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Why Is Water Dripping From My Bathroom Fan? [FIXED]

Seeing water dripping from your bathroom fan is not a good sign. The issues causing a dripping fan can be easy to fix or more difficult.

If you do not resolve these water issues, you can be faced with severe problems in the future. Furthermore, by ignoring this problem and not solving it, you may risk a lot of money and may even cause an accident.

This article covers the common reasons water may drip from your bathroom fan and different ways you can fix this leak.

dripping bathroom fan

Potential Risks

A dripping bathroom fan is not exceptionally uncommon. It does happen from time to time. But if your bathroom fan is constantly sprinkling water down on you, it is a need for concern.

If condensation has built up in your ductwork, then your fan cannot do its job properly. If your fan is not removing moisture, then mold can develop in your bathroom. A leaking fan can also cause a wet floor and a slipping hazard.

Other potential risks include serious damage to your fan. Some fans have humidity sensors or lights inside them, and the dripping water can cause them to fail or short circuit.

Though many bathroom vent fans are waterproof, if water gets through your ductwork or into your attic, it can easily fry the electrical connections resulting in you having to buy a brand new fan. This can be the cause of both an electrical shock and fire hazard.

Lastly, this leaking water can cause irreparable damage to your walls, ceiling, roof, and attic.    

Common Reasons

Duct Condensation

Most bathroom vent fan leaks are caused by condensation. This usually occurs in the winter when the warm air of your bathroom meets the cold air outside.

But condensation can also happen in the summer when your bathroom air nears pipes made cold by air conditioning. Condensation will also occur if your fan is malfunctioning.

When It Rains

If your bathroom fan only leaks when it is raining, then the issue is coming from your roof. Bathroom fan vents that are on the roof tend to be forgotten, which leads to neglect.

If your roof vent is not properly cleaned and maintained, it will fail at its job, and water will get through the vent into your bathroom. Besides poor maintenance, the roof vent cover you purchased may be defective, causing your leak.

Snow/Ice Buildup on the Roof

It is typical for ice and snow to build up on your roof during the winter months. The warm air that leaves your bathroom through your vent will cause this snow and ice to melt.

This melted snow then finds its way into your home through a lousy roof vent or through your roof itself. Melted snow will essentially give you the same issues as rainwater. There can also be a broken damper that is allowing this water into your home.

Incorrect Fan or Installation

Sometimes the weather and condensation have nothing to do with your leak, and your problem lies in your fan’s installation. If you tried to save money by buying the cheapest fan available, that fan might not be up to the job.

If you have a huge bathroom or the air must travel through a lot of ductwork to reach outside, you will likely need a stronger fan, or you may need to place your fan or vent somewhere else. The bends in your ductwork also play an integral part in proper ventilation.

How to Stop Water Dripping From Your Bathroom Fan

  • The most crucial part of stopping a leak is finding the cause of the leak. Check your vents, ductwork, and take note of the weather when a leak is happening to determine the source. The most common cause of water dripping from a bathroom fan is condensation.
  • If you have a roof vent, you must get up on your roof and check that the roof vent is in proper working order. You can use a flashlight to check if the vent is clogged and inspect the outside of the unit for any damage.
  • While on your roof, check for damage to skylights and the roof itself. In rare cases, they can lead to water leaking from the bathroom fan but are beneficial to be aware of in any situation.
  • Check the other vents in your home. You can use a flashlight and a plumbers snake to see if the flaps on your dampers are opening and closing as they should. Also, look for clogs and signs of condensation.
  • Suppose you have determined that your leaks are weather-related. In that case, you can take special precautions like removing snow and ice buildup on your vents and not operating your fan during heavy rain or snowstorms to avoid electrical shock and fires.
  • Head into your attic and check your ductwork. Make sure your ductwork was installed with the most efficient path from your bathroom to your vent outside with as few bends as possible. If you did not install your ductwork efficiently, you could easily fix it.
  • Check the path of your duct and see if it runs close to pipes that get cold or hot which can cause condensation. Insulating your ductwork can solve this issue.
  • Check your fan to see if it is malfunctioning. It is also best to determine if the fan you have is strong enough to ventilate your bathroom.


Is a leaking bathroom exhaust fan an emergency?

You should take a leaking bathroom fan seriously. It is best to take care of any leak as soon as you can. As the longer the fan leaks, the more likely it can cause damage.

Will insurance cover water damage from a dripping bathroom fan?

This would depend on your insurance policy but in most cases; homeowners insurance will only cover damage from a water leak if it was sudden or accidental. But the damage caused by mold is usually not covered because a water leak brings on mold over time. Something like a pipe bursting would be sudden and should be covered. But in most cases, water damage from a leaking bathroom fan is not covered.

Adam McCoy

Adam is an HVAC expert and the owner of Mackydo's HVAC Services with decades of experience in fixing and installing air conditioning units, furnaces, and every type of cooling and heating equipment you can think of.

Adam believes that your home is your sanctuary. He loves sharing advice based on his lifelong experience and treats every HVAC problem as if it was his own.

About Loo Academy

At Loo Academy, our mission is to offer trusted advice for everything related to bathrooms (design ideas, plumbing advice, showering & bathing tips, remodeling guides, and more) — a place where we all spend a great deal of time.

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