Bathroom Exhaust Fan Duct Terminations

By
Home Inspector with Aldrich's Home Inspections, Inc.

On several recent inspections, I have noted bathroom exhaust fan ducts that are improperly terminated either inside the attic space or into an enclosed soffit. This is a concern because vents terminated near a roof ventilator, gable, vent, or eave vent or bird blocking might lead to reduced attic ventilation, impaired fan ducting, high humidity levels, decay and/or mildew-like staining. Below are a couple examples of my recent findings. 

This bathroom exhaust fan duct was terminated inside an enclosed soffit. This house had never been lived in so there was no visible damage... yet. 

Example of a bathroom exhaust fan duct terminated inside an enclosed soffit.

Below are three other examples of missing or incorrectly terminated bathroom exhaust fan ducts.

Examples of missing or incorrectly terminated bathroom exhaust fan ducts.

Below are some examples of the damage an improperly terminated bathroom exhaust fan duct can cause.

Examples of the damage an improperly terminated bathroom exhaust fan duct can cause.

Current standards call for all exhaust fan ducts to be completely vented to the exterior in a dedicated and proper roof vent and for good reason.

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Rainmaker
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Gary Coles
Venture Realty International - Las Vegas, NV
Latin America Real Estate

Jason,  This is interesting.  I recently saw a two-story home with the vent from the first floor bath (a 1/2 bath) terminated by going out through the wall to the outside.  It has a wall cap.  Is that considered ok? 

Thanks, Gary

September 15, 2009 12:18 AM #1
Rainer
36,261
Jason Aldrich
Aldrich's Home Inspections, Inc. - Sequim, WA
Sequim, WA Home Inspector

Yes, Gary. I would consider the termination you describe as proper.

September 15, 2009 09:24 AM #2
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Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Jason, nice pictures-----good examples of the many ways venting gets done wrong.

September 16, 2009 07:18 PM #3
Rainmaker
1,180,227
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

Jason,

I like those lower three best. In this field we see that sort of thing so often. People would not terminate them that way if they only knew.

September 17, 2009 10:54 PM #4
Rainmaker
205,571
Erby Crofutt
B4 U Close Home Inspections&Radon Testing (www.b4uclose.com) - Lexington, KY
The Central Kentucky Home Inspector, Lexington KY

But, But, But, the pipe is stuck down into the soffit.  That's OK, isn't it.

No, Not really!

 

Go figure!

 

-

September 23, 2009 08:31 AM #5
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Rainer
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Jason Aldrich

Sequim, WA Home Inspector
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