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Bathroom extractor predicament

(27 Posts)
Housewife2010 Fri 10-Jun-16 20:14:40

We've just had a lovely new bathroom built with my much longed for free standing bath. Building control has told us we need an extractor fan. The builders men returned today and have installed a horribly loud whirry sounding one. I can't imagine having relaxing baths or putting on my makeup to that noise. What should I ask for? I don't want the fan on unless the shower is used. It's the same as the ensuite one which isn't as loud or whirry.its a "Steeple". Thank you

minipie Fri 10-Jun-16 21:26:54

Have a look at the Quietmark website which lists the quietest ones.

Has it been wired to come on when the light is turned on? If you only want it on when the shower is used you need to ask for an override switch to be put in (so you manually switch it on when you want it). Or you can get humidity controlled ones but I believe they remain slightly on at all times which you may notice if very noise sensitive.

Housewife2010 Fri 10-Jun-16 22:03:45

Thanks Minipie Thats really helpful. I'll have a good look at that site tomorrow. Even my husband who never has baths has said that it's really annoying.

MrsFlorrick Sat 11-Jun-16 00:46:11

Airflow Icon fans. Brilliant as the inner part actually closes when not in use so no draughts in the winter.

Very quiet as long as it's the standard ones and not the low voltage. Low voltage (for use in wet area ie less than 50cm above shower head etc) for some reason is noisy.

Last house had two icons and current house I've also gone for icon again in all three bathrooms.

Housewife2010 Sat 11-Jun-16 05:12:40

Thanks MrsFlorrick. That sounds good. I need to know what I'm talking about when I speak to the builders next week. Just been to the loo and the fan has annoyed me. It sounds so rattley too.

Housewife2010 Sat 11-Jun-16 05:14:30

Can the airflow icon just come on when we're using the shower?We don't need it for anything else- there's a big easily open window next to the loo.

FrikkaDilla Sat 11-Jun-16 09:28:02

We have an Airflow quiet air. It is so quiet that I thought it wasn't working.

Housewife2010 Sat 11-Jun-16 09:43:16

Thank you. That sounds good. Is it on all the time?

FrikkaDilla Sat 11-Jun-16 10:22:53

OP - we have it to come on with secondary lighting, so not the main switch. We have it wired up to come on when the lights above the bathroom cabinet come on as I didn't want noise.

If I had known how quiet it was I wouldn't have bothered with that pallaver.

We have it running for a short time after the lights go off (there is a choice of not running on or running on for different times)

PigletJohn Sat 11-Jun-16 10:47:27

does it extract through a duct, or a hole in the wall?

Most often there is a 100mm - ish hole in the wall. The builders naturally fit the cheapest. You can get "silent" fans and those with timers. It is usual to have the motor start when you turn the bathroom light on.

A 100mm is rather small if you have steamy showers, though some ducted ones can be powerful because the actual fan is usually out of sight above the ceiling.

A fan that actually rattles has either been badly fitted so the rotating fan scrapes on the casing, or the motor bearings are worn out. Better fans have ball-bearing motors.

magicstar1 Sat 11-Jun-16 10:50:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

magicstar1 Sat 11-Jun-16 10:52:57

Housewife2010 Sat 11-Jun-16 14:16:21

Hello Piglet John. I was hoping you'd turn up. I've just sent my husband up on the roof. It hasn't got a vent through the roof. It's a new extension with a flat roof. It's a good job he went up - he discovered that the builders hadn't pointed the roof tiles so we can add that to the snagging list. Fortunately we haven't paid them in full

Housewife2010 Sat 11-Jun-16 14:18:21

Magic star, thanks for that link. Can that fan be fitted so it doesn't need to come on with the light? Pigletjohn?
Thanks to everyone for all the help.

minipie Sat 11-Jun-16 14:48:40

Doesn't look like that one can (although you can set a delay so it comes on only when the light has been on for X minutes, I think)

However others eg the Airflow ones mentioned above have all sorts of options - you can have them simply with an on/off switch, you can have them wired to come on with the light (again with a delay of x minutes if you want), humidity controlled, motion controlled...

You can also have any of these options with an override switch. So for example we have ours set to come on when the light has been on for 10 minutes but we have an override switch as well. This means it doesn't come on if you pop on for a wee or to wash hands or get something BUT it does come on if you are in there longer eg for a shower or bath BUT if you want a quiet bath without fan you can turn it off. Hope that makes sense! However as a pp said it's so quiet I've never actually used the override.

If you have an electric shower then I imagine it would be possible for a decent electrician to wire it to come on when the shower button is pressed

wonkylegs Sat 11-Jun-16 14:55:03

We've got the vent axia silent one which isn't silent but quieter than the cheaper ones, it's wired to come on with an overrun with the lights but has a fuse switch so can be turned off if you want a relaxing bath

PigletJohn Sat 11-Jun-16 14:55:44

Where does the vent come out then? I hope they haven't bodged it to blow steam into the ceiling or loft.

Is it a 4 inch/100mm?

magicstar1 Sat 11-Jun-16 15:31:05

Ours comes on with the light, but it's so quiet you wouldn't notice it. During the day I just flick on and off the light switch and it stays on.
The steam from the shower is cleared unbelievably quickly.

Housewife2010 Sat 11-Jun-16 16:45:10

Pigletjohn, I don't know where it comes out. Two of them were here yesterday for about half an hour. They stayed in the bathroom and didn't go on the roof. My husband could see nothing on the roof. What happens if it just goes into the ceiling/roof? As it is an extension with a flat roof there is no loft. The shower isn't electric. I just want the extractor to run when the shower is on and preferably to be as quiet as possible.

PigletJohn Sat 11-Jun-16 18:04:05

that's very suspicious. There are cases where shoddy builders vent a fan into a roof space. They are long gone before the damp and rot caused by the steam is noticed.

The BCO has already noticed that the bathroom did not meet regulations by not having automatic ventilation, any builder or bathroom fitter with more than a week's experience in the UK knows it is required. If the builder is unconvincing, mention this possibility to the BCO. Look for a vent in the eaves or wall. Most sensibly the fan would have been fitted close to an external vent. It is easy (but noisy) to use a core drill to make a neat round hole through a wall. Holes in roofs are undesirable because the open up (the possibility of) rainwater leaks. A photo might be interesting.

Because there are people who have an aversion to ventilation the fan is required to come on automatically, and this is most often done by having it come on with the light switch.

Housewife2010 Sat 11-Jun-16 21:51:25

Hello Pigletjohn. Here's a photo of the dreaded extractor. We're going to email the builder tomorrow re this. Does the extractor have to be on all the time the light is on? It does seem like the steam is going into the cavity above the ceiling. It is nowhere near an outside wall. What other questions should I ask them? the work was supposed to have finished 3 months ago. My husband isn't impressed that they haven't pointed the roof of the extension.

PigletJohn Sat 11-Jun-16 22:41:57

if it vents into the void, that is shockingly bad. It must not do that.

The ventilation rules say the fan must be on, but fans are usually fitted with an isolator to cut the power, while leaving the light on, while they are being cleaned, serviced or replaced. Sometimes the isolator is fitted on the wall above the door, outside the bathroom, where you would see someone interfering with it while you were working. A good one can be very quiet.

If you put that £10 Steeple one in the bin and replace it with a "silent" fan of better quality, it is normal to have them fitted with an overrun timer, so they keep running after you have finished your shower, while the room dries out. As you have no loft for a ducted fan, I would go for one fitted in the wall, close to the shower but not directly above a shower tray or bath unless you can mount it 2250mm above floor level (this is an electrical safety regulation) and close to the ceiling (this is because water vapour rises).

Here is an example of a very quiet 100mm (4 inch) fan
and this brand has a good reputation

Though if it is going in the wall, and you have frequent showers, a 125mm (5 inch) or 150mm (6 inch) can be more powerful and quieter (because it can run slower).

When choosing, look at the airflow in cu. m/hr. 80cu.m/hr is the lowest power. Look at the noise in db and choose a low number. Look to see that the motor has ball-bearings. An integral shutter reduces draughts but may open and close with a loud snap. Get a cowl vent for the outside of the wall, it keep rain out and does not rattle in the wind like the little flappy vents.

This is going to annoy the builders as they will have extra work and expense and perhaps they will want to blame you or cut corners.

Look out your plans, because they should have included an extractor from the start.

PigletJohn Sat 11-Jun-16 22:43:03

wider range of fans here

Bails2014 Sat 11-Jun-16 22:49:29

We have a silent extractor fan in our ensuite, it's built into the light fitting of one of the halogen spot thingys so doesn't spoil the line of the room at all.

It's certainly not noisy as comes on if one of us uses the loo in the night. No idea what it is though!

Housewife2010 Wed 15-Jun-16 12:57:09

Calling Pigletjohn
We've heard back from the builders. The extractors are vented out to the roof eaves.

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