New Basement Bathroom! said the feature list.
It had a shower, a toilet and a sink.
It had a light.
It had a new exhaust fan in the ceiling.
It had a new corresponding breaker in the electric panel box.
It did not have a receptacle on the wall, however.
That was my first clue that there had been no permit pulled.
Or permit closed.
The toilet was dated 2013, so this is a fairly new bathroom.
Going into the laundry/furnace room next to this bathroom I saw this.
The exhaust fan tubing was connected into the dryer vent tubing.
This was the second clue the bathroom had no permit.
Or one that was closed.
Vent tubing should never be shared.
Each appliance, the dryer and the exhaust fan, should vent separately and directly outdoors.
Theoretically this dryer could be venting itself directly into the bathroom ceiling!
And using the unforgivable plastic tubing to boot! Well, I was embarrassed, for sure...
When I see dryer vents shared with other appliances, this is the comment I put on my report:
Dryer vent: the dryer exhaust should ventilate directly to the outdoors and may not share itself with any other vent tubing. From the International Residency Code: M1502.2 Independent exhaust systems. Dryer exhaust systems shall be independent of all other systems and shall convey the moisture directly to the outdoors.
It's pretty simple. And important!
I can imagine that since 2013 that bathroom vent fan may have already accumulated its share of dryer lint! Why not?
My recommendation: permits are permits and codes are codes. There are reasons for both. Neither represents anything egregious or tough or represents a standard too stringent to meet. Both necessities are full of common sense. And when homeowners or contractors do things that are not full of common sense, it is a sure sign that codes were not met, or permits were not pulled. Checking later it was discovered that, indeed, no permits had been pulled for this bathroom installation. Let the games begin!
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560