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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    149

    Red face The Stuff In My Ducts!

    Just took possesion of a newly built house. Ducts were cleaned by the builder. Same company who did the installation of furnace/water heater did the duct cleaning.

    After taking possesion, I started looking around. The duct under the kitchen cabinet had not been cleaned. It was full of crap. Gyproc, wood, metal, can of pop, and dust, dust dust. I then checked an air duct where there is a "U" shape connection. Naturally, all the crap was at the bottom of the "U". And there was lots of it. I then checked the cold air return and found part of a salami sandwich.

    The builder agreed to have the same folks come back and clean them a second time. They found orange peel, pieces of wood as big as 3" in diameter, coffee cup and more assorted garbage.

    The cleaning method is a joke. Connect a huge vacuum on hot air supply and blow air with a gun at entrance of vents. And connect same vacuum on cold air return and insert a hose to blow air in most ducts. No wonder all that crap is left in the duct. Maybe I should have told them I have a "lung issue"...

    Another duct they "missed", that was a simple straight line duct to the basement, was full of dust. You could measure the thickness in millimeters.

    I was thinking to pay another company to REALLY clean the ducts, but I'm concerned it is a lost cause and might be better off to find a way to do it myself. After I figured out how... Maybe a sort of brush attached to a drill???

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    The Gray Northwest
    Posts
    661
    Geez, sounds to me like the only way to get all the stuff out, and be sure of it, is to send a camera down your trunk and branches and then train a monkey to crawl through and grab all the big chunks. If you have junk that large in there no amount of brushing or sucking will remove it without cutting in access holes.

  3. #3
    Ditto: what big johnson said,

    I capoff with sheetmetal scraps screwed down and duct taped. Cuz I had some sorry SOB actually sh$t in one many years ago(b4 porta-johns were required on site). Tell the builder to get them back out and do it right this time and have them bring a drain-snake camera with them so you can see its done right.

    Greg

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Southeastern Pa
    Posts
    19,495
    Here I thought you were goin tah find a two-four of labatts, eh?
    [Avatar photo from a Florida training accident. Everyone walked away.]
    2 Tim 3:16-17

    RSES CMS, HVAC Electrical Specialist

    AOP Forum Rules:







  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    2,843
    Quote Originally Posted by firsthouse
    I then checked the cold air return and found part of a salami sandwich.
    That's funny.
    "If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a KA." - Albert Einstein

    It's later than you think.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    149
    Believe it or not, but the builder has done me a BIG favor by sending the same folks to to do the same job a second time. Normally, they never do that. And I know it is the same folks than the first time around cause they told me so. They remembered the house and everything about it.

    To give you an example of the quality of work performed, there is a duct about 8 feet long in a straight line from the heat supply that delivers hot air to the basement. They forgot to do it the first time they were there. It is that duct that had a few millimiters (~1/16") of fine dust similar to flour (must be mostly from sanding joints) . I didn't say anything about it when they were there the second time. And they "forgot" to do it again!

    Btw, I cannot understand people who install duct that blows hot air right in the ceiling (between the beams) of a basement. I'll have to extend the duct up to the wall and down to the floor. I'm also not too impressed with the cold air return. As much holes as swiss cheese. And my favorite are the 1/4" gaps when two hot air pipes connect on a 90 degree (elbow?). Bought 450 feet of foil tape to seal those.

    At least I won't lose heat as I close all vents on second floor during winter. And everything in the basement is accessible to be sealed properly. Only in summer I will lose A/C as I close all vents on ground floor and open the ones on the second floor. Unfortunately I cannot seal the ducts in the walls and ceiling of ground floor.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Fayetteville,Arkansas
    Posts
    1,427
    Boy thats shi**y.
    If you choose not to decide you still have made a choice.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Southern Tier, NY
    Posts
    6,066
    we used to throw the remain's of lunch....
    down the wall stacks ...

    Heh, Heh, heh ....

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    149
    Quote Originally Posted by ralphtheplumber View Post
    That's funny.
    Actually, I'm lucky. A guy I know who complained like hell during construction of his house ended up with plastic bags of human excrement in his heating ducts (OK, maybe he deserved it for being a prick). I only complained once, so I got a salami sandwich.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    kalamazoo,mich
    Posts
    2,174
    Quote Originally Posted by firsthouse View Post
    At least I won't lose heat as I close all vents on second floor during winter. And everything in the basement is accessible to be sealed properly. Only in summer I will lose A/C as I close all vents on ground floor and open the ones on the second floor. Unfortunately I cannot seal the ducts in the walls and ceiling of ground floor.

    Be careful restricting the air-flow to your system. You can crack the heat exchanger or freeze the coil, if you restrict the air-flow too much.
    Have you hugged the Earth today?
    Donny Baker rules

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    149
    Quote Originally Posted by chucko615 View Post
    Be careful restricting the air-flow to your system. You can crack the heat exchanger or freeze the coil, if you restrict the air-flow too much.

    On a G61MPV???

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Tampa, Florida
    Posts
    1,634
    If you think the air ducts are full of crap, you should see what you find IN interior wall cavities. I pulled a whole 6-pack of empty pull-tab beer cans from a wall cavity once. Not terribly surprising when we found out the wall was almost 6" out of square for a 10' run.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    997
    They should brush the duct or use whips to get it clean. A good job will take 5 to 8 hours.

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