Bathroom exhaust fans must draw air and expel it outdoors to be functional. What could be more obvious?
I have posted many times about how the simple test that an inspector can employ to verify at least “some” amount of function, without using complicated equipment. Generally I prefer to use an 8-1/2 x 11 sheet of paper for such a test, and I keep a sheet folded up in my pocket for just that purpose.
In the following picture you can see that sheet of paper doing its thing and showing that the fan is doing its thing.
There were two exhaust fans in this master bathroom. The one in the previous picture was in the shower/tub area, while another one served the isolated toilet area—and we all know what those fans are for .
I didn’t have to test that one with a piece of paper because it was busy holding up the sheetrock ceiling.
Not really, a fan doesn’t have that much suction, but it certainly would be a good idea to actually cut away the drywall so that a proper cover could be installed and the fan could then be tested for proper function—and so that it could do what we are all grateful that it does.
Charles Buell, Real Estate Inspections in Seattle
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WA State, Home Inspector Advisory Licensing Board