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  1. #1
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    Default Bathroom Exhaust Fan

    Does anyone know what the IBC requirements regarding bathroom exhaust fans were in 1982. Inspected an apartment today and the bathroom had a ceiling exhaust fan but it didn't vent anywhere. The place was built in 82 and utah was on the IBC. Any thoughts.

    Thanks
    Mat

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Bathroom Exhaust Fan

    Then its not an exhaust fan is it?


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Bathroom Exhaust Fan

    Rick,
    Do you know if it was required?


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Bathroom Exhaust Fan

    The IMC (all ICC codes) only started in 2000.

    The ICC was formed when the Southern Building Code Congress (SBCCI) joined with several other model codes in an effort to combine the various codes into the one ICC code set.

    The SMC (Standard Mechanical Code), which was the SBCCI mechanical code, covers this in the following (note, though, I do not have back to 1982, just back to 1991):
    - M503.3 LAVATORIES, TOILETS, BATHROOMS AND RESTROOMS
    - - M503.3.1 Air exhausted from bath, toilet, urinal, lavatory, locker, coat room or similar rooms shall not be recirculated unless treated by a listed or approved air treatment system.
    - - - EXCEPTION: Air within a room that contains a bathtub and/or shower shall not be recirculated and shall be mechanically exhausted to the outdoors.
    - - M503.3.2 Where natural ventilation or an approved air treatment system is not provided, 2 cu ft of air per minute per sq ft (10 L/s/m) of floor area shall be exhausted from lavatories, toilets, bathrooms and restrooms.
    - - - EXCEPTIONS:
    - - - - 1. For lavatories, toilets, bathrooms, and restrooms in one and two family dwellings, exhaust air may be reduced to a minimum of 1 cu ft per minute per sq ft (5 L/s/m) of floor area.
    - - - - 2. For private toilet rooms with not more than one water closet and one lavatory, exhaust air may be reduced to a minimum of 1 cu ft per minute per sq ft (5 L/s/m2) of floor area.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Bathroom Exhaust Fan

    I do have a 1968 New York City Building Code, and it did require either natural ventilation (operable window) or mechanical ventilation (exhaust air). It gives minimum sizes for the window and minimum exhaust rate for mechanical ventilation.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Bathroom Exhaust Fan

    My old copy of the 1989 CABO One & Two Family Dwelling Code (birth-mother to our current IRC) states under # 203.2: Bathrooms, water closet compartments and other similar rooms shall be provided with aggregate glazing area in windows of not less than 3 square feet, one-half of which must be operable.
    Exception: The glazed areas shall not be required where artificial light and an approved mechanical ventilation system capable of producing a change of air every 12 minutes are provided. Bathroom fans shall be vented directly to the outside.

    Jerry McCarthy
    Building Code/ Construction Consultant

  7. #7

    Default Re: Bathroom Exhaust Fan

    Most of the installation instructions call for ducted units to be vented, look at #6 on the install guide below, that is what I go by when they tell me it wasn't a code yet here. The install guides have been that way for a while, but I do not know about 1982. You may be able to get that info from the mfg.
    Broan Exhaust Fan

    Clarksville Home Inspection
    JW Goad
    TN License #307 | KY License #2402

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Bathroom Exhaust Fan

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry McCarthy View Post
    My old copy of the 1989 CABO One & Two Family Dwelling Code ... windows of not less than 3 square feet, one-half of which must be operable.

    WC Jerry,

    My 1968 New York City Building Code states 1-1/2 sf must be operable ... that's pretty much "3 square feet, one-half of which" ...

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Bathroom Exhaust Fan

    Here are the pics. The fan is installed but it does not vent anywhere, it is there for sound effect apparently Plus check out what the lack of ventilation is doing to the paint.

    Mat

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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Bathroom Exhaust Fan

    Why would you need to know what the code was 26 years ago? Venting to the outside is obviously a good idea. What was or was not required then doesn't seem relevant. This wouldn't have been a good idea then or now regardless of what the code was.

    Jim Robinson
    New Mexico, USA

  11. #11
    Mike Kramer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bathroom Exhaust Fan

    I can see a gap between the fan blades and the metal behind them. Do you have a picture of the other side of the drywall or did you check that this gap ended in "nothing" as well? Did they just screw that piece of metal onto the fan? This does not make much sense .....


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Bathroom Exhaust Fan

    For a while, some areas allowed the use of a recirculating fan with a charcoal filter.

    I never could figure out why, nor the purpose of the charcoal filter, nor who would be there to make sure that the charcoal filter would be replaced when required (or, for that matter, even still be made a number of years later).

    As I discussed this with the various mechanical inspectors in the area who allowed it, they realized what I had, what did it actually do versus what it was intended to do (remove moisture). Eventually, I think that allowing those was discontinued and the code for "exhaust" was enforced.

    I suspect the problem started with the trades people referring to bathroom exhaust fans as "fart fans" for so many years that people began to think that was the reason for them, and, yes, the charcoal filter would absorb must of the 'odor' (hence "fart fans"), but what about when the charcoal filter was toast, or no longer available?

    Regardless, "fart fans" eventually were replaced with "exhaust fans", which is what they started out being in the first place.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Bathroom Exhaust Fan

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Kramer View Post
    I can see a gap between the fan blades and the metal behind them.

    Mike,

    In the second photo, there originally was a charcoal filter covering the left side of the metal divider, the fan would then draw air in from the left side, through the charcoal filter, then recirculate it back out through the right side.

    Not unlike recirculating kitchen fans which draw the air in from over the stove and recirculate it back into your face when you are standing there cooking. Another brilliant idea.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  14. #14
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    Default Re: Bathroom Exhaust Fan

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    ...the problem started with the trades people referring to bathroom exhaust fans as "fart fans"
    and here I thought that term came from the comfort of thinking the noise of the fan was louder than you while in the bathroom....


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Bathroom Exhaust Fan

    Jerry,
    I don't know how you know all of this but it is impressive. Thanks for your help, it relly appeased the client when this was explained to her. However, I didn't give you credit


  16. #16
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bathroom Exhaust Fan

    Quote Originally Posted by mathew stouffer View Post
    Jerry,
    I don't know how you know all of this but it is impressive. Thanks for your help, it relly appeased the client when this was explained to her. However, I didn't give you credit
    One thing I would like to mention. In Texas we may inspect items for code but we are not technically code inspectors.
    Yeah Yeah, I know it might sound silly but it works extremely well. Once you start quoting code to folks you better inspect everything in the home for codes that the municipality you are inspecting in goes by. One item I do like is we have to use a particular form and standards of practice thru the Texas Real Estate Commission that we must inspect. With no standards or legal guidelines to go by such as in many unlicensed states such as Florida use to be leaves you wide open for attack on countless items in an Inspection. Personally I ask, What is a home inspection in unlicensed states, Woo Hoo. Or is it they cannot come back on you for anything because there are no set standards and you make it up as you go. Honestly, I forget what it was like 4 years ago in Florida or 24 years ago in Mass when I was inspecting in those states. Well Mass has required licensing for some time now but Florida still does not require licensed Inspectors. All pretty scary to me.

    Just as note


  17. #17
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    Default Re: Bathroom Exhaust Fan

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    Once you start quoting code to folks you better inspect everything in the home for codes that the municipality you are inspecting in goes by.

    Ted,

    "you better inspect everything in the home for codes"

    How come?

    Sounds like the old argument put forth that 'if you inspect one thing for code, you need to inspect it all for code' - but that was never applicable, just like ...

    Does that mean that if you report one safety item you have to inspect for all safety items (that would be worse than trying to do an after-the-fact "code inspection"?

    Does that mean that if you report one electrical item you have to inspect all electrical items?

    Does that mean that if you report one expected life you have to report expected lives for all items?

    The list would be endless.

    That concept is also full of holes once you think about it in terms of 'if you do this once, you have to this for everything'.

    No, you can inspect *ONE THING* for "code" and not have to inspect anything else for "code".

    I can see it now, in the general comments is listed 'weather conditions' and 'no rain' or 'sunny', and now the report must be a meteorological report on the weather at that time?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  18. #18
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    Default Re: Bathroom Exhaust Fan

    An old myth from HI school!

    But they don't say you have to provide a complex meteorological report.

    Didn't get it then.

    Don't get it now.

    Erby Crofutt, Georgetown, KY - Read my Blog here: Erby the Central Kentucky Home Inspector B4 U Close Home Inspections www.b4uclose.com www.kentuckyradon.com
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  19. #19
    Travis Grubbs's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bathroom Exhaust Fan

    I agree with Jerry P. and I would like to add one more example to this list.

    Home Inspectors are willing to call out items if the they are not installed to the manufacturer's specifications. Does this mean that they are obligated to inspect ALL components to the mafucturer's specifications?

    For years I have read and listened to arguments from inspectors who refrain from referring to code requirements, but are willing to quote the manufacturer's requirements. As a full time Municipal Building Inspector and a part-time home inspector, I cannot see the difference in quoting one instead of the other.

    Travis Grubbs


  20. #20
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    Default Re: Bathroom Exhaust Fan

    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Grubbs View Post
    For years I have read and listened to arguments from inspectors who refrain from referring to code requirements, but are willing to quote the manufacturer's requirements.
    just separating it for applicability.
    As a full time Municipal Building Inspector and a part-time home inspector, I cannot see the difference in quoting one instead of the other.
    Travis,

    As you know, and most HIs know, manufacturer's installation instructions *are* "code" ... by reference.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  21. #21
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    Default Re: Bathroom Exhaust Fan

    Lets not beat around the bush as every home inspector conducts a "code inspection" and those that think they're not are deluding themselves. We just say we are not doing a code inspection. If you do any legal EW work you will find that this is an undeniable fact of life and you had better know the code applicable to R-3 construction in ones state.

    Jerry McCarthy
    Building Code/ Construction Consultant

  22. #22
    Terry Fitzgerald's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bathroom Exhaust Fan

    Thanks Jerry...you are absolutely right. I go around the country teaching construction, and I have to say that when people ask me about a specific code for their area, I absolutely hate the evasive answer I have to give: "This is what the National code says, but you have to check with your local building inspection to be sure." Would to be that there really WAS a national code with just a very few exceptions for local concerns!!!


  23. #23
    Michael Greenwalt's Avatar
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    Talking Re: Bathroom Exhaust Fan

    Travis,
    I would say the difference is this:

    I quote code in my report, a complaint is filed, my insurance settles no questions asked.

    I quote "as per manufacture instruction" in my report, a complaint is filed, insurance company still pays up to my deductible, but only because that's what they do to keep rates down, not because I quoted "Code"

    either way, I pay my deductible but I rest in comfort that I did not quote code!


  24. #24
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    Default Re: Bathroom Exhaust Fan

    I quoted code, manufacturer's installation instructions, whatever documentation I could find or use to *DOCUMENT* *THE CONDITION* (good or not good) which exits at the time.

    Our purpose is to find and document what is found, what can be wrong with documenting it as regards to the way it is supposed to be?

    Apparently does not work for all, but it worked very well for me.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

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