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  #11  
Old 2013-11-15, 12:48 PM
dumbo747 dumbo747 is offline
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Last week, Tamarack came by and started the shower and turned on the HRV. Steam builds up in the bathroom as usual and moisture is on the wall. They write their report, not telling me anything. A week later, they tell us we didn't turn on the HRV and they are not doing anything. I am like wow, I wish I can solve all my problems like that. Going to pursue this further. I am not a rocket scientist, but I think I know I need to turn on the vent when I shower.
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  #12  
Old 2013-11-15, 04:41 PM
Ena Ena is offline
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Hi, we have been in our new home for almost a year and are having the same issues. Our neighbours reported the same. After a (normal) shower, the bathroom walls are dripping with moisture. We had the builder look at it at the 30-day inspection but were told the system function normally!? I don't understand how that can be considered normal. The walls look awful in a brand new home due to staining and drip marks. One-year is coming up soon and we are including it yet again.
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  #13  
Old 2013-11-15, 07:41 PM
Halton Home Inspector Halton Home Inspector is offline
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I'm sure the manufacturer of these HRV's would not be thrilled to hear how poorly these systems are performing and they may offer to evaluate the situation. I would suggest that they be contacted to see if they will help.

It will not be the first or last time that a manufacturer has responded to concerns from owners of new homes when a builder is installing a product or system that does not perform it's intended function properly.

When this happens it tarnishes the manufactures good name and it is in their best interest to have the problems fixed.

Over the years I have found a few hundred HRV installations that were not installed properly. In fact, just yesterday I inspected a 4 year old home where the HRV fresh air from outside duct was installed on the wrong plenum in the basement. In this case, running the HRV in the winter would dramatically cool the home.

Personally, I do not like using the HRV in place of a independent bathroom exhaust fans. Most HRV's are installed to help keep air fresh in the home, not remove humidity from bathrooms.

Last edited by Halton Home Inspector; 2013-11-15 at 08:09 PM.
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  #14  
Old 2013-11-15, 08:14 PM
Halton Home Inspector Halton Home Inspector is offline
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Watch for other HRV installation problems with the exterior vents. Some can be a real hazard to your health.

With the HRV running, locate the HRV Intake vent buy holding a tissue to it. The tissue should suck to the vent.

Make sure the bottom of the Intake is at least 17 3/4 inches above the ground as required by code.

Make sure the intake is at least 10 feet away from the vent on any nearby gas meter.

Make sure the Intake is at least 6 feet away from the furnace vent, the water heater vent, any nearby gas fireplace vent, and most manufacturers require a 6 foot clearance from laundry dryer vents.

Make sure the Intake and exhaust vents both have screens.

Below - In this one year old home the HRV Intake was only 48" from the furnace exhaust pipe vent. The builder needed to move the Intake or the pipe exhaust. They chose to move the pipe exhaust. This health safety gas code violation is covered for up to 2 years. This installation also violates the manufacturers installation instructions that also require a 6 foot clearance.


Last edited by Halton Home Inspector; 2013-11-15 at 08:33 PM.
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  #15  
Old 2013-11-18, 10:29 AM
dumbo747 dumbo747 is offline
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Ena, we must got the same inspector, he told me the same thing. The unit is working but my bathroom walls are all moist. I am thinking there is something wrong with the piping. My one year is coming up so I will be including it on my list.
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  #16  
Old 2013-11-18, 10:32 AM
dumbo747 dumbo747 is offline
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Halton, I did the tissue test in front of the inspector and he told me it was not a valid test. Building code doesn't specify a particular CFM number for bathrooms, just that it should be sufficient enough to vent. I was going to contact the manufacturer and see what they would suggest.
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  #17  
Old 2013-11-18, 11:04 PM
Alaspan Alaspan is offline
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Exact same issue with our HRV in our Tamarack Essex. The ensuite is quite large and the unit is useless. They came to do air tests and it 'passed' but it can't hold tissue paper up let alone replace the moist air. Filters are spotless (although I had to remove the shipping bolt off the fan!!) and lines aren't linked. The intake and exhaust lines are unnecessarily long and it could have been reduced by 50% in length.

I was advised these units aren't designed to remove moisture. I am going to be installing an exhaust fan before the moisture causes any damage.

Our Tartan home had an exhaust fan that cleared the moisture flawlessly. I'm not a fan of the HRV.....
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  #18  
Old 2013-11-18, 11:26 PM
TKG26 TKG26 is offline
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I installed this and programmed to start every morning when we wake up and it runs for a about an hour or 2 after we are done with our showers..
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Honeywell...4#.UorY1cTrwnI

HRV is a whole house machine its not fully effective at removing high humidity quickly. The bathroom exhaust fan it meant for that..

I thought about swapping out to a 90CFM fan but the timer seems to do the trick.
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  #19  
Old 2013-11-19, 07:13 AM
Halton Home Inspector Halton Home Inspector is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dumbo747 View Post
Halton, I did the tissue test in front of the inspector and he told me it was not a valid test. Building code doesn't specify a particular CFM number for bathrooms, just that it should be sufficient enough to vent. I was going to contact the manufacturer and see what they would suggest.
What was the result of the tissue test ? Did the tissue get sucked to the exhaust ? If not, the system is not working.

Either way - products or systems that the builder install must perform their intended function - if not, the builder should step up and resolve the issue.

Call the manufacturer and explain the situation. Have the model number and if possible the serial number of the unit available when you call. They may determine that the unit is undersized or not intended for that purpose.

Sometimes builders get over their heads when they install inadequate systems in multiple homes. They then fight back and do not do the right thing for each customer because they know if they fix it for one person they will need to fix the others.

Moving on, this builder will likely change how they install HRV's and not use them as glorified bathroom exhaust systems and instead use them for whole house ventilation with separate exhausts in each bathroom.
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  #20  
Old 2013-11-20, 02:46 PM
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good2know good2know is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TKG26 View Post
HRV is a whole house machine its not fully effective at removing high humidity quickly. The bathroom exhaust fan it meant for that..
Our latest property came with this system and without normal ceiling fans,

What we have observed is that there is not sufficient air flow in the bathrooms to deal with shower steam. Our controls have 20/40/60 minute cycles so they do dry out eventually.

The unit runs fine, just not enough pull. It is pulling air from 2 full baths, laundry and kitchen all the time.

This system in Ottawa - Not recommended. I would ask builder to add the ceiling fans, and downgrade to a simple hook up on the furnace.

So I'm going to install 100cfm+ fans and vent through the roof. The 16 inches of blown fiberglass in the attic is a deterrent
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