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Thread: Bathroom Vent Fan - NuTone vs. Panasonic

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    DIY Senior Member CarlH's Avatar
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    Default Bathroom Vent Fan - NuTone vs. Panasonic

    I'm looking into replacing my current NuTone/Mercury C350 with a unit that is quieter and moves more air. My bathroom is approximately 60 sq. ft. I was looking at the 80 and 110 CFM models, but given the relatively small price difference I am leaning toward a 110 CFM unit. The models I am looking at are the NuTone QTXEN and the Panasonic FV-11Q3. I am leaning toward the Panasonic since it is a bit cheaper and will give me a chance to check out the mounting options. I have another bathroom where I want to replace the fan, but I do not have access above the ceiling. I guess I have pretty much made up my mind to get the Panasonic. Is there any reason to pick the NuTone over the Panasonic other than being an U.S. company?
    Last edited by Terry; 05-18-2010 at 02:24 PM.

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    DIY Senior Member rdtompki's Avatar
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    Anyone want to put money on the Nutone being manufactured in the USA? I've installed two Panasonics, one an 80 cfm in a small bathroom and another 250 cfm remote unit in a large bathroom. Both are quiet although you can definitely hear the large unit move air. Panasonics get a lot of favorable press on this and other forums.

    Rick

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Had you given thought to a remote motor and two inlets, one in each bathroom? Fantec and others make these. The Panasonics are nice. Having the motor remote is quieter.

    If either of these bathrooms are on the top floor, had you considered a tubular skylight with the fan kit? I've got one by www.solatube.com that works very well, and has a remote motor and the light kit. On a snowy night, the reflections cast a glow in the room (no windows), or a full moon is enough to find the toilet without turning on the lights. in full daylight, it is the equivalent of a 300W incandescent light bulb...really neat.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    DIY Senior Member CarlH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rdtompki View Post
    Anyone want to put money on the Nutone being manufactured in the USA?
    I was careful in the way that I phrased that. I just said they were a U.S company. Being not entirely sure, I just went and checked to see if my assumption was correct and the ownership trail still ends with a U.S. based company. Also, I checked a few online auctions Broan and Nutone that had pictures of the boxes and such and found that it does appear that they are still made here. One actually had a picture of the motor ID plate and it indicated that it was made here, which I was surprised to see. It is a bit moot at this point since I think I will go ahead with the Panasonic fan.

    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua
    Had you given thought to a remote motor and two inlets, one in each bathroom? Fantec and others make these. The Panasonics are nice. Having the motor remote is quieter.
    I did not consider this. I already upgraded the other bathroom on this floor with a Broan S110LU and I have no complaints with this unit. It is much quieter than the economy builder grade fan that it replaced and moves plenty of air. I have had this one in for a while but did not realize the difference that it made until I had to shower in that bath since mine was not available due to maintenance. The two fans that are next on the list are on separate floors. It is the half bath on the main floor that will be difficult to upgrade due to lack of access from above the ceiling. I'll save that till after I upgrade the 2nd upstairs bath.

    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua
    If either of these bathrooms are on the top floor, had you considered a tubular skylight with the fan kit? I've got one by www.solatube.com that works very well, and has a remote motor and the light kit. On a snowy night, the reflections cast a glow in the room (no windows), or a full moon is enough to find the toilet without turning on the lights. in full daylight, it is the equivalent of a 300W incandescent light bulb...really neat.
    I like those skylights, but I really don't need it. Both of the top floor baths have windows.

    Thanks for the feedback. I'll go with the Panasonic unit. I just had to ask since I knew nothing about the Panasonic fans.

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    DIY Senior Member CarlH's Avatar
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    Thanks for the feedback. I got the Panasonic fan and it has been in for a couple weeks now. The increase in airflow has made a significant improvement on moisture build up when taking a shower. I should have changed out the old fan 10 years ago.

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    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Thanks for the feedback on your project.

    I definitely agree with your decision to go with more CFM. By any industry standard calculation, the 80 CFM would provide more than the minimum recommended air changes per hour. But I always opt for more CFM and find it makes a big difference.

  7. #7

    Default Panasonic Bath Fan

    I noticed that the housing on most of the panasonic bath fans are 7 7/8 deep.. that doesn't leave room to put down an attic floor, uh? The joist in the attic is a 2x8 which is really 2x7 and some change. Are my assumptions correct?

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    DIY Senior Member taysan's Avatar
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    Yes - I just installed a Panasonic fan in my 80 year old house. There was an attic space above the bathroom so I was able to mount it flush against the joists.

    I think you'd be alright if you blocked it down from the joists 3/8" or so and then butted the drywall up against it. Not sure if the grill would secure properly however, as it may be designed with the thickness of drywall in mind. Probably could easily be tightened up though.

    Panasonics are nice nice nice fans IMHO. Seem to be very well made. Not sure where it's made - I'm done with 'Made in China' and am done with Home Depot. For this bathroom reno (my house) I shopped at plumbing and electrical supply shops. Saved tons of money off HD prices and the items were actually made in Canada (recessed low voltage lights and trim) etc. I think the bathroom thus far is all either made in Canada, the US or Italy (marble tile).

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    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    I too swear by the panasonic fans they are quiet and move air. Serious air!

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    DIY Junior Member Klutzy's Avatar
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    Default Solatube in New England winters?

    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua View Post

    If either of these bathrooms are on the top floor, had you considered a tubular skylight with the fan kit? I've got one by www.solatube.com that works very well, and has a remote motor and the light kit. On a snowy night, the reflections cast a glow in the room (no windows), or a full moon is enough to find the toilet without turning on the lights. in full daylight, it is the equivalent of a 300W incandescent light bulb...really neat.
    Gee this sounds like a lovely alternative to one little window in the 9x5 closet space I'm converting to a bathroom! I'm in central New England too. Does the Solatube cause heat and/or cold problems in summer or winter? Seems like an awful lot of heat would escape out the glass top of the tube. There is approx 1' of attic space between the ceiling and roof. The remodel is happening right now so I have to decide fast if I want to have a Solatube and fan instead of a window and fan. Thanks for any advice.

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    The air shaft is sealed, there should be little heat loss in the tube itself. As to the vent, insulate the pipe and make sure the damper is installed properly. I've not noticed any cold air escaping in the winter, nor do I see any snow melting on the roof around the light tube collector or the exhaust (note, I don't use the fan much in the winter, but do in the summer - I figure the humidifer won't have to run as much).
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    DIY Junior Member Klutzy's Avatar
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    Solatube
    So you don't notice a cold draft or anything like that? Great! I was not happy about the window because it's on the short, only exterior, wall, which faces west, and the far end of the room will be quite dark much of the day. I can position the Solatube directly over the sink and be able to see myself in the mirror in the early morning. Wait...maybe that's not such a good thing after all!
    Last edited by Terry; 11-26-2008 at 06:07 PM.

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    The amount of light depends on the time of day, and the orientation on the roof. Mine's on the west side of the peak...plenty of light in the morning, but a lot more in the afternoon. There's even light at night if the moon's up.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    One thing that occured to me is the small amount of height you have...you probably want to talk to them to see if you have enough to install both the light tube and the fan. The fan motor is remote and in-line. It might be tough to install from below. Normally, you have access in the attic. I think you'd be fine for the light-tube, though...that can be done from below and from the roof.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    DIY Junior Member eolafan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rdtompki View Post
    Anyone want to put money on the Nutone being manufactured in the USA? I've installed two Panasonics, one an 80 cfm in a small bathroom and another 250 cfm remote unit in a large bathroom. Both are quiet although you can definitely hear the large unit move air. Panasonics get a lot of favorable press on this and other forums.

    Rick
    NuTone Ultra Silent fans are made in Hartford, Wisconsin and Panasonic fans (all of them) are made in China...support US workers and products!!!!

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