One Year Tarion Items To Be Fixed Builder Doesn't Agree

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Posted by: from Elmira
10/11/2012 at 1:37:31 PM

We are at the one year for our new home, and there is a few items that we want fixed. Let me say the rest of the house is done very well and we are happy with the overall build.

Item #1, the electrical.

We have two bathrooms upstairs, one main the other the master. The electrical circuit will overload if I'm using my hairdryer with the bathroom and bedroom lights on. We usually have two people full time but we had guests, and we had to rotate bathroom usage in the morning for hairdryers etc, because they wired the two bathrooms and the master bedroom and bathroom lights all on one switch. In my opinion, this was not smart. If a normal family lived here full time and got up early to shower etc when it's dark out (in winter is pretty standard), the breaker would trip every time.

Item #2, the master bathroom.

There is bubbling in the wall to ceiling joint above the doorway to the bathroom, which is beside the shower. The master bath is very long with a window at the far end and the fan is located there as well. We want the fan moved to the centre of the bathroom to help avoid further bubbling from the shower.

Are these realistic expectations? Bad planning by the trades people if you ask me.

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Date/Time10/11/2012 at 2:25:37 PM

Well the electrical is done wrong, it should not be wired into the lights. I am sure some electrical contractor will confirm if this is to code or not. The electrical contractors who post on these forums are quite good.

The bathroom paint bubbling is another matter altogether. moving the fan a few feet will not make a difference, air volume is not as static as that. increasing the fan CFM may be better, but it sounds like something more difficult that you have posted.

Is the paint bubbling from behind the paint? (blistering) like a water leak in the wall? or is the paint bubbling because the wrong materials were used?

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Date/Time10/11/2012 at 3:29:01 PM

Well I actually agree that there was poor planning, at least on the part of the electrical. However the installation is code compliant. There is no requirement to have the bathroom(s) on a dedicated circuit.

Should they be? I think they should, but there is no requirement.

WRT the fan, I cannot say for sure if it is code compliant, meaning the size of the exhaust fan, size of duct, etc. But I am guessing that it is likely code compliant also. I suspect that the paint issue might be something else... perhaps a penetration in the vapour barrier or even a leak.

It is unlikely that the builder will feel they need to make any repairs on his dime.

I would get an electrician in to see if a circuit can be added to separate off at least one of the bathrooms. Depending on how they were wired and the ability to access from below or above will depend on the "ease" and cost of doing it.

I think the exhaust fan requires more investigation. At the least you could put in a larger (more CFM) fan and larger ducting to see if that resolves the issue. Anything other then that will likely opening up walls and such to see what is going on. Who knows, could be as simple as a spill on the original drywall that the paint won't stick to.


John Kuehnl-Cadwell

Master Electrician

Datawise Solutions Inc

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Constantine from Constantine in Toronto
Date/Time10/11/2012 at 3:35:42 PM

First of all each bathroom by code must have a SEPERATE line GFI. This one is good enough for your hair dryer if you use it in there. Probably you electrical contractor put both bedrooms in one circuit. It is allowed to do that as long it does not exceed 12 plugs totally.

As for the bubbling it has to do with ventilation of the room. I will give you some scenarios. Fan is blocked at connection with the vent pipe. Your fan is not strong enough for the volume of your moisture. My WC has 120 cfm fan. Check yours from the model when you take the cover out

Good luck and do not worry. Everything is fixable.

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Robert from Electrilight Ltd. in Oakville
Date/Time10/11/2012 at 4:04:50 PM

Sorry Constantine, No code rules states the GFCI must be a dedicated line in the bathroom. Common sense (not the code) tells the person wiring the rooms to allow enough for hair dryers and irons, etc.

Building code states there must be a x CFM for x square feet. Smart guys put it near the shower, careless people stick it anywhere they like.

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Date/Time10/11/2012 at 6:46:32 PM

Any reputable contractor knows that it`s best to wire each bathroom separately. Then your clients will have no issues with overload or breaker failure. I don`t know if there is any recource in going back to the homebuilder however. You may need to pay out of pocket. When did you notice this to be an issue? Recently or upon possession?

You will need to get the damage on the ceiling investigated further. It may be, as others have stated, a leak or just plain too much moisture in the air or the joint area wasn`t taped before plastering. Your fan needs to be upgraded to a 110 CFM ... seems it may be a 50 CFM or a 70 CFM. If you do this you may not need to move your fan at all. Have the fan venting checked in the attic as well.

Also, you may want to repaint your bath ceiling with an oil base ceiling paint (holds up better with moisture).

Good luck and please keep us posted.

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Haley in Elmira
Date/Time10/11/2012 at 7:06:46 PM

Yes, I did bring it to the builders attention right away the first time it happened after we moved in. He brought the electrician in, and he told me some hair dryers use huge amounts of electricity. Suggested I turn some stuff off if I plan to use thd hair dryer. So I am mindful of that when I do. It wasn't until we had guests recently and it tripped again that I realized this was not acceptable.

I appreciate everyone's input. I do have to say, I will not be happy if the builder chooses to make it "our" problem with either of these issues, as we spent $400,000 on a home that should function properly, not just be to code.

I don't feel it is acceptable to have a possible mold or moisture issue either, before the house is one year old.

I hope Tarion will agree if this isn't accepted to be fixed by the builder. We meet next Friday to go over stuff.

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Date/Time10/12/2012 at 12:39:56 PM

Cindy makes a good point:

"Any reputable contractor knows that it`s best to wire each bathroom separately. Then your clients will have no issues with overload or breaker failure."

I think we agree with that, but Haley was nit aware that the "minimum code" sometimes (perhaps mostly) is not suitable. Haley, if you want something beyond code I guess it is up to the GC to ask you what that is. Unfortunately most HO don't know what it is they should ask for. A couple hundred extra during building could have saved you perhaps what could be a $1000 job if you have to ripping things out to get at the wires and boxes, etc.

Unfortunately Tarion won't help you with this.

The fan issue could very well be a Tarion issue.



John Kuehnl-Cadwell

Master Electrician

Datawise Solutions Inc

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