Rated 3.5 out of 5Â by 8
Rated 2.0 out of 5.0Â by Mark Flawed fan damper and grille.
I bought this fan for a small bathroom because the original fan was too small and was mounted too far away from the shower. Mildew was continually forming on the walls and ceiling around the shower. I removed the original fan, and replaced it with this new fan, and remounted it closer to the shower. A month later after the installation, my mildew problems have disappeared. I wish I could say the same about the problem with the fan's damper and grille. More about them later.
Mounting the fan housing was not very difficult. However, the instructions and the two hangar bars are designed for installing the fan before the ceiling drywall is up. The two metal bars are made to attach themselves to the bottom of the ceiling joists, and they only allow you to install the housing in the direction where the exhaust duct runs parallel to the joist--which is usually preferred.
There are no instructions to help you install the fan if the drywall is already up. If that's the case, you are on your own. You'll need to install the fan from above (e.g., in the attic), and can either attach the fan to a joist using the metal flange on one side of the housing, or bend/cut-off the small tabs on both ends of the hangar bars so they can be attached to the sides of the joists rather than the bottoms.
Trying to install the fan from below with the drywall up can be a lot more work since you will probably need to cut a much bigger fan opening to access the area above the fan in order to mount the fan assembly, install and attach the duct, and run and connect the electrical wires. After you finish, you then have to re-install drywall around the fan housing to bring the opening back to its correct size.
In my case, due to the location of the fan being in a very hard-to-reach location in the attic, I discarded the hangars and found it much easier to use some 2 by 4s to shim between one joist and the housing, and run screws through the housing into the 2 by 4s and into the other joist. I could easily do this from down inside the bathroom rather than in the attic. If you take this approach, make sure your shims allow room for the damper assembly on the fan housing.
Electrically, this fan works great. I installed the fan several feet from the shower, and when operated in auto mode, the fan came on automatically in about 30 secs after the shower was turned on. The humidity sensor is adjustable. You can set it so the fan comes on when the humidity is anywhere above 50 to 80 percent. The auto turn-on time will vary depending on the setting and how far away the fan is located from the shower. When the fan is operated in auto mode, it is timed to turn off automatically about 20 mins after humidity returns to normal. This too is adjustable from 5 to 60 mins.
You will need to have a 4-function switch (or 4 separate switches) if you want to operate all four functions of the fan: bathroom light, night light, manual fan mode, and auto fan mode. That means you'll need to have a total of 6 wires going from the wall switch location to the fan. Four switched hot wires, 1 shared common, and a ground. So, if you are replacing an existing fan that has only a single cable with 2 wires plus ground, you will need to run another cable with 3 wires plus ground from the switch location to the fan. Also note, that this fan requires a larger opening in the ceiling compared to many smaller capacity fans. It also uses a 6-inch duct rather than 4-inch or 3-inch duct.
Another thing I like about this fan's electrical design is the light sockets. Unlike similar models, the QTXN110SL fan uses a standard E26 socket to accommodate a common incandescent light bulb up to 100 watts, and a standard E12 socket for a typical 4 watt incandescent night light bulb. I wanted a fan with these sockets so I can use incandescent bulbs instead of special fluorescent bulbs that may not be readily available or as bright, and may be more expensive. Some may even have a shorter life expectancy. Since this fan model uses standard light sockets, you have the choice of using an incandescent or compact fluorescent (CFL) bulb.
However, the fan's nice electrical features are offset by a poorly designed grille and damper which doesn't work. The spacings between the slots in the grill are so far apart that when one looks up at the fan they can easily see the wiring inside the housing. It's not very aesthetically pleasing. The purpose of the grille is to hide all of this, but this grill fails to do this. I suppose NuTone designed the grille this way to accommodate the high air flow. But other manufacture's fans which have the same or higher air flow ratings have grilles that hide the wiring.
However, the major problem with this fan is its flawed damper. It's supposed to prevent outside air from coming back into the fan through its duct. Sadly, the damper assembly is so poorly designed, it not only fails to seal the opening, but its small damper flap restricts the air flow, making the fan much noisier and less efficient. Although the fan's duct is 6-inches, the damper assembly reduces this opening down to about 3-inches. Furthermore, since the flap is designed not to open fully, the total duct opening is even less than 3-inches.
One has to wonder why NuTone designed a fan to use a 6-inch duct, when the damper restricts the opening down to less than 3 inches. It makes me think NuTone was trying to save money by using the same damper flap on this 6-inch model as the ones used on their other models that use a smaller duct.
I called NuTone and told them about the problem with the duct failing to seal, and they sent me another damper assembly, but it was identical compared to the first. I called again, and this time I was told that the damper wasn't designed to seal! Uh? They told me that the fan's damper was only a secondary damper, and I needed to purchase a primary damper for the duct which did the sealing. They also said that they didn't sell this required part for their fan.
It was obvious that NuTone was giving me the run-around, and trying to avoid fixing a design problem associated with their fan. The dampers on other fans seal--that's what they are designed to do. Nowhere in the installation instructions does it state that another damper may be required, and who ever heard of a backflow damper that is designed not to seal? NuTone needs to either fix their damper assembly or provide the so-called 'primary' damper with their fan.
I eventually removed the damper flap and purchased another damper which I installed in the duct. This not only sealed the duct, but the fan ran much quieter. If you decide to purchase another damper, be aware that most have to be installed facing up or horizontally. Even if the damper has return springs, these springs are usually too weak to close the damper when it is installed facing down.
January 24, 2014
Rated 3.0 out of 5.0Â by akoep626 Good features
We purchased 2 of these, the first one is working great, very quiet and keeps the mirror clean during hot showers.
We then bought a second one for another bathroom re-model and is not working so good, the fan makes a lot of noise most of the time. Don't know what to do about it.
June 20, 2014
Rated 3.0 out of 5.0Â by Unknown The product is quiet, however; the cover does not let the light come through
The fan is quiet, works great however the cover does not let the light show through. The light bulb used is a 100 watt bulb, the bathroom is small this is the only light in the room and should be sufficient. Previous model same brand had a 60 watt bulb and was much brighter due to the cover.
March 10, 2014
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0Â by timber360 I'd buy again...very quiet
The humidity sensitivity setting could be improved. Recommends turning off the breaker before adjusting. I thought this was a strange safety concern since the adjustment screw is no where near the wireing. It turns out that the electronics gets confused and the fan never turns off unless you follow the instructions. That's inconvenient but otherwise a very nice product.
I haven't had the opportunity to evaluated the automatic humidity controls in action yet...hopefully the factory settings work out of the box. Because the adjustment promises to be difficult trial and error process.
September 20, 2011
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0Â by wlamarr Great features
I love the humidity sensing feature. We leave the fan on all the time. As soon as you start your shower it kicks on. A short while after leaving the bathroom it turns itself off again. Great product.
September 7, 2011