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Mike50
10-06-2006, 09:46 AM
I need to replace my old ceiling unit that has died.
Need: Fan-Light-Heat functions.

Brands to consider/avoid?

Are the current infrared heating units comparable in heat output to heating elements?

Also I'd like to change out the older 3-way wall switch and go with something more modern if possible.


just realized this should be in "electrical"....

jimbo
10-07-2006, 07:21 AM
We're not fussy about where you post!

Nutone/Broan is the big gorilla brand. Panasonics are good, but not as widely available in store. Google is your friend.

In any brand, the big differences in price boil down to CFM, and especially noise level. With me, and a lot of people, the noise is a big issue, so I opt for maximum 1.0 sones, and 0.8 or 0.6 are even much better. You will pay a lot for the lower sones levels.

For CFM, I usually calculate a minimum 8 air changes per hour. Codes probably accept 6 or less.
eg. 10 X 12 room, 8 foot ceiling = 960 cubic feet. 8 change per hour = 8 X 960 = 7680 CF per hour; div. by 60 = 128 CFM.
( short cut: 1 cfm per sq. foot)

Mike50
10-08-2006, 08:22 AM
CFM is much more important to me because any new unit will be vast improvement of this old junky unit re: Sones
Thanks for that Jimbo.
And even more important is how fast it warms up the bathroom to an acceptable temperature.
This is a small bathroom with cross ventilation so odor isn't a big issue.

jimbo
10-08-2006, 09:24 AM
Ceiling heaters are intended to "take the chill off" but not to be the principle source of heat in a cold climate. If heat is a major item, I would opt for a wall heater, or even in-floor electric radiant heat if you are doing a major remodel.

rdtompki
10-09-2006, 10:14 AM
I've just remodeled a large (225 sq. ft.) bathroom and installed a remove Panasonic vent fan; found a good deal on the web but I can't recall the website. I was concerned about noise because of the 250 cfm, but even withoutthe sheetrock or ceiling insulation I could barely tell the vent was on. I've seen other posts praising the Pansonics for their quiet operation.

Mike50
10-09-2006, 11:59 AM
Jimbo I need the heat feature for showering purposes only.
My home is heated with a wood pellet stove which works great.
Which I only need here in the high desert Nov-thru March
This is my best option----and the current unit is trashed anyway.

I need to buy from local big box in case I need to exchange it.

Gary Swart
10-09-2006, 06:02 PM
I put a Broan in my basement bathroom. As noted, they are OK for taking the chill off, but not for really heating. The Nutone/Broan are found in most any hardware, electrical, or plumbing supply including the Big Box stores.

Mike50
10-10-2006, 03:15 PM
Today I saw a Nutone at big box with average sones, 100W light and 1500 watt heater. Price is right at 75 dollars. But it's rated for 40-80 sq ft (small in comparison to others) and is 14 5/8 inches long,which is pretty big which would require cutting the ceiling
substantially.

You get what you pay for so I'll compare with the other big box later this week and decide.

I wish some panasonics were available locally reasonably priced. They look pretty nice.

jadnashua
10-10-2006, 04:44 PM
The things almost never arrive DOA...what's the aversion to buying over the web if you can save substantially?

I buy locally when the prices are close, and once in awhile, actually less (especially if it is big - shipping can be expensive).

Mike50
10-10-2006, 05:45 PM
I love buying on the web. Im only concerned that it wont fit and I'd need need to exchange it...
maybe you're right.

jadnashua
10-10-2006, 05:55 PM
If you must, using the dimmensions from the spec sheet, make a box and check it out first.

Mike50
10-13-2006, 07:08 AM
I picked up a Broan at big box for 75 dollars. About 70 CFM and 4 sones.
It has fan driven heat I need so I think this will be fine--we will see.
Not an item I want to spend a lot on. I still need to get a good 3 way switch.

Unfortunately I had a catalog of all the 3 way switches available and threw it out a couple weeks ago. Ideally I'd like a timer on the heater and motion on/off light but that may not be realistic.

jadnashua
10-13-2006, 09:59 AM
If you are skimping on the fixture, you'll faint from the fancy motion and timer switches...

Mike50
10-14-2006, 06:27 AM
I've installed premium items in about 4 projects in 2006. But..you are right Im willing to skimp on the actual fan. I'm determined to get this done
inexpensive but safe.

I like the exterior design of this unit. I dont buy anything-I dont care what a technical marvel it is--if I don't like the design.
As it turns out -many of the premium fans look like crap imo.

I'm willing to pay more for the switch than the fan...and knew that going in.

chris8796
10-18-2006, 12:23 PM
I got a broan l/f/h for my basement bath. I picked up a 20 amp timer on sale for $10-15 and put the fan and light on regular single pole switches. The good thing is the broan has separate neutrals for each item, so you have alot of flexibility in wiring it up.

Mike50
10-23-2006, 07:38 AM
Thanks--good idea.

I'm hiring an electrician to do the install.
It appears this unit will pop right in without any alteration to ceiling.
I have no clue whatsoever as to what you guys would think a fair cost would be..???

Can I get a flat fee??

Mikey
10-23-2006, 12:08 PM
$100 just to show up.

chris8796
10-23-2006, 12:19 PM
I assume you have a Broan 655, I'm not sure how you can install it without making a hole bigger than the box in the ceiling. They are designed for new construction applications.

Yeah, I would also geuss a minimum of $100, for a respectable electrician.

Mike50
10-23-2006, 12:58 PM
I do have the Broan 655----I guess I need to rethink this if you are correct...

Spoke to Broan tech-support. They do NOT make ANY units for remodel-post construction.
zero zip nada.
It's a matter of getting someone able to address possible new framing and/ or enlarge duct
from 3 to 4 inch if necessary.

I will find someone to give me a free estimate.

Broan also said that a good handy guy can get er done. Licensed not necessary. REALLY surprised to hear that one. She said there are no codes for these???

chris8796
10-23-2006, 01:34 PM
As long as you have 16" on center joists you shouldnt need any new framing. You'll just need to cut some drywall and repair it. A big hole in the drywall isn't much harder to fix than a small hole and sometimes easier to repair. This will also allow you easy access to change the duct work/cables/etc if needed. The only code requirement I'm aware of with this unit is it most be on a dedicated 15 or 20 amp circuit.

Mike50
10-23-2006, 03:21 PM
Well...at least from what Im hearing from multiple sources is that it IS doable for a reasonable price.

Lets face it-most problems will go away if you throw enough money at the project.

If I can get it done for 1-200 I'd be happy.

Mike50
10-30-2006, 08:32 AM
I'm getting my Broan 655 installed next week. As I said, the existing 3-way switch needs to be replaced. If anyone has a brand/model to recommend available on the net or big box please let me know. I'd like to pay 75 bucks max if at all possible.

Current switch has a vertical configuration switch and plate.
Like this:

|=|
|=|
|=|

galacon
10-30-2006, 04:43 PM
Mike50-

The Broan rep should be whipped- Any electrical device is subject to the NEC, and as such, needs to be installed by an expert. Have it done right, my man...

As far as the switch, Broan's triple fan/heat/lite switch is exactly what you need, but HD may need to order it. It fits up in a single gang box, and you can get it with a timer function for the heater.

G

Mike50
10-30-2006, 04:54 PM
Mike50-

The Broan rep should be whipped- Any electrical device is subject to the NEC, and as such, needs to be installed by an expert. Have it done right, my man...

As far as the switch, Broan's triple fan/heat/lite switch is exactly what you need, but HD may need to order it. It fits up in a single gang box, and you can get it with a timer function for the heater.

G

Hey thanks--I'm going to call and locate one. Yea..I was surprised because the rep just said it was no big deal. I then said "but it's a potential fire hazard...right?"

She said: "Dont worry--it has an auto shutoff." :eek:

Mike

Mike50
10-31-2006, 07:49 AM
Followup on this for anyone installing one of these fans:

I spoke again with another Broan/Nutone Tech support for clarification:

Said Handy man is OK to do an installation like this IF (and Only IF) it is replacing an existing 3-way unit which has existing wiring. Obviously it is UL rated.
Safest is have an electrician do it.

Galacon I agree with you-don't shoot me Im just the messenger.

And BTW the good news is they carry the 3 way switch for under 30 bucks.
This tech said he has a 655 in his home and likes it a lot. It WILL take the chill off to be sure.

Mike

galacon
10-31-2006, 09:23 PM
Galacon I agree with you-don't shoot me Im just the messenger.


GET A ROPE!

Just kidding...

You'll like the unit/switch assembly- it's a nice product, i've installed a lot of them and never had troubles!

Peace,

G

TPA
11-24-2006, 12:36 PM
Just thought I'd add my comments (even if a bit late).. Panasonic all the way. It's all I've spec'd out for the past few years and they've never failed to impress. They truly are THAT quiet. Heat's a bit louder, but nowhere near as loud as the Nutone/Broan fans. The other reason I spec out Panasonic is that they're rated for continuous duty, so if you're using them as a fart/steam fan, they'll pretty much outlast the house.

Mike50
11-24-2006, 04:39 PM
My Broan Nutone 655 was finally installed today. I've heard about and looked at all the Panasonics but for my needs this 70 dollar unit was a very good value.

I NEED the 3 function with heat. From a design viewpoint I did not see a panasonic that made me want to spend the extra money.
The 655 also has vent slots all around the unit-360 degrees FWIW and I like that.

I also looked at the fancy high end units at a showroom. Lets be honest here-how much money are you willing to spend on a fart fan. 400-500?
Ain't gonna happen-no way.

Maybe I'm weird but fan noise doesn't bother me in the least.
In fact it reminds me that fresh air is on the way! :D

The actual installation was freaking nightmare for reasons unrelated to this unit. (you don't want to know)

Mike

TPA
11-24-2006, 10:28 PM
Are there any other high-end brands other than Panasonic? The bathroom showrooms I've seen usually aren't as high-end as they think they are, exception being their prices, which are well-over what they should be.

Yeah, you're not going to get a Panasonic fan for $70, let alone heat/light/fan... More like ~3-4 times that much for the Panny version... in which case, you got a very good deal. I was thinking of the Broan QT series when I was talking about price... totally forgot about their regular product lines. 4.0 sones 'though -- that's pretty loud. I also have sensitive hearing, so what may sound like a fan to someone else hits me like a jackhammer.

Some people like the noise, some people don't. I was surprised to have one of my guests run off to the bathroom, turned on the sink in a poor attempt to camouflage a fart. What a waste of water! Now I understand why Toto has the fake water running sound option on some of their Japanese-model toilets. I'll now be adding a sound-insulating door as part of my remodel project.

Mike50
11-25-2006, 06:40 AM
Are there any other high-end brands other than Panasonic? The bathroom showrooms I've seen usually aren't as high-end as they think they are, exception being their prices, which are well-over what they should be.

Yeah, you're not going to get a Panasonic fan for $70, let alone heat/light/fan... More like ~3-4 times that much for the Panny version... in which case, you got a very good deal. I was thinking of the Broan QT series when I was talking about price... totally forgot about their regular product lines. 4.0 sones 'though -- that's pretty loud. I also have sensitive hearing, so what may sound like a fan to someone else hits me like a jackhammer.

Some people like the noise, some people don't. I was surprised to have one of my guests run off to the bathroom, turned on the sink in a poor attempt to camouflage a fart. What a waste of water! Now I understand why Toto has the fake water running sound option on some of their Japanese-model toilets. I'll now be adding a sound-insulating door as part of my remodel project.

Well, to be perfectly honest about this unit--If you have really sensitive hearing issues--this is probably not the unit for you. Good call on your part TPA.

I can't find the high end ones on the net now...however I did discover some different designs I'd never seen here:
http://www.noblewinds.com/hunter-bath-fans.html

These just don't look like fans at all---and a few of them have some art-deco
metal scroll work. nice...

If I didn't need the heat feature I would grab one of these.

Ahh. the Noble Fart...is still not accepted in society is it?
Oh yea.. the Japanese with their Clean & Odor fetish.
They came out with a tablet- marketed to women--it allegedly removed the poo smell from your poo.

I think they are all getting a little crazy on that island..
:D

Anyways here is my report regarding the heat feature on the Broan Nutone 655.
Prior to showering and preheating my not all that big bathroom the Temp was 63
After 5 minutes of preheat-68
Then finally after showering it was 79.
It's really the greenhouse humidity combined with the radiant heat that makes the temp skyrocket by 10 degrees in 10 minutes.
mission accomplished.

Mike

chris8796
11-28-2006, 12:11 PM
Mike,

I'm glad its working out for you. I'm happy with my 655. While I would normally prefer a quieter fan, a noiser one has its benefits. If you have kids, they'll leave the fan on and walk away. Then your fan is sucking out the air you just paid to heat or cool for hours or until I come and turn it off. Its also good for kids who never turn the fan on. When you hear the shower and no fan you can remind them. I'll get quieter fans once the kids move out.

jadnashua
11-28-2006, 03:30 PM
A humidity controlled fan switch solves all of those problems!