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You Can't Leave Low Spots In Bathroom Vent Tubing In The Attic

No matter what, you can't leave low spots in bathroom vent tubing in the attic.

Every now and then the bathroom vent has a long way to go as it traverses an attic space.

The longer it is, the more condensation can develop.

In this case the tubing runs quite a distance, so the on bathroom has insulated vent tubing.

That is to control condensation.

But it still develops.

Where?

At the opening on the roof.  In winter months condensation will develop there and come back down the tubing.

However, if there is a low spot it will collect there!

It will get heavier.

I have seen them so full of water they tear and drip. 

I have also seen them get so heavy they fall down from the opening, spilling their water onto the ceiling.

This is a pre-drywall inspection, so this is good to catch now.  Fixed it will never be a problem.

Once a client called on me to investigate why a stain had developed on his ceiling when it had not been raining or snowing.  Going into the attic space I was able to see where the insulated bathroom vent tubing had come loose, and, being full of water, drained right into a bedroom ceiling!

My recommendation:  be sure there are no low spots in any vent as it will affect air flow.  But especially in an attic space.  Any low spot is an invitation to water to collect and enjoy itself!  And it will, until given the opportunity to leave.

 

 

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 14 commentsJay Markanich • June 15 2013 02:24AM

Comments

Jay, Great post. This is something most people and inspectors would miss. The next time I buy something will you come to the NC coast for an inspection?

Posted by Tom Bailey (Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc.) about 5 years ago

Thanks Tom.  But NC has specific state licensing requirements for home inspectors, and I don't meet them!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

You obviously do not recognize the newest innovation in green building technology, the natural water maker. The builder clearly has forgotten to install the feed tube at the bottom of the valley which should be run to an eco water collection device. 

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) about 5 years ago

I should mention that to him Jim!  Interestingly, my grandfather owned and operated the "Tri-pure Water Company" in Washington DC for decades before public water treatment came into being.  It was distilled water.  And clean!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

Good morning, Jay.... many home inspections on older homes have bathrooms venting into the attice....that was before the code changed....then there was a time when all that was needed was one window in the bathroom and that would satisfy the venting code at that time.

Posted by Barbara Todaro, "Franklin MA Homes" (RE/MAX Executive Realty ) about 5 years ago

I see those houses all the time Barbara!  And they are so comfy in February!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago
Good catch, this were experience counts, keep up the great job.
Posted by David Popoff, Realtor®,SRS, Green ~ Fairfield County, Ct (DMK Real Estate ) about 5 years ago

Thanks David.  Not too hard to see!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

Morning Jay while I do not fully understand some of what you are saying I do respect your knowledge and learn something with each post.  :)

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty AR LLC) about 5 years ago

It's a water seal! You know we can't have sewer gasses escaping to the outdoors polluting the earth!

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) about 5 years ago

A low spot will trap water James.  It gets heavy and the connections will come apart.

Fred - silly me, why didn't I think of that!?  This foresightful guy created a trap!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

I can't say that I've ever seen an insulated exhaust vent here on the West Coast Jay. We don't get the extreme weather, but we do get the condensation at time.

Posted by Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366, General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage (Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366) about 5 years ago

Why is the one insulated and the other not?  And what sort of roof cap are they going to?

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) about 5 years ago

Wow, that's weird Tom.  I hope you aren't feeling slighted right now.

Charlie - they vent through a grated, scoop vent, made to discharge two vent tubes.  The insulated one travels a longer distance, and wraps around rafters along the way.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

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