Seeing a range hood suck out all the smoke & odor is a satisfying experience while you cook. It helps maintain a clean & odor-free kitchen, saving you from many health hazards.
But you should be worried if your range hood starts dripping water while it’s raining outside. The water can choke the filters, make your kitchen messy, and cause the range hood to stop working.
There can be a few reasons for the range hood dripping water when it rains. A leak in your roof, the absence of a rain cover, or missing duct insulation can lead to a dripping range hood while it’s raining outside.
Through this article, I’ll go through the causes of a dripping range hood while also offering the solution.
Let’s dive right in.
Why is Water Dripping From My Range Hood When It Rains?
There can be several reasons for a leaking range hood while raining. The problem could be in your ceiling, roof, or sidewalls (if vented through it). And if not, then your range hood’s ductwork is at fault.
Let’s understand and address each problem in detail, so you won’t have a hard time fixing a leaking range hood.
Flashing or Shingles Leaking
This is the most common problem with houses with vertical ductwork that exhausts at the roof. If water accumulates near the ducted exhaust when it rains or snows, it can lead to leakage in your range hood.
What happens is that the water leaks into the duct pipe and flows to the range hood, where it drips onto your stove range.
Another possibility is that the rainwater leaks through the roof and onto the outer surface of the duct pipe, which then flows directly to the range hood.
If you’ve flashing installed at the exhaust vent, there is a high chance that its screws are not set in place or have become loose. Also, damaged or improperly installed shingles can cause rainwater leakage.
How to Solve?
I know what it feels like when you have a leaking roof. However, it can be solved easily.
You can either fix it yourself or call a professional roofer. I’ll recommend the latter as roofers can quickly diagnose and solve the problem.
If you want to check where the fault lies, do this:
- Go on your house’s roof when it’s not raining, and take a garden hose. (only do this if you’re experienced in climbing on roofs)
- Spray water all around the chimney area and look closely for any leaks. Half of your job is done if you can spot the point from where water leaks into the duct pipe.
- Also, check the ceiling inside the house to spot any wet damps. This could help you pinpoint the exact location of the leakage.
- Call a professional to fix the roof and even the ceiling if it’s damaged.
If water leaks through the flashing, tighten all the screws and rivets holding it to the roof. Apply caulking along the edges to avoid even a drop of water seeping through it.
Next, check the shingles near the base of the chimney for any damages or loose placements. Replace the damaged shingles and apply caulking or white cement at the leakage point.
To avoid all these problems in the future, get a roof gutter system installed to direct rainwater to the ground.
You shouldn’t attempt all of this alone if you don’t have the required experience & knowledge. Falling from the roof can lead to severe injuries or even death.
So, it’s better to call a local roofer who knows his job better. You’ll get a long-lasting solution for a nominal price and save yourself from any trouble.
Faulty or No Rain Cover on Duct Exhaust
Almost all the roof chimneys have a rain cover on the top to prevent rainwater or snow from entering. But what if it’s damaged or not good enough to perform its task?
A damaged or small-sized rain cover can cause rainwater or snow to escape inside the duct pipe. This is especially true in areas where rain is combined with high winds.
This is also true in the case of horizontal ductwork exiting through the sidewalls. Rain combined with high winds can leak through your damper if it’s not powerful.
During snowfall, snow can get inside or deposit near the duct pipe. When you’re cooking, the hot smoke will melt the snow, which then drips through your range hood.
How to Solve?
Solving this problem’s pretty easy as you only need to install a better rain cover.
Buy a larger rain cover with a broader cap for vertical ductwork exiting through the roof. Ensure that it’s sturdy and can withstand heavy wind flow.
It’s better to install a specialized rain flap for horizontal duct systems, as shown below.
You can combine it with a spring-loaded butterfly damper for added security. This combination won’t let a single drop of rainwater or snow seep inside.
Condensation Due to Poor Insulation
Though this reason is uncommon, it can happen in places with heavy rains or snowfall. Here, the main culprit is the temperature difference.
Houses with no or poor duct pipe insulation face this problem frequently in such places.
Hot steam, vapors, and smoke travel through the duct pipe when you start cooking. In rainy or snowy weather, the temperature is lower than usual.
This causes a vast temperature difference between the duct pipe and the surrounding area. As a result, all the vapor going through the duct condenses into water droplets and sticks to the duct pipe wall.
These droplets accumulate and flow back towards the range hood, causing it to drip water.
But there’s more.
What if the insulation looks fine and is not causing the problem? It can be frustrating to not able to point out the original problem.
If such is the case, check the CFM of your range hood and the suggested duct pipe length. If your duct pipe is longer than usually recommended, the range hood won’t be able to push it out completely.
The hot vapors & steam will remain trapped inside the duct pipe. When the temperature cools, the vapors condense and flow back to the range hood.
How to Solve?
The solution to this problem is pretty straightforward. Insulate your duct pipe if you haven’t already. If you have insulated the duct pipe, then look for any damage to the insulation and get it fixed.
Foil-faced fiberglass is the best option if you’re on a budget. It’s not so costly and works perfectly fine.
You can also go for Rockwool insulation if your budget allows it. It’s not cheap but comes with a soundproofing feature.
If the problem lies with your duct pipe length, the cheapest solution is installing an inline blower. You’ll have to install it near the exit vent.
The blower helps the range hood fan by sucking out all the air from the opposite side.
If you can’t install a blower, get an extra fan for your range hood. You can also get a new, more powerful range hood.
Damaged Duct Pipe
If the duct pipe is damaged or torn at any point, rainwater or melted snow can get through it. Even if your duct pipe is insulated, check it thoroughly for any damage. If you see an opening in the duct, it could be the culprit.
Water will get through the opening and collect inside the duct when it rains or snows. With time, it’ll flow back to the range hood.
How to Solve?
Check the duct pipe thoroughly for any damage or openings. To help point to the exact location, perform the check when your range hood is running.
Once you find the damaged area, seal it using a strong sealant or call the service professionals. They’ll check the problem thoroughly and provide you with a solution.
If the duct pipe has too much damage that can’t be fixed using sealants, you may need to change the ductwork entirely.
Problems Caused by a Dripping Range Hood
Range hoods protect you from all the toxic gases, odors, or smoke that emit while cooking. However, if the same range hood starts dripping water, it can cause massive problems:
- Water can spoil electrical appliances in a jiff. The dripping water can reach any sensitive electrical connection inside the hood, damaging it severely.
- All the smoke, smell, and vapors from cooking will get trapped inside your kitchen, moving on to other parts of your home.
- The lingering smoke can cause health issues for you and your family. This could be really bad for newborn babies, infants, and older people.
- Constant leakage will cause the water to spread to other areas of the walls and ceiling, leading to dampness and mold growth. If it continues for a long time, the ceiling will become weak.
- If water droplets come in contact with exposed wiring or switchboard, it can lead to a short circuit. The sparks generated can also start a fire. Ensure that all the electrical wiring, switches, and sockets are water-proofed as a precaution.
A Few Tips to Consider
Now that you know why your range hood is dripping water when it rains, the first priority should be to fix it. Fixing your range hood will be a breeze if you follow these simple tips.
- Hiring a local professional to fix the leakage or the range hood is better. Without any expertise & experience, you’ll do more damage than good. You can even get badly hurt.
- Another problem with the DIY endeavor is the problem diagnosis. It’ll take an eternity to locate the real problem if all of this is new to you.
- Try to diagnose and fix the issue as soon as possible. Without a working range hood, cooking can be a nightmare.
- When hiring someone to fix your dripping range hood, search online for providers. Read the recent user reviews to know about the best providers.
- Tell them about the problem in detail if hiring someone on a call. Ask them about the visiting charge if they want to physically investigate the issue.
As you saw, water dripping from the range hood can be a terrible experience. So, you must fix this problem immediately.
The reason for a dripping range hood can be anything from damaged roofing to improper insulation. Once rainwater or snow gets inside your duct pipe, it’ll reach the range hood sooner or later.
Get your dripping range hood fixed before the next rain forecast arrives. Follow the mentioned steps to solve this problem, and always hire a professional to do the job. You won’t regret it!