Ideas for venting

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Forum topic by Shadoglare posted 12-30-2012 06:17 PM 1087 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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8 posts in 2194 days

12-30-2012 06:17 PM

Topic tags/keywords: venting fumes

Sorry if this topic has been brought up before – unfortunately the search fuction appears to be broken at the moment…

So last night I pretty much stunk up the whole house with paint thinner fumes – my wife was understandably not happy and it probably isn’t real healthy to be breathing that stuff anyway – however it was about 12F outside last night so throwing a window open in my basement shop wasn’t really an option either.

I was thinking of trying to sort of jerry-rig some sort of venting system that wouldn’t require me to somehow vent through a concrete basement wall; somewhere down through the years one of the previous owners vented the dryer by busting out one of the window-well windows, replacing it with plywood and running the vent through that, and I was wondering what the possibilities where for maybe buying something like one of those bathroom ceiling vent fans, attaching it to the ceiling (the floor supports of the first floor of the the house) and running the exhaust piping along the wall until I could vent it out right next to the dryer – I’m guessing it’d be about a 30’ run with a turn at the corner of the two walls and another turn to point it outside.

Would something like that even work? Would that type of vent fan have enough draw to get a good portion of those thinner/paint/stain/poly/etc fumes out of the basement, or should I be trying to find something more powerful?

I’d love to see your ideas on how this could be done both whith the restrictions on where I can run the exhaust to and keeping in mind that it’d have to be on a pretty tight budget too. Thanks!

4 replies so far

View waho6o9's profile


8516 posts in 2775 days

#1 posted 12-30-2012 06:54 PM

I’d be more leery of a spark, that stuff is combustible.

“A FLAMMABLE LIQUID like gasoline, lacquer thinner, alcohol, some paint thinners, etc. are much more volatile — their vapors can ignite below 100° F, even down to freezing and below.”

“Paint thinners at high levels can also be a fire/explosive hazard. I recall one instance where two workers were cleaning the floor of the plant on a Saturday morning of sticky resin by pouring paint thinner on the floor. They took a thirty-minute break to let the paint thinner soak in and loosen up the resin. When they returned to work, they used a metal scrapper. It caused a spark resulting in a vapor explosion. By the time the sprinklers activated, it was too late. Neither man survived.”

View Lifesaver2000's profile


556 posts in 3310 days

#2 posted 12-30-2012 07:01 PM

I did a quick search on Amazon for bathroom vent fans, and the largest I saw was rated at 400 cfm. Let’s say your basement is 20’ x 20’ with an 8’ ceiling. This means that optimally this fan would change the air out once every eight minutes. With the length of the piping you want to run I would expect the actual cfm to be quite a bit less. I might be wrong but that doesn’t seem like enough air flow.

A couple of other things. You said that opening the window when it was 12 deg out was not an option, but if you have an exhaust fan blowing to outside there has to be air coming in from somewhere. If your house is very well sealed, it might even be necessary to crack the window a bit to allow make up air.

There are also a few safety concerns. One is the possibility that some of the finishes you want to use might be flammable and won’t mix well with the open motor design in some bathroom vent fans.

View IrreverentJack's profile


727 posts in 3041 days

#3 posted 12-30-2012 07:05 PM

You are trying to create negative air pressure in your basement to keep the fumes from going upstairs. This can be complicated by what type of heating system you have. Sucking combustion gases back into the basement while blowing fumes out could be deadly. -Jack

View RonInOhio's profile


721 posts in 3062 days

#4 posted 12-31-2012 04:41 AM

Beyond an expensive venting system, I could only suggest using the non-volatile and
human friendly finishes that are widely available .

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