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How to find where bathroom fan vents out to?

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  • Jul 10th, 2019 5:34 pm
[OP]
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How to find where bathroom fan vents out to?

Bit of a silly question but I live in a mid unit row townhouse that was built in 2006.

Recently we were all re-doing our roof shingles and I was paying close attention to what the roofers were doing.

I noticed that on my roof, there are a number of turtle vents, and one cylindrical pipe sticking out.

From what I understand the cylindrical pipe is a sewer exhaust vent, so thats fine.

The turtle vents are vents for my attic to exhaust out air, thats fine too.

But then I realized, I wasnt sure where my bathroom fan vents out to?

I looked over my roof (from the ground) and based on what the roofers had I just saw them have turtle vents and the cylindrical pipe vent cover.

I didnt see any other style of vents. I looked on the side of my town house and I dont see any vents coming out from the second floor either. I have a few vents lower in the house, which I know is for my dryer etc.

I am a bit concerned that my bathroom vents may be venting some how to my attic? Or possibly even to no where?

When it rains though, I do distinctly hear rain drops echoing out from my bathroom fans, so it SOUNDS like they are vented out some where external.

Its weird though, as I dont believe they are vented through the roof, I dont see anything on the side of the building so am a bit confused as to where the bathroom fans vent out to?

I took a look around my attic before as well, and I do see some black pipes running through out where the second floor bathroom fans are generally located.

I didnt see any weird condensation, mold, or pipes that didnt end in my attic. I also had someone install insulation and had a home inspector come in as well, and they never noted anything odd to me within my attic.

Just curious if anyone had any idea?

Could they be vented out through a soffit or something?
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Oct 6, 2010
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Could be vented through the soffit or could be joined to an existing outlet. I agree with the coloured smoke if you really want to know.
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My main floor powder room exhaust fan didn't go anywhere. When I moved in, the fan was super loud - so I thought I replace it with a more quiet fan. To my surprise, it didn't go anywhere.. WTF

This was a detached 2 storey home built in 1998.
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tonershop wrote:
Jul 10th, 2019 2:29 pm
My main floor powder room exhaust fan didn't go anywhere. When I moved in, the fan was super loud - so I thought I replace it with a more quiet fan. To my surprise, it didn't go anywhere.. WTF

This was a detached 2 storey home built in 1998.
Thats what Im mildly concerned about, that the fan is there but does it actually go and exhaust out properly?

I guess next stupid question is where can I get some colored smoke in the GTA? Or even a fog machine?
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chillychin wrote:
Jul 10th, 2019 2:33 pm
Thats what Im mildly concerned about, that the fan is there but does it actually go and exhaust out properly?
In my case, it was simply not connected to anything - it kinda sorta just blowing air/odor between my floors.. I had to make my own 4" hole on the side of the house and ran the exhaust vent.
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chillychin wrote:
Jul 10th, 2019 2:33 pm
Thats what Im mildly concerned about, that the fan is there but does it actually go and exhaust out properly?

I guess next stupid question is where can I get some colored smoke in the GTA? Or even a fog machine?
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OP, do you have turtle vents closer to the bottom of the roof by the gutters or slightly mid-way up the roof? Those are normally the vents for the bathrooms. Those turtle vents would also tend to be just above the location of the bathroom.

The attic vents would be near the peak of the roof. Hot air rises so it would be silly for them to install the attic vents mid-way.

When it's windy outside you should hear the flap inside the exhaust fan as air gets into the vent. If your exhaust was in the attic it would never flap, or at least that's my understanding.
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tonershop wrote:
Jul 10th, 2019 2:29 pm
My main floor powder room exhaust fan didn't go anywhere. When I moved in, the fan was super loud - so I thought I replace it with a more quiet fan. To my surprise, it didn't go anywhere.. WTF

This was a detached 2 storey home built in 1998.
Somebody made an oopsy. Bricklayer/Mason probably bricked right over the exhaust hole and didn't mark the spot.
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chimaican wrote:
Jul 10th, 2019 2:50 pm
OP, do you have turtle vents closer to the bottom of the roof by the gutters or slightly mid-way up the roof? Those are normally the vents for the bathrooms. Those turtle vents would also tend to be just above the location of the bathroom.

The attic vents would be near the peak of the roof. Hot air rises so it would be silly for them to install the attic vents mid-way.

When it's windy outside you should hear the flap inside the exhaust fan as air gets into the vent. If your exhaust was in the attic it would never flap, or at least that's my understanding.
When I was in my attic, I did see vents at the top/peak of the roof with light coming in - So safe to assume those are exhaust vents.

I actually do have one turtle vent that is mid way, or on the lower part of my roof thats directly above one washroom (I have 2 washrooms + 1 main floor powder room)

That helps to explain one of the washrooms having a vent, so thats a good point, and is reassuring!

Though I cant seem to figure out the vent for my other washrooms, especially my main floor one.

Thats a good point about the wind flapping

I know when it rains I can hear the sound of it from my bathroom fans, also when its super windy outside I can hear some sort of flapping also coming from my bathroom vents.

Thats why I THINK they should be vented, but Im just a bit concerned maybe they are some how venting out via the soffit or something?
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chillychin wrote:
Jul 10th, 2019 3:39 pm
When I was in my attic, I did see vents at the top/peak of the roof with light coming in - So safe to assume those are exhaust vents.

I actually do have one turtle vent that is mid way, or on the lower part of my roof thats directly above one washroom (I have 2 washrooms + 1 main floor powder room)

That helps to explain one of the washrooms having a vent, so thats a good point, and is reassuring!

Though I cant seem to figure out the vent for my other washrooms, especially my main floor one.

Thats a good point about the wind flapping

I know when it rains I can hear the sound of it from my bathroom fans, also when its super windy outside I can hear some sort of flapping also coming from my bathroom vents.

Thats why I THINK they should be vented, but Im just a bit concerned maybe they are some how venting out via the soffit or something?
The powder room more than likely vents to the outside wall as they aren't going to run a vent through the center of the home to roof. You also said you live in a mid-unit TOWNHOUSE, so again, the line more than likely runs to the back of the house. Look for exhaust vents with flaps on the backyard outer wall. One will belong to the range/stove, the one beside it or nearby will likely belong to the powder room. If you can't find the turtle vent for the 2nd bathroom, then it probably also vents out the side instead of the roof. Again, you should see one around the height of the 2nd floor roof on the side of the house. Depending where your laundry room is located (basement, main, 2nd), you'll see another one likely at the appropriate height and located near where the actual dryer is (either front or back of house). That one should be easy to locate if it's in the basement and the basement is unfinished.
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OTTAWA
climb into the attic and find the line from the exhaust fan to see where it goes?

don't forget to bring a rake to fluff the insulation back up before you leave if you roll around in it.

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