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Bathroom extractor fan - do we have to for building regs?

(21 Posts)
LadyWellian Wed 17-Oct-12 13:03:52

We've been renovating our house for the past couple of years and owing to a flaky electrician who skipped off before doing the certification, we haven't yet had it all signed off by building control.

We are now replacing the bathroom and someone has just pointed out to us that building regs require an extractor fan to be fitted. We hadn't thought of this and there isn't really the space or the electrical access to do it easily. Also we don't really want an extractor as they are noisy and a pain in the arse. We have a window that ought to do the trick in terms of clearing steam.

So does anyone know if we have to fit an extractor? While it will be a pain to do full stop, it's obviously better to do it now before the tiling than have Building Control come round when it's all finished and tell us we have to fit one retrospectively.


libelulle Wed 17-Oct-12 13:35:30

Not sure about the specific answer to your question, but on a possibly related note, in most LAs you have the option of going with a private building control inspector licensed by the local authority. They are a bit more expensive, but by reputation they are more, er, flexible and open to negotiation/compromise and less officious than their LA counterparts. That was certainly the case with us (though we have yet to get our own final BC sign-off, so I may yet eat my words!)

Yorky Wed 17-Oct-12 13:52:49

We are going with an independent building control company - they're cheaper than the council, and answer emails faster

LadyWellian Wed 17-Oct-12 14:10:41

I'm not sure if we can do that - it's already been mostly signed off by the council, though we've taken so long over it that our main contact there has retired and he was only 23 when we started.

TalkinPeace2 Wed 17-Oct-12 14:44:01

we had to - but they are all set to pull string only and the strings removed .....

zombieplanmum Wed 17-Oct-12 14:50:03

I would have thought you would only need an extractor fan if your bathroom has no external wall/window?

Do be aware though, that if you are fitting an extractor fan of any description - bath or kitchen (especially kitchen) and you are going to have a solid fuel appliance (ie log burner) this can (rarely) lead to spillage of fumes from your appliance, this is clearly a very bad thing and IS covered by building regs (DP just fitted a log burner in house and we had to check this as they have extractor fans, it was ok but still it needs checking). It is unlikely to cause a problem if a) you have an adequate, permanently open vent in the living room, or b)like most houses, your house isn't super insulated.

Your local building control are likely to be a friendly bunch (ive always found building inspectors to be helpful) and will happily give you advice, do be aware though that if you do have to supply a building notice, this is not without extortionate cost.

Beanbagz Wed 17-Oct-12 14:54:55

You only need to fit an extractor if you don't have an opening window.

We used an independent building control company who advised us of this. It was also a lot quicker than dealing with the council smile

TalkinPeace2 Wed 17-Oct-12 14:58:30

maybe its changed
building control insisted on ours
and on the one in the utility/boiler room
and on the external cooker hood

ByTheWay1 Wed 17-Oct-12 14:58:48

We find we get a lot less damp/condensation in the house now we do have an extractor fitted as part of a bathroom "upgrade" - we spent lots on loft insulation/cavity wall/double glazing , basically hermetically sealing in the water vapour whenever we had a shower !! and the house was getting really damp inside - extractor fitted and no longer happens!

LadyWellian Wed 17-Oct-12 15:53:37

Thanks for all the replies. Still not sure we have a consensus!

Talkin I've a feeling we had to have one fitted in the utility room. It was noisy as hell but within a year it was broken and we were much happier about it.

Pendeen Wed 17-Oct-12 16:10:48

Building Regs Part 'F' the answers to question 4 should reassure you...

LadyWellian Thu 18-Oct-12 15:24:49

Thanks Pendeen, that does look reassuring. Fingers crossed!

Yankeecandlequeen Fri 19-Oct-12 10:07:58

You do. And one in a kitchen & utility if you have one.

Yankeecandlequeen Fri 19-Oct-12 10:09:40

But get your sparky to cable it to an independant switch or everytime you put the light in it will come on automatically. Ours did this & its great cos we only have it on when we use the shower/ when we wet a curl!

PigletJohn Fri 19-Oct-12 12:02:58

I'm a great believer in extractor fans for preventing condensation, damp and mould.

If you have a noisy or ineffective one, change it. They start at about £15.

The benefit of having it come on automatically with the light switch, is to defeat people who have a psychological aversion to ventilation and refuse to turn it on. This is essential in rooms with no natural ventilation and will keep them fresher and prevent moisture or odours drifting around the house.

A typical fan will run for about 50 hours on one unit of electricity (14p or so)

Caerlaverock Fri 19-Oct-12 12:18:44

Agree with piglet, your bathroom will be a mouldy rusty mess without one

Pendeen Fri 19-Oct-12 16:38:40

Agreed very useful but there is no requirement under the Building Regulations to fit one - see the link above.

CaurnieBred Mon 22-Oct-12 11:24:46

If you can afford it, you can buy an all singing/dancing vent that is very quiet (or so we have been told - have bought it but not installed yet!). Airflow QuietAir - we have gone for the one with the humidity control

LadyWellian Thu 01-Nov-12 13:55:38

But Caerlaverock the bathroom hasn't moved - it was the bathroom before, and it wasn't a mouldy rusty mess. Why should putting in a new suite make it so?

nocake Thu 01-Nov-12 18:41:30

We recently changed an old, noisy extractor for an Airflow Icon extractor. It looks good and is very quiet.

HairySpidersInYourUnderwear Sat 03-Nov-12 02:55:43

Not only do they extract the wet but they move the air around which mold etc does not like.

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