Fan condensation trap: Bathroom Fan Condensation Trap | Is it necessary? – The Tibble

Bathroom Fan Condensation Trap | Is it necessary? – The Tibble

Drip-drip-drop is no siren call and is honestly just a pain in the neck. Splashing through puddles is an activity that should be strictly limited to the outdoors. If you are looking to avoid this, you might be considering installing a condensation trap with your bathroom fan.

But it’s an extra cost of both money and time and begs the question: do you really need one? The only reason to install a condensation trap is if your fan will drip. Great, so how do you know that? Thankfully, you can take steps during installation that will help prevent dripping and, thus, the need for a trap.

The common reason bathroom fans drip is due to condensation forming in the ducts. A condensation trap is only necessary if the bathroom fan drips, and there are steps to take to help ensure it won’t: insulate the ductwork, use shorter ducting, use a good quality damper.

Condensation Traps Only Necessary if Fan Drips

If your fan does not drip, then a condensation trap is unnecessary. The problem is, how do you know if your fan will drip or not? And what happens if you don’t install the trap and the fan does drip?

The information in this article is aimed at helping you answer these questions and understand how to reduce the risk of dripping.

Problems With Dripping Fans

Dripping fans create several problems for a homeowner.

It ages your bathroom fan as it is exposed to dust and dirt that are caught in the water. Moreover, rust can form on the fan, and the dampness can also lead to mold and mildew growing in the ducts and around the fan and seals.

The water that forms on the floor can be a slipping hazard, especially for the oldest and youngest generations. So, it is very important not to have puddles standing in your bathroom for safety reasons.  

Dirt and rust dripping into your bathroom will also cause staining. Dirty marks in your bathroom are unsightly and unwelcome, and as it is a recurring problem, your cleaning and repainting might feel futile after a while.

Mold and mildew are health hazards, and we all want to avoid them. Aside from the well-being of your household, mold and mildew can further compromise your bathroom fan if they grow on and damage the fan and seals in the ducting.

If your fan movement is compromised by building fungi, the condensation problem will worsen as air is exhausted less efficiently. The seals on your backdraft damper are necessary for airtightness in order to prevent the exhausted air from flowing back into the bathroom.

Why Do Bathroom Fans Drip?

Your bathroom fan might be dripping for a variety of reasons, the most common being due to condensation.

Condensation is the product of the meeting of air of different temperatures. This would cause your fan to drip.

The bathroom air is generally hot and humid after a shower, and the reason that the air is humid is because warmer air can hold more moisture than colder air. Condensation occurs when this hot air, in contact with colder air from outside, cools and can no longer hold as much water.

When the air cannot hold as much water, it forms droplets or condensation in the ducts, and this drips out of your bathroom fan.

This can also occur in tropical environments where the bathroom air is potentially the cooler party and the outside air is hot. The meeting will still produce condensation.

There are several reasons why condensation can form, and there are some pre-emptive actions you can take against the possibility.

Fans Less Likely to Need Condensation Trap If…

Dripping fans are common, but this doesn’t mean that they are normal.

I believe that a condensation trap is unnecessary if the duct is appropriately and properly insulated, is not excessively long, and if there is a quality, airtight damper installed in the duct.


When you insulate the duct, you prevent the hot and cold air from meeting, which allows the extractor to exhaust the hot air from the bathroom. This, in turn, prevents condensation from forming, so your bathroom fan can stay dry and drip-free. This might even involve replacing old insulation that is no longer functioning appropriately.

Duct Length

Shorter ducts are more efficient because they can maintain the air pressure better. So, if your duct is shorter, it creates a more effective environment for the exhaust system to remove the air and moisture from the bathroom.

The more efficient your bathroom fan can be, the faster it can exhaust hot air, and this means there is less opportunity for condensation to form.


A backdraft damper is a necessary accessory for your bathroom fan, and a quality product with a good seal will help ensure your fan won’t drip. Backdraft dampers are designed to prevent the backflow of exhausted air.

With an airtight damper, hot air from the bathroom will be allowed into the ducts, but no air will be allowed to enter the bathroom via the same route. This prevents hot and cold air from mixing in your bathroom ducting, which allows the exhaust system to function effectively without condensation at the fan.

AC Infinity 4″ Backdraft Damper, One-Way Airflow Ducting Insert with Spring-Loaded Folding Blades for 4” Ducting in Range Hoods and Bathrooms Fans

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Last update on 2023-07-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Can a Trap Be Added Later?

Ultimately, if you want to save on time and the expense of a condensation trap now and have problems in the future, you can just install it later. It is a relatively straightforward task if you want to do it yourself.

Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s directions!

A ducting condensation trap is installed on a vertical pipe between the fan and the termination point of the ducting. You should use a bathroom-appropriate caulk, preferably one that is anti-fungal such as Gorilla Silicone Sealant (amazon link).

Apply the caulk to the male fitting (the trap should be female) and then push the two components together. Once that has dried fully, you should apply an aluminum foil tape over the joints, like Nashua Multi-Purpose Foil Tape (amazon link) or Impresa Aluminum Foil Tape (amazon link).



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We eliminate condensate in the ventilation. Step-by-step instructions

Home » Exhaust ventilation » How to eliminate condensate in ventilation. Step by Step

Condensate is not just a source of high humidity and fertile ground for the growth of fungi, the spread of pathogenic bacteria and mold – it is a rather aggressive liquid that gradually destroys building materials, even such as metal and concrete. And you need to solve this problem, but first you need to find out where this very condensate comes from.


  1. Causes of condensation in the ventilation system
  2. Method one: insulation of air ducts
  3. Method two: condensate removal
  4. Method three: supply ventilation

Causes of condensation in the ventilation system only as each one is eliminated.

Have you already experienced the problem of condensation in the ventilation system?

Yes, it was necessary to eliminate defects No, a competent system was initially installed

The main sources are:

  • Uninsulated air ducts.
  • Incorrect operation of the ventilation system as a whole.
  • Violation of the tightness of the air ducts.
  • Destruction of the mouth of air ducts in the attic or roof.
  • Increased humidity in the room.

The inevitable cause of condensation is the meeting of warm, moist indoor air with cold outdoor air masses. And the greater the difference between the temperature of the air flows in the ventilation system and the air temperature outside, the more moisture will condense on the walls of the ventilation ducts . It is not for nothing that all problems begin in the off-season and end in the warm season.

Method one: insulation of air ducts

0023 elimination of defects in the design of air channels and the displacement of the dew point outside the ventilation.

It is easier to do this in a private house, but more difficult in an apartment building.

In a private house, the pipe should be wrapped with insulation, to a thickness of 50-100mm. Then on the head, which will prevent the insulation from getting wet.

Which material do you think is the most effective as a heater?

  • Mineral and stone wool

  • Foamed polyethylene and rubber

  • Styrofoam, polyurethane foam

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For an apartment building, insulation should begin with a careful examination of the duct outlets. In the attic or roof there is a certain building into which the ventilation ducts of the entire riser go. If the air ducts are made of galvanized or asbestos cement, then the space between them is not sealed. It is in these gaps between the pipes that cold air enters, thereby cooling the duct, which, meeting with warm air masses, turns moisture into condensate.

Addition on the topic

Please note!

  • It is necessary to make some spacers between the air channels, on which to make a suspended formwork. Then fill the gaps with a solution to the very mouth. This method, although it will not insulate the duct, will prevent cold air from entering the ventilation ducts.
  • After that, all cracks and defects in the brick pipe, inside which the air ducts are located, should be repaired with cement mortar.
  • The next step will be the insulation of this building. Any roll or slab insulation should be carefully wrapped around the pipe and fixed with strips on the surface. After that, the most correct decision would be to put on it a box of suitable sizes, made of metal. You can fix a paint grid on its surface and plaster the surface of the insulation. It all depends on your capabilities and finances.

Expert opinion


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The most effective insulation of ventilation ducts is provided by mineral wool insulation, which is not subject to decay and is highly fire resistant.

Second method: condensate removal

If for some reason it is not possible to insulate the air duct, and condensate drips from the exhaust pipe, then you can try the method of its removal.

In a private house, disconnect the pipe located in the attic, after which, turn 90 ° by inserting a “against the wool” tee with a conical plug, which will be the condensate drain. Then rotate to a vertical position and connect to the pipe leading to the street.

In an apartment building, find your duct and then extend it by turning it 90° to get a horizontal duct section. Then follow the same steps as above. Insulate all sections of the pipe and remove a small tube from the plug. Here is the removal of condensate from the ventilation is completed.

Addition on the topic

Please note!

It should be understood that the condensate drain is a temporary measure, as at prolonged low temperatures, the drain may freeze.

Third method: organization of supply ventilation

This method of dealing with condensate can be used if the previous ones did not give any result: this is the manufacture of a new forced ventilation system with a plug of the old ventilation system.

The kitchen is the largest source of fumes and can therefore be fitted with an extractor fan. It can be mounted in labor and pass through the thickness of the load-bearing wall. It can also be installed in a window. This fan will draw air from the kitchen and all rooms, but in order not to disturb the air circulation, you should take care of the flow of air masses. This can be done by slightly opening the windows in the rooms, but it is best to use wall inlets.