Question about Broan-NuTone N-LS100SE Exhaust Fan Exhaust Fan

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Bathroom Ventilation Fan Motor Failures

I have a Nutone LS-80SE ventilation fan in my bathroom. It is located above the shower, and installed as advised in the installation manual. Every year or so, the fan in this unit fails. Upon examination, the iron in the rotor becomes rusty. As the rust builds up, it eventually gets so thick that the rotor can no longer turn. If I clean the rotor, the motor will run again for a week or two, but the rust seems to grow even faster after the first build-up. Also, the ball bearings develop rust and I have not been able to locate replacements.

I assumed that this unit was intended for use in the damp locations. Before I go out an buy another motor, can you give me any advice. Perhaps in the long-run I should change the unit to one built by another manufacturer.

Scott

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  • smorse Jan 29, 2009

    I thought of these things the first time the fan motor rusted. I have inspected the ductwork, which is a straight run about 30 inches to an outside wall mounted vent. We left the fan on at least two hours after a bath. The pipe was installed with a slight downward slope towards outside, permitting any condensed moisture in the pipe to drain out. I am using a 4" metal pipe. A neighbor who designs industrial ventilation systems suggested changing the pipe for it's entire length to 3" diameter. He says that while this will make the fan a little noisier, it will cause the water vapor to move faster in the exhast air stream. He also suggested removing the shutter louvers where the pipe exists the house, and replacing it with a 90 elbow, pointed down, and some 3/8 inch or 1/2 inch hardware mess to keep mice, etc. out of the pipe.

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I'm guessing that water isn't splashing up on this fan's motor, so the moisture that is causing the rust must be water vapor. The exact same water vapor that the fan is supposed to be removing. I have two suggestions before replacing the entire fan. One is to make sure that the ducting that carries the moist air out of the bathroom (and preferably out of the house altogether) is free of obstructions and that the fan can actually do it's job. Second is to actually run the fan, and run it a lot longer than you probably are right now. If it is running while you are in the shower and then you turn it off after you leave the bathroom, it can't possibly be removing that moisture. I'd invest in a countdown type timer and replace the existing switch with that. Set that thing for 30 or 60 minutes when you get in the shower and let it turn it off automatically.

Posted on Jan 29, 2009

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