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Bathroom Exhaust Fan Over Stove

jkonst | Posted in Mechanicals on

Hi,

I’m looking at buying a condo in NYC, and would like some input on what seems like an unusual kitchen exhaust setup. There isn’t a range hood, but rather what looks like a bathroom exhaust fan on the ceiling near the stove.

In my visit I tried turning it on (there’s a wall switch), and it’s extremely quiet/not pulling much air, so it’s clearly far from an ideal setup (not to mention it’s a gas stove and not induction – so hard to get away from gas here).

I’m wondering if based on what you see here, if there’s any hope of installing an exhausting range hood in the future that could use the line of the existing exhaust fan, or if I’d likely be stuck with this permanently (assuming the condo board would not approve a new penetration to the exterior).

The building is pretty new (2018) and the unit would represent a very large expenditure for me, so just trying to see if this seems workable or if it’s something I should be running from. Thanks in advance for any advice!

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Replies

  1. Nate Reik | | #1

    If the fan is remote/exterior, it's going to be quiet. So it might be pulling more air than you think.

    As far as installing a normal range hood? Tough to say......

    As someone who has a gas range and NO exhaust for kitchen or bathroom currently.....I wouldn't let this make or break the deal.

    1. jkonst | | #3

      Good points, thanks for the input! I went from coming very close to building a Passive House in the woods (designs were drawn and everything), to now buying a condo in the city - so not having the ventilation I was thinking about previously is a big mindset change! Compromises are certainly part of life, though...

    2. Expert Member
      Malcolm Taylor | | #5

      "As someone who has a gas range and NO exhaust for kitchen or bathroom currently.....I wouldn't let this make or break the deal."

      Thats a bad situation. It would be a deal breaker for me.

  2. fast_cheap_mediocre | | #2

    You could hire a plumber with a camera to snake the vent and see long it is and if there's an inline fan installed. Then you'd know if just a fan upgrade would work or is even necessary.
    Why can't you put in a receptacle for an induction range?

    1. jkonst | | #4

      Got it, thanks for the advice. I'll definitely do that if we end up moving forward.

      Induction would certainly be in my plans, though I've heard it may require condo board approval given the touchiness of both capping a gas line and needing a new receptacle. So I'm hopeful that will be possible, but also cognizant that it could take some time to get there.

      1. fast_cheap_mediocre | | #6

        Makes sense. Good luck!

  3. Steve Knapp CZ 3A Georgia | | #7

    I put an induction cooktop in my last house, and it required running a new 220 VAC 30 Amp circuit. So it’s a bit more than just adding an outlet. If you have little or no ventilation, one of these units is a much better choice than burning hydrocarbons.

    1. jkonst | | #8

      Thanks, that makes sense... I took a couple pictures of the panel while I was there in case it might indicate how much work this might entail. Not sure if this is actually helpful, but figured I'd add just in case.

      1. fast_cheap_mediocre | | #10

        That panel looks almost full. A range circuit would require a 2 pole breaker (takes up 2 slots). Going by the index, it looks like slots 7 &9 are already wired for 40A service to an electric range. You may be good to go if the receptacle was already installed and is sitting behind the gas range. I just wired our new range so I am fully-googled on the subject, lol.

        1. jkonst | | #13

          Ah, I appreciate the look - thanks!

  4. Deleted | | #9

    Deleted

  5. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #11

    JKonst,
    I don't know if New York City has a special building code just for the city, like Chicago does -- probably, it does -- but that looks like a code violation. A little odd for a new building.

    1. jkonst | | #12

      Thanks, Martin. It seemed odd to me, too. If nothing else we’ll see what the inspection turns up…

  6. Expert Member
    Akos | | #14

    A pretty common setup around me for condos is to have a single central exhaust fan that connects to the bathroom, dryer and range hood. This means that you can't really add a range hood with a fan on as your overall flow is limited by the central fan.

    It also means in most cases there is only a single 6" duct to the outside, so there is no way to T onto this duct.

    You might be able to beef up the central fan or add in powered dampers to divert all the airflow to the kitchen when needed, but that is about it.

    Unfortunately, this is not a great setup but common enough. Swapping out the gas stove is probably your best bet for better indoor air quality.

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