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  • FIRST POST
    Lennylegs
    Bathroom condensation/mould
    • #1
    • 30th Nov 06, 10:30 AM
    Bathroom condensation/mould 30th Nov 06 at 10:30 AM
    Hi,

    I'm hoping someone can help. We have a flat with a bathroom that is internal (no windows) It's about 1.75 metres wide by about 2.5 metres long. At present we only have a pull cord fan heater but are planning on gutting the bathroom and having a heated towel rail too but we will also have more tiles on the wall. At the moment we have a ceiling mounted air vent that comes on when the light does but asides clearing the air a bit it doesnt seem to do a lot. There are two of us taking showers every morning and the steam either stays in the bathroom and moulds (mould is between all the tiles, shower curtain gets replaced every three months, bath is now starting to collect mould) or if we leave the door open it gathers on our bedroom wall.
    I figure with the towel heater that will help. Getting a concealed cistern toilet will also help stop that gathering condensation. On the negative side tiles must be cooler so the walls i guess will be worse ? Does anyone know of some sort of ventilation that will be better than the bog standard flimpsey thing sat on my ceiling now ? My dad has suggested that it could help if we put a grill type thing at the bottom of our bathroom door as the fan needs fresh air to pull it through ?

    If anyone has had exp of this or knows far better than me what theyre talking about id be ever so grateful - we dont want to pay for all the bathroom to be done to find it ruined in a couple of years time !

    Thanks

    Leonie x
Page 1
  • BobProperty
    • #2
    • 30th Nov 06, 1:04 PM
    • #2
    • 30th Nov 06, 1:04 PM
    How old is the fan? I suspect it could be dirty, partially blocked or obscured and /or isn't big enough for the job anyway. I think the regulations may have changed in the last few years as to the minimum specification of a fan suitable for a bathroom, so what was considered OK when installed years back might not be up to current standards. I'll post again when I've looked it up.
    I think the answer may be a better fan.
    A house isn't a home without a cat.
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  • webrits
    • #3
    • 30th Nov 06, 1:19 PM
    • #3
    • 30th Nov 06, 1:19 PM
    Looks like the minimum capacity of an extractor should be 54 cubic metres / hour (15 l/sec)
    Here a link to a manufacturers giving some info http://www.vent-axia.com/awwebstore/bathroom-exhaust-fans-installation.html
    Not sure if this is to comply with 'new builds' only though.

    Good luck
    Last edited by webrits; 30-11-2006 at 1:22 PM.
  • alanobrien
    • #4
    • 30th Nov 06, 1:38 PM
    • #4
    • 30th Nov 06, 1:38 PM
    You can get an extractor fan that is triggered by humidity level but that may stay on all the time if the ventilation problem is bad.

    A better option may be to replace the fan with a timed one and just increase the time it runs for after the light goes off. Time running after light switch off can typically be varied from a few minutes to an hour.

    The first thing to do though is to check the ducting and vent exhaust is clear. Some exhaust (exit) panels are spring loaded and sometimes get stuck shut - ours did in our shower room, took me a while to figure that one out
  • BobProperty
    • #5
    • 30th Nov 06, 1:42 PM
    • #5
    • 30th Nov 06, 1:42 PM
    Building Regulations Part F ( - my brain hurts)

    Anyway - as webrits says 15l/sec but the rules say 15 minute overrun which I don't think the OP has.
    Your dad's suggestion is also taken into consideration in the latest revision. I quote:
    "Air transfer between rooms
    l To ensure good transfer of air throughout the dwelling, there should be an undercut of minimum area
    7,600 mm2 in all internal doors above the floor finish (equivalent to an undercut of 10 mm for a standard
    760 mm width door)."

    Wonder how that will fit in with the fire regs? :confused:
    Last edited by BobProperty; 30-11-2006 at 1:47 PM.
    A house isn't a home without a cat.
    Those are my principles. If you don't like them, I have others.
    I have writer's block - I can't begin to tell you about it.
    You told me again you preferred handsome men but for me you would make an exception.
    It's a recession when your neighbour loses his job; it's a depression when you lose yours.
  • ollyk
    • #6
    • 30th Nov 06, 2:19 PM
    • #6
    • 30th Nov 06, 2:19 PM
    I assume the fan is attached by ducting to the outside vent - if this ducting is flexible, not supported very well and in a cold area like a roofspace it is quite likely to have filled with water - effectively blocking the only exit for the vapor saturated air - check it out if you can - put some bog paper over the fan and see if it is pulling air through although it will be best to find all the ducting if possible!
  • BobProperty
    • #7
    • 30th Nov 06, 3:26 PM
    • #7
    • 30th Nov 06, 3:26 PM
    Ducting is supposed to be insulated if necessary, so again, if older or not to current standards that could be adding to the problem, as per ollyk's post.
    A house isn't a home without a cat.
    Those are my principles. If you don't like them, I have others.
    I have writer's block - I can't begin to tell you about it.
    You told me again you preferred handsome men but for me you would make an exception.
    It's a recession when your neighbour loses his job; it's a depression when you lose yours.
  • Lennylegs
    • #8
    • 30th Nov 06, 5:01 PM
    • #8
    • 30th Nov 06, 5:01 PM
    Hi, Thanks 4 the replies.

    I'd say the fanr runs on for about 2 minutes after the light is switched off. The ducting is about 3 metres long max. and goes straight to the outside. As you look into my kitchen and the top end of it there is what looks like a beam running along the ceiling to the outside, that is where the ducting is housed so i guess its fairly well supported. The fan is def. not dirty but i'll put some toilet paper over it to see if its pulling anything at all. Do I just remove the cover off the outside wall to try and see if its clear then ?

    The fan isnt that old but i don't reckon an adequate one was put in anyway (year old maybe ? to replace the last fan which really had kicked the bucket!)

    Is changing the ducting (if not insulated) a difficult job ?

    Thanks

    Leonie
  • Mikeyorks
    • #9
    • 30th Nov 06, 11:22 PM
    • #9
    • 30th Nov 06, 11:22 PM
    You've got between 12 / 13 cu metres of bathroom to vent. You need to change the air 10 times / hour in the circumstances you describe - so you need a fan capable of extracting 130 cu mtrs / hour. And it should be positioned over the shower for best effect (ie get rid of the steam 'in flight' before it has a chance to condense, as the mould damage is being done then.)

    Most of the stuff sold off the shelf at B&Q etc is pathetically underpowered. The best ones are the high pressure in-line fans such as these :-

    http://www.tlc-direct.co.uk/Main_Index/Ventilation_Index/4_Inch_Fans_Duct/index.html

    .... but it sounds as though you have to mount yours on the ceiling as there won't be space to mount / wire an in-line fan within the duct? Which is a shame as the high power ones virtually suck the suds off you, and would solve your problem. And they're quiet, as the motor is normally mounted above the ceiling etc.

    If ceiling mounted is the only option - have a look at this - which fits onto 4" ducting and is close to the extract rate you need. There's a 260 cu mtr / hour version if you want to install hand grips to prevent being sucked out??

    http://www.tlc-direct.co.uk/Products/ADICON30.html
    If you want to test the depth of the water .........don't use both feet !
  • Lennylegs
    Hi

    I know i asked these questions a while ago but we are just getting round to doing it now. We are going to get (as reccomended) the 260 cu/mtr one :

    If ceiling mounted is the only option - have a look at this - which fits onto 4" ducting and is close to the extract rate you need. There's a 260 cu mtr / hour version if you want to install hand grips to prevent being sucked out??

    http://www.tlc-direct.co.uk/Products/ADICON30.html


    However:

    The fan comes on with the light pull, and at night time i so wouldnt want this fan coming on, also, our fan only runs for 2mins and i think this needs to be increased (5mins??). We have another pull cord that is for the shower, could an electrician change the wiring so that when the light pull is pulled only the light comes on and when the shower cord is pulled, the shower and the fan come on ?

    We dont want one that detects movement because of the cats. I dont want it to keep coming on so that rules out the humidity one.

    Any thoughts ?

    Thanks

    Leonie
  • navig8r
    Have you enough fresh air entering the building?? a fan can only extract X cu mtrs of air from a building if X cu mtrs can enter the building to replace it .

    Dave
  • charliez07
    Hi,

    I'm hoping someone can help. We have a flat with a bathroom that is internal (no windows) It's about 1.75 metres wide by about 2.5 metres long. At present we only have a pull cord fan heater but are planning on gutting the bathroom and having a heated towel rail too but we will also have more tiles on the wall. At the moment we have a ceiling mounted air vent that comes on when the light does but asides clearing the air a bit it doesnt seem to do a lot. There are two of us taking showers every morning and the steam either stays in the bathroom and moulds (mould is between all the tiles, shower curtain gets replaced every three months, bath is now starting to collect mould) or if we leave the door open it gathers on our bedroom wall.
    I figure with the towel heater that will help. Getting a concealed cistern toilet will also help stop that gathering condensation. On the negative side tiles must be cooler so the walls i guess will be worse ? Does anyone know of some sort of ventilation that will be better than the bog standard flimpsey thing sat on my ceiling now ? My dad has suggested that it could help if we put a grill type thing at the bottom of our bathroom door as the fan needs fresh air to pull it through ?

    If anyone has had exp of this or knows far better than me what theyre talking about id be ever so grateful - we dont want to pay for all the bathroom to be done to find it ruined in a couple of years time !

    Thanks

    Leonie x
    Originally posted by Lennylegs
    I have exctly the same problem as you do.... and today when I got home after home I notice a bit of condensation around the bath fan... but just arounded... I do think the roof is leaking but I found it weard it's just around the fan.... what could it be?

    Thanks.
  • judy2357
    We have the same problem and have just had a new extractor fan fitted. Our ceiling goes black and needs constant painting. I really dont know what the answer is as we have 5 adults showering regularly in our bathroom and the extractor fan doesnt seem to be able to cope. However you mention you are going to have a heated towel rail installed, we have a a chromium towel rail which has started to rust so perhaps you should consider a white one I dont know if anyone ever has probs with these!!!
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  • Vindiesel
    whoa! i would seriously re-consider a towel rad, IMO they are useless - apart from warming towels and looking good. They do not heat rooms (they are towel radiators after all). I have a new bathrom, and it's freezing, and the condensation collects on my far bathroom wall - tiled, and oh, i don't know what to do ha ha but i do want a proper radiator - on the far wall, but the floor is porcelain, so this would get wrecked i think if i had to lay more pipes for a rad....?!!!
  • 27col
    I have an internal bathroom of almost the same dimensions as yours(just slightly bigger).
    It has a 9" square extractor fan, which comes on with the light and stays on for a maximum of 5 minutes after the light goes off. It is very quiet when in use.The room has a towel rail which is connected to the feed that heats the water tank. I have posted this else where, but will put it here as well.
    "I have no condensation in my bath room at all. The main reason is that there is an extractor fan, and the second reason is, that when I run a bath, I mix the hot and cold water in a mixer tap. This is adjusted such that the water comes out of the mixer at exactly the required temperature and there is virtually no steam at all. I have never had more than the slightest trace of condensation. In fact the mirror does not normally even steam up. There is no window. The only heat comes from a towel rail."
    The main difference between us is that I removed the shower, as we both preferred to have baths, and also we have an en-suite shower room if required. I suspect that a lot of your problem is due to only having a small extractor fan. Though I am not sure how you might fit a more powerful one. a lot of people seem to run down the idea of a towel rail for heating the room. But I can honestly say that we have never really been concerned about the temperature of the room. It is actually worse in the summer, and I have toyed with the idea of fitting a summer heated towel rail. By the way, we also have a concealed cistern. In the shower room there is a ceramic cistern and a radiator, and we do not get condensation in there either. I do not understand all the talk about dehumidifiers, before I came on this site I did not know that such things existed. So I must be doing something right.
    I can afford anything that I want.
    Just so long as I don't want much.
  • Vindiesel
    hmm..

    you also need to consider how well insulated your current bathroom is. Mine has a BIG cold problem, and condensation problem, in part due to it being part of an extension - open on three sides to the elements, it is also north facing, AND has a flat roof so is not as well insulated as a sloping :-(

    All of which i cannot reasonably do much about . If i had had the foresight to consider all this before fitting my new bathroom (11 months old) i would:

    a) definately not have a tiled florr- it's always cool/cold/freezing - i would have a real wooden floor - normally warm. And/or have underfloor heating. Also possibly not have tiled walls (half tiled, half painted).
    b) mhave a proper rad fitted - not a towel rad, or in addition to that.
    c) have an even better extractor fan fitted

    bear that in mind, Lennylegs, some of these may be applicable to you too!

    V
  • Squish_21
    I have a rather mouldy bathroom too. We leave the bathroom window a jar all day after our showers and it has a radiator yet mould still appears. Just accepted that I need to regularily clean the mould away. Its going to get a clean, then damp paint, then re-paint this week. Not tried the damp paint in the bathroom before but it seems to be working OK in our bedroom which also grows mould in the corner.
    Squish
  • globalds
    I replaced an old extractor fan with one with a built in humidity sensor.
    The old fan never seemed to do anything ...When I went up the loft to change the hose over I found the hose full of spider webs ..it looked like years worth ...this had pretty well stopped all the flow through the pipe.So this itself is helping a lot.
    The fan turns on automatically after about 2 minutes of Showering ,the humidity sensor turns the fan off after about 15 - 20 minutes of the shower going off
    ....The settings on the sensor can be tweaked .But we have no more problems with condensation.There was a notice on the fan that if humidity gets very high the fan will start ...Not happened yet but I could imagine if you were steaming a load of vegetables or something ...
    Last edited by globalds; 30-12-2008 at 6:39 PM.
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