yeah, I would also geuss a minimum of $100, for a respectable electrician.
  19. Mike50

    Mike50 DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    699
    Location:
    Southern California
    I do have the Broan 655----I guess I need to rethink this if you are correct...

    Spoke to Broan tech-support. They do NOT make ANY units for remodel-post construction.
    zero zip nada.
    It's a matter of getting someone able to address possible new framing and/ or enlarge duct
    from 3 to 4 inch if necessary.

    I will find someone to give me a free estimate.

    Broan also said that a good handy guy can get er done. Licensed not necessary. REALLY surprised to hear that one. She said there are no codes for these???
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2006
  20. chris8796

    chris8796 New Member

    Messages:
    100
    Location:
    Illinois
    As long as you have 16" on center joists you shouldnt need any new framing. You'll just need to cut some drywall and repair it. A big hole in the drywall isn't much harder to fix than a small hole and sometimes easier to repair. This will also allow you easy access to change the duct work/cables/etc if needed. The only code requirement I'm aware of with this unit is it most be on a dedicated 15 or 20 amp circuit.
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