Take the 2-minute tour ×
Home Improvement Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for contractors and serious DIYers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Our apartment building is 23 years old, and the bathroom has passive ventilation: basically there's a hole in the wall just under the ceiling, where warm moist air slowly escapes. It usually has a nice cover, but I've removed it in the attached photo.

It seems that the ventilation shaft ends just below the wall hole, and the bottom of this shaft slowly fills up with condensation water. Apparently the condensation adds more water than the amount that naturally evaporates. This is a net positive so eventually the water overflows the shaft bottom and trickles down the bathroom wall. That's how I discovered this.

I've just improvised a siphon using a few drinking straws and to my horror I extracted more than two liters of old water from that shaft. This must have been accumulating over the last several years. Obviously this is a construction fault.

Question: How can I avoid this water build-up in the future? Can I add an electric fan to the hole, to blow out the moist air before too much of it condensates in the shaft?

Left: the wall. Right: the shaft with water.
Left: the wall | right: the shaft with water

share|improve this question
    
Have you reported the issue to building management? With references to how legionnaires disease is spread? –  The Evil Greebo Feb 11 '12 at 12:05
    
@TheEvilGreebo I have only just discovered it. Offices are closed because it's Saturday. My current focus is on fixing rather than reporting. –  Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Feb 11 '12 at 12:52
    
Maybe water is entering from somewhere else? That seems like a lot of water to build up from condensation –  Steven Feb 11 '12 at 16:33
    
I would check with management. It looks like it might connect with other tenants, like a community vent, for a lack of better words. It looks like it also could be a place for mold to start showing up. I would let them do it just for the mold part of the situation. –  lqlarry Feb 12 '12 at 0:10
    
I suspect the fix for this involves structural work that you're not authorized to do as only one tenant, so temporarily reducing the water and making a huge issue about this w/ management is your best action, I think. –  The Evil Greebo Feb 13 '12 at 13:22
show 1 more comment

Know someone who can answer? Share a link to this question via email, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook.

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.