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  1. #1

    Joist bay returns lead paint to my family

    During a recent inspection of my renovated townhouse I came upon a return that I believe will return a loss versus gain for my home and family. The duct system within the home is entirely new, yet old ways of installation are being used.

    One in particular is the vernacular joist bay plenum. For my 4' return two joist bays are used. The problem is that these 75 year old joists have remnants of lead paint on them, which will surely slam my filter and possibly make it through to the air my family breathes.

    In addition, the work is full of holes. I could not run a private pressure test on the system because of this. There was limited tape on the joints, (none at the return at all) and the tape that was there was not even UL-181.

    The truth is a plenum will never be sealed correctly like a metal, sealed ducted return. And the lead paint issue is a clear problem. Yet, I was never in on that discussion of the application. I know the deal on ways and means with contractors, but this area is rife with concerns.

    Now, I am being charged a hefty fee for my contractor to remove the plenum and hard duct the return. Can you believe that? And the lead paint argument went without sympathy. What should I do?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
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    Eastern PA
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    Why in the world would lead paint be left during renovation? How old is your house and why are your joists painted?

    Return ducting within the conditioned area is just a way for air being moved into the conditioned are to "return" to the blower.

    Unless your contractor was informed of the lead issue and told to stay away from using standard return methods of ducting, you should be responsible for changing the system.
    Government is a disease...
    ...masquerading as its own cure…
    Ecclesiastes 10:2 NIV


  3. #3
    Every house that is over 25 years old has lead paint in it.
    They never looked.
    Never offered.
    Never thought.
    And there is the problem.
    It is the 21st century.
    HVAC guys must adapt to consumer needs.
    Christ, do you guys ever admit that you made a mistake?
    Take the ****ing blame for once and keep a customer.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    I just realized you are the same person whining about R22 on another thread.

    You keep stating it is the 21st century. In that mindset, why did you not do your homework before you contracted the work? You obviously know how to use the Internet for whining. Why did you not use it for learning beforehand? It is the 21st century you know. There is no reason for you to be so 20th century in your not taking responsibility for your ignorance of the system that you contracted for.
    Government is a disease...
    ...masquerading as its own cure…
    Ecclesiastes 10:2 NIV


  5. #5
    I relied on professionals.
    They failed me.
    And after XXXXk I have a right to be angry.
    Last edited by HeyBob; 11-25-2007 at 05:56 AM. Reason: Pricing

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Eastern PA
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    Quote Originally Posted by ductaped View Post
    I relied on professionals.
    They failed me.
    And after 50k I have a right to be angry.
    Whatever. If angry is what you want to be, go for it. So far you have not submited anything that we as professionals consider to be an issue.

    If you did not specify particulars such as the desire for R410a refrigerant of to stay away from lead paint that you did not see fit to have removed, then your contractor did not fail you, you failed you.
    Government is a disease...
    ...masquerading as its own cure…
    Ecclesiastes 10:2 NIV


  7. #7
    Ok.
    I see.
    There is no problem with lead paint nor R22.

    Perhaps too much exposure to both has led you to your remarks.

    Can you pose a solution versus a defense?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ductaped View Post
    Ok.
    I see.
    There is no problem with lead paint nor R22.

    Perhaps too much exposure to both has led you to your remarks.

    Can you pose a solution versus a defense?
    No, you don't see anything because you only want to complain. Since the lead paint issue was not addressed before the installation, the solution is for you to pay to have the return ducting changed.

    R22 is still a very commonly used and perfectly acceptable refrigerant, so, if you want your systems changed to R410a systems then you need to pay for that change.

    If you are so concerned with the environment and your health, why on earth did you not address these concerns before the work was done?
    Government is a disease...
    ...masquerading as its own cure…
    Ecclesiastes 10:2 NIV


  9. #9
    Do me a favour Rototeq, if you can't provide a solution then do not respond.

    How come you tough guys have such thin 22gauge skins?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ductaped View Post
    Do me a favour Rototeq, if you can't provide a solution then do not respond.

    How come you tough guys have such thin 22gauge skins?
    I have given you solutions that you are ignoring because they require you to take some responsibility for the situation you perceive you have.

    The lead paint would need to become airbourne in order to work back to the air filter. Again, if you are this concerned, why did you not do something about the lead source? Again, if you are concerned about lead, you need to take the responsibility for having it removed and/or not have it exposed to your family.

    If you don't like the responses you get here, don't consider them, but don't come here and tell us who can and cannot address your posts.

    And just so you don't continue to be ignorant of another factor, we in the HVAC industry consider 22 gauge to be rather heavy for skin. I have no idea what you are referring to with this comment, but I am considered one of the most thick skinned members of this site.
    Government is a disease...
    ...masquerading as its own cure…
    Ecclesiastes 10:2 NIV


  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Rapid City, SD
    Posts
    7,414
    No one can help you here... None of us did the work, none of us gave you any input to what to get before you bought it. None of us told you who to choose, or made the phone call to the guys who did the work.

    As far as the 410 vs 22 issue. Yes, 410 is a lil more friendly to the environment but believe me, that 8# of R22 you have isn't going to kill it either. I'm not saying we shouldn't all make an effort... but the world isn't going to stop by using some more 22 units.

    Around here, I'm sure there are lead painted houses... When ever I installed equipment, we never gave it a second thought unless the customer pointed it out.

    As a HVAC contractor, there's no way anyone would ever buy anything from us if we went in, tested all your paint, checked your insulation for asbestos, spent hours upon hours teaching the home owners everything we know about a certain line of product, walked through every small detail of how we'd do the job etc.

    In fact, if we told a customer it's going to cost and extra $2k for us to test your house for paint and asbestos, we'd be called crooks yet again.

    Panning in the returns, well, it's not a fool proof way. There is a likely hood of some holes that can't be sealed easily, and a few other small issues (your painted joists being a rare issue I've never heard of but here). But, if you wanted everything hard ducted with a 2% leakage test done afterwards, you should have specified that when you had it done. And likely there would be a huge price difference too.

    There's nothing wrong with being educated about your money that you are spending. But demanding a bunch of stuff after it's done, and suddenly having issues like lead paint that weren't pointed out... I'd say it kinda falls back on you.

    Perhaps you can have them rip the panning out, then you can have the joists painted with some sort of sealer and then reseal the space up? About sealing the holes, perhaps some spray foam or mastic might do the trick, I can't see it from here though.

    We can't discuss pricing here, but if you paid $50k, I'm very sure that wasn't the hvac system, that was likely the whole project. And for that price, it's likely a small portion of that was hvac... you get what you pay for most times.

    For the system you wanted, done the way you wanted, with all of the tests that are rarely if ever done by hvac guys, that $50k would have been just for the HVAC system.
    "If you call that hard work, a koala’s life would look heroic."

  12. #12
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    edited :robo didn't want to open a can of worms
    Last edited by karsthuntr; 11-25-2007 at 01:14 AM.
    Karst means cave. So, I search for caves.

  13. #13
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    [QUOTE=karsthuntr;1682919]Edited to keep this thread from flooding due to more tears.
    Last edited by RoBoTeq; 11-25-2007 at 01:22 AM.
    Government is a disease...
    ...masquerading as its own cure…
    Ecclesiastes 10:2 NIV


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