So far, I consider the issues I am having with my HVAC contractor to be a minor inconvenience. I fixed the return air duct to my satisfaction.
Originally Posted by Craftsman
I spoke with at least 7 different HVAC contractors. One came back with a quote in a reasonable amount of time. A second one came back and offered to make a quote - about 5 weeks later. My house is very different from anything they had worked with before, and most were not comfortable doing something that out of the ordinary. So, I had very little choice in contractors.
I did some more research on my code books. The 2003 IRC is worded such that it might have passed that. There is no way that it would pass the 2003 IECC code that Fort Worth also uses. I think that meeting code is a reasonable expectation.
I am a very tolerant person, but I have very little patience for incompetence. At this point in the construction loan, all delays are expensive. Any fixes they might implement were going to cost me time and therefore money. So, I fixed it myself.
Out of curiousity, what kind of equipment is the contractor going to install into this house?
The equipment is fairly ordinary, a 2 ton Trane heat pump central system, and a 1.5 ton mini-split heat pump for the master bedroom.
Originally Posted by RyanHughes
You've been a member since 2001? You should have enough info by now to know better...
Don't rely on the connection between the sheet rock and wall studs for a positive air seal in a chase like that, it will leak.
IMO, it should be totally against code to build an unlined chase, that relies on the drywall to make it "air tight".
The chase is lined with dry wall, and with a little over half a gallon of mastic and 7 tubes of caulk to seal it with.
Originally Posted by mark beiser
Originally Posted by paul42
All to often building cavities used as return chases rely on the drywall on the outside of the chase as the air seal. They virtually always pull air from places you don't want it.
I'm actually going to be lining a couple of chases with ductboard today that were built like that 20 years ago.
They look like the original installers did a lot of work on them at the time the house was built, but blower door testing revealed that they leak like a sieve.
We saw pics of your problem, can we now see pics of what you did to solve the problem?
Originally Posted by paul42
I'm with the guy who suggested a run of round pipe between the top and bottom collars inside the chase. Seems like a more sure fix...and unless I'm not seeing it right in my head...how'd you line the inside of that chase and get drywall on the fourth side on from the outside?
I have some pictures at home, but it is hard to tell what is going on from them. I will have to try and get some better shots.
Originally Posted by shophound
The fourth side took some thought. It was put up in shorter sections, working from above as I went. I used the two 10" x 20" return vent openings at the top for access to the last piece on the fourth side and to seal everything at the top. The rest was sealed as I went.
I suspect I still have some mastic in my hair.
Why DIY is necessary:
Because everyone has a purpose in life.........
even if it's to be a BAD example!
all the best, Irish
Everyone has a purpose in life..........even if it's to be a bad example.
Seek first to understand, before seeking to be understood.
I had some email conversations with my hvac contractor working on adding a wired remote for the mini-split to the contract. While emailing back and forth, I wrote and told him that I was "very unimpressed" with the job the installer did on the return air chase. His response was that was the way they always did it and they have never had any problems passing inspection
Which just confirmed that my decision to do it myself was the only answer.
Some shots after I lined the chase with drywall, mastic and caulk.
The first picture is an overall view from the main room.
The second picture is a closer view of the return vent opening from the main room.
The third picture is a close view of the return vent opening from the side room.
The fourth picture is of the back side of the chase from the closet.
building inspections today
Framing failed, several small items to fix
Plumbing passed, but still has a few items to fix.
Mechanical passed - no write-ups at all. Inspector seemed impressed with my duct work - or at least I can pretend he was!