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Ask me anything about HVAC heating air conditioning air quality control

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Deal Addict
Dec 15, 2006
1867 posts
148 upvotes
jhyang23 wrote:
Mar 17th, 2011 2:15 am
Hi,

I just purchased a new house and noticed that there are romex wire & thermometer wire going perpendicularly inside a cold air return.
This particular cold air return is simply a cavity between the floor joists covered with a sheet of metal.
Does this meet the electrical code in Ontario?

Also, the same cold air return is right below the fridge in the kitchen.
I'd like to run a copper tubing through this space so that I can install a fridge water line through the kitchen floor.
Is it okay to run a copper pluming pipe through the cold air return?

Thanks!

My understanding, you can run pretty much anything through there. As long as there are no connections or terminations hidden in there. So a straight wire in, then through, then out is not an issue.
Deal Addict
User avatar
May 24, 2008
3211 posts
1107 upvotes
Toronto
I have a question about basement cold air returns.

Right now our house doesn't have any. Our basement is divided into two zones. One contains an apartment and the other contains a storage room, an office and the furnace room. The office is right next to the furnace room and contains the access to the furnace room through some flimsy bi-fold doors.

Would there be any issues with installing a cold air return in the office? What I'm particularly concerned about is minimum distance to furnace and if there's any safety concerns in that respect.

Our furnace is a brand new high-efficiency Goodman that draws combustion air from outside.

Thanks!
Sr. Member
Mar 4, 2010
632 posts
12 upvotes
Mississauga
hi

Recently i bought a townhome.The home has 1400 square foot on 3 levels.Heating is with electrical baseboards and in the living room i have a gas fire place. I am thinking at the beginning to do the duct work.

Aproximately how much a duct work will cost me?
thank you
[OP]
Deal Addict
Dec 27, 2007
1074 posts
125 upvotes
Markham
nighthawk26 wrote:
Mar 17th, 2011 1:41 pm
My understanding, you can run pretty much anything through there. As long as there are no connections or terminations hidden in there. So a straight wire in, then through, then out is not an issue.


You are not allowed to run anything through the duct, or joist space being used as a duct. The fear is if you have a wire running through there and the wire catches on fire, that the smoke will now be distributed through the house via your return air duct. I am not exactly sure on how it is rated, because I believe BX wire is ok, but no other wires, including low voltage. I also do not believe that this is very strictly enforced.
Deal Addict
Jan 13, 2004
1303 posts
207 upvotes
Mississauga
bririp wrote:
Mar 18th, 2011 8:33 am
You are not allowed to run anything through the duct, or joist space being used as a duct. The fear is if you have a wire running through there and the wire catches on fire, that the smoke will now be distributed through the house via your return air duct. I am not exactly sure on how it is rated, because I believe BX wire is ok, but no other wires, including low voltage. I also do not believe that this is very strictly enforced.

You are allowed to run through a cold air return, no code issues.
Deal Addict
Dec 8, 2009
1208 posts
66 upvotes
ghighi wrote:
Mar 17th, 2011 8:53 pm
hi

Recently i bought a townhome.The home has 1400 square foot on 3 levels.Heating is with electrical baseboards and in the living room i have a gas fire place. I am thinking at the beginning to do the duct work.

Aproximately how much a duct work will cost me?
thank you
are YOU doing the ductwork or are you having someone do it for you?
Usually there's a reason a company is "cheap". Value and cheap are different. Value means best product/service for the dollar spent. Cheap is just that. Cheap.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Dec 27, 2007
1074 posts
125 upvotes
Markham
ghighi wrote:
Mar 17th, 2011 8:53 pm
hi

Recently i bought a townhome.The home has 1400 square foot on 3 levels.Heating is with electrical baseboards and in the living room i have a gas fire place. I am thinking at the beginning to do the duct work.

Aproximately how much a duct work will cost me?
thank you


Ballpark $4500-$5000 plus the cost of repairing the drywall, building boxes around the new ducts and pipes etc.
Newbie
May 5, 2008
6 posts
Mississauga
Wondering if you can throw some light on a couple of issues I have:

My neighbour has installed a high efficiency furnace that vents out into a narrow concrete alleyway between our properties.
The width of the alleyway is 32" of which 26" is my property.
There are 2 issues. One is the noise and 2 the condensation.
The noise is quite audible in my house and is amplified by the alleyway. The condensation is leaving large puddles of water on the concrete, which freezes in the winter causing frost damage to brick.
The nearest operable window to their vent is 60 inches.

Now you may say that this will all dry up in the summer but that brings me to my second issue. Their air conditioner condensing pipe is attached to the furnace vent with a plastic tie.
So in the summer the alleyway is still puddled with water with the added bonus of mosquitos!

If you could advise me of the code and whether I have grounds to ask them to move the pipe to the other side of their house, where they have at least 7ft between the houses.

Thanks

Bloor/Runnymede Area Toronto
Newbie
Jan 3, 2010
18 posts
I am looking at installing a heat pump for my house and had essentially decided on a Trane XL15i but a friend (in the HVAC industry - geothermal) has come to me with an interesting offer. He has a 2-stage 3 ton Carrier heat pump that he bought in 2003 and was "top of the line" at the time but removed it when he bought a geothermal company and installed a geo system. He is on vacation right now and can't access the model number for me. So, I was wondering if anyone knows if the Infinity series existed back then and if so, to what degree has the technology changed since 2003?

It was used for about a year on his house but has been sitting in his garage since then. I trust my friend not to steer me wrong as I know he his highly trustworthy but I just wanted to see if anyone knew what model this might actually be and if it would be a good idea to use this pump. The savings would be around 50% over a new unit (~$2500) but I don't want to go with technology that is seriously outdated. Warranty is obviously an issue but I can get a lot of servicing for $2500. Thanks for any assistance.
Member
User avatar
Dec 30, 2004
239 posts
2 upvotes
Ontario
Here is my question,

I have a Lennox furnace that is 14 years old now and it had a circuit board get fried and blew the breaker. I was out of town when it happened and an inlaw flicked the breaker back on. For the next 48 hours the furnace would come on but the blower fan would not start at all so then it would shut off. As mentioned this happened for 48 hours or so.

When I returned home I realized that the blower was not coming and there was a heavy oil smell so I shut down the furnace until a repair person came onsite. They came next day and replaced the board but there was still a havy "burnt" oil smell so I called them back and they did a total cleaning of the furnace and replaced nozzels etc. I must admit that the smell has been better but when I come home or the furnace is on to heat up for a while the smell is still very noticable.

Any suggestions as the repair company says that all should be ok when I have never ever smelt the burnt oil smell in the past, and we still have it althought better than it was.

Look forward to your reply and thanks in advance!
Newbie
Apr 14, 2009
3 posts
1 upvote
Mississauga
hello, I'm looking for a new furnace. any recommended brand for high efficiency furnace.
I'm in the process of getting the energy audit done so have to get purchase this asap.
appreciate any feedback on brands or dealer contact information.

-Santosh
Deal Addict
Dec 15, 2006
1867 posts
148 upvotes
bririp wrote:
Mar 18th, 2011 8:33 am
You are not allowed to run anything through the duct, or joist space being used as a duct. The fear is if you have a wire running through there and the wire catches on fire, that the smoke will now be distributed through the house via your return air duct. I am not exactly sure on how it is rated, because I believe BX wire is ok, but no other wires, including low voltage. I also do not believe that this is very strictly enforced.

I went through permit inspections and had some wires run. ZERO issues. Maybe someone dropped the ball, but I was told if I'm not mistaken even by my electrician you can use the return for pretty much anything. I'm not talking about supply air, just returns. NOTE, I am NOT the authority on this, it's just been my understanding and actual personal experience.
Deal Addict
Dec 15, 2006
1867 posts
148 upvotes
mnye00 wrote:
Mar 21st, 2011 4:41 pm
I am looking at installing a heat pump for my house and had essentially decided on a Trane XL15i but a friend (in the HVAC industry - geothermal) has come to me with an interesting offer. He has a 2-stage 3 ton Carrier heat pump that he bought in 2003 and was "top of the line" at the time but removed it when he bought a geothermal company and installed a geo system. He is on vacation right now and can't access the model number for me. So, I was wondering if anyone knows if the Infinity series existed back then and if so, to what degree has the technology changed since 2003?

It was used for about a year on his house but has been sitting in his garage since then. I trust my friend not to steer me wrong as I know he his highly trustworthy but I just wanted to see if anyone knew what model this might actually be and if it would be a good idea to use this pump. The savings would be around 50% over a new unit (~$2500) but I don't want to go with technology that is seriously outdated. Warranty is obviously an issue but I can get a lot of servicing for $2500. Thanks for any assistance.

You will have ZERO warranty, and a unit that is (likely) about 40% less efficient than a current model. I wouldn't even consider this for a second. Frankly I'd consider letting your friend kick me in the head as opposed to taking this "deal".
[OP]
Deal Addict
Dec 27, 2007
1074 posts
125 upvotes
Markham
nighthawk26 wrote:
Mar 23rd, 2011 8:23 pm
I went through permit inspections and had some wires run. ZERO issues. Maybe someone dropped the ball, but I was told if I'm not mistaken even by my electrician you can use the return for pretty much anything. I'm not talking about supply air, just returns. NOTE, I am NOT the authority on this, it's just been my understanding and actual personal experience.

http://forums.redflagdeals.com/wiring-c ... -695892/2/

All wires run in the plenum must be rated for fire spread, smoke development, etc...It is something that inspectors aren't enforcing, but the rules are there for a reason.
Deal Addict
Dec 8, 2009
1208 posts
66 upvotes
bririp wrote:
Mar 23rd, 2011 10:00 pm
http://forums.redflagdeals.com/wiring-c ... -695892/2/

All wires run in the plenum must be rated for fire spread, smoke development, etc...It is something that inspectors aren't enforcing, but the rules are there for a reason.

He said cold air return not supply though...
Usually there's a reason a company is "cheap". Value and cheap are different. Value means best product/service for the dollar spent. Cheap is just that. Cheap.

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