Bathroom Exhaust

Discussion in 'HVAC Heating & Cooling' started by sapling, May 7, 2008.

  1. sapling

    sapling New Member

    May 5, 2008
    So yesterday my girlfriend noticed a yellow spot on the new white toilet seat cover. She of course accused me of dripping urine on it as I am the only man who has use it since we bought it. This wasnt the case and I got no apology but thats not the issue here...
    The issue is that above the toilet is the bathroom exhaust. I noticed that it looked a little damp up there and pulled it off to be sprinkled with water which keeps accumulating. So I started to take the unit out however I had to stop for dinner.
    I am several possible scenarios as I am almost 100% positive that it can't be a leak from internal piping as there hasnt been a leak yet in over 30 years for that stuff and I would have noticed it after drywalling.

    1.) Thing I have come up with is that its moisture from the shower and the bathroom exhaust is not managing to get the air outside. Meaning this exhaust is useless... Thus causing the exhaust fan to put the moisture building up on the cement ceiling behind the drywall and slowly leaking down as it builds up.
    I cant confirm this posibility yet but plan to do a little more investigation.

    2.) It could be oil from the new exhaust fan or something in that fashion mixed with water as it is coming in yellow...
    I smelled it knowing it isnt urine and it smells like water but I cant figure out whats giving it the yellow tint.
    I plan to go get a UV light later today and popping that bad boy out to get a better look at where the water is coming from.

    Any suggestions on how to make sure this doesnt continue once I figure out the problem?
    If its the exhaust to the outside.. I have an air compressor and a very long hose to push down it and try and knock out anything clogging it... I do fear its a bee hive... I would hate for them to find me inside and attack the source of the air...
    If its moisture getting behind the fan and dripping down what do I do? Is it the fan installed poorly is it the way the fan works? Its got a side slow where the exhaust is connected to so I can assume this could keep it from getting to the proper location...

    Any thoughts on this before I tackle it today when I get home would be great.
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Sep 2, 2004
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    New England
    It could be condensation if the duct is not run well or the flow is not adequate that is then dripping back out of the fan. The color could be from rust. Depending on the concentration, it could appear yellow.
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  4. sapling

    sapling New Member

    May 5, 2008
    Found the problem is this the best way to fix it?

    So I removed the bathroom exhaust which was a painful process as I didnt install it and was having trouble finding the screws. Anyway I got it out and found only a small amount of moisture on my drywall. As I used Greenboard I was happy to know I used a blowdryer to dry it out but came back an hour later to find some more moisture drops on the surface. So I quickly started the hunt and looked up. I live in a condo and I am on the bottom floor so all other units come to my unit. JOY!
    Anyway it wasnt a leak from another unit. Some Jerk off used the cotton insulation around the pipes from the next unit. There was the spray insulation but he also used some cotton around the pipes as well which was collecting just enough of the moisture from my steamy showers to cause a small drip as it started to cool down over the course of a few showers.
    This led me to believe two things are true here.
    1.) Moisture is not being redirected through my exhaust well enough to keep it between the air gap.
    2.) Replacing the cotton with spray on insulation for plumbing is going.

    to make a difference.

    So as I had my trusty Air compressor right next to the bathroom and a recently purchased pressure air blower attachment I began to think how I was going to force anything in there out...
    Knowing my two bathrooms were connected I decided to turn on the master bath exhaust fan...
    So I then let my compressor fill up and turned the pressure to the maximum rate of 95 for this attachment. I then used a rubber band to cause the air to continue to flow. Then I proceeded to push this air hose down the pipes...
    This was risky I know because obviously if one of the pipes gets detached which I will find out soon when I remodel the master bath. Then moisture is now inside my walls and going to cause a world of pain.
    So I forced this through a good 15 or 20 feet as That should almost reach the outside.
    Man was dust flowing back at me at first so I then grabbed a plastic bag and tried to close it off to cause the air to flow better towards the outside.
    I let this run intil my large 15 gallon compressor was almost empty...

    Hopefully this cleared out enough to allow this to be the main flow of air for moisture.
    However here is what I was planning to do to help prevent this from going on...
    I was going to use the spray insulation to seal around those pipes incase any moisture falls where the cotton was. Then I was going to take a plastic bag and wrap it somewhat around the exhaust fan that is going to be inside the wall. AS well as using duct tape to keep it on there well. This should in my opinion help the moisture have only two options. Stay in the bathroom or try and flow down the exhaust vent.

    What do you guys think sound good or should I take another route?
    I suppose when I remodel the master bathroom I could replace a lot of the pipes with new ones but that scares me to think I could have a bee hive in there and I would not like to meet bees face to face inside my home.
  5. sapling

    sapling New Member

    May 5, 2008
    Major problem!

    Okay so I got some spray insulation and got it all over me like an idiot whatever...
    So now I find out after Getting a closer look in there that the water is not from the shower but one of the pipes inside is leaking. However its very hard to determine which pipe it is and where its leaking. Technically this is my condo associations job to repair this stuff however they will rip out drywall and destroy property and they dont replace any of it. They dont cleanup after themselves and they dont replace the drywall they rip out. Etc... So I would prefure to fix it myself.

    Anyone got any good techniques for finding leaks? Using a UV light I have heard can help but then you need dyes and what not right? And I dont have access to my water valves to inject that stuff in it plus these are pipes from my neighbors condo...
    Anyway Any thoughts here and tips for detecting a leak and finding it would be appreciated.
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