When did bathroom vent fans first become a code requirement for a bathroom without a window?
Friday, April 5, 2019
Mechanical ventilation of a bathroom with a vent fan has never been a code requirement, but it became an alternative to an openable window shortly after manufacturers started making exhaust fans. Building codes dating all the way back to the 1927 Uniform Building Code have required that “all rooms used to eating, living and/or sleeping purposes shall be provided with ventilation by means of windows with an area of not less than one-eighth (1/8) of the total floor area of any room or rooms."
A specific ventilation requirement for bathrooms began in the 1946 Uniform Building Code, with the citation shown below, courtesy of Jerry Peck.
So an unventilated bathroom, without either a window or vent fan, has never been acceptable per the building codes. Also, see our blog posts When did the building code begin requiring bathroom vent fans to discharge to the exterior (not the attic or crawl space)? and Does a half bathroom (no shower or tub) require an exhaust fan?
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