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kree 11-07-2013 09:18 PM

Holes in ducts consequences?
I'm thinking of temporarily punching a quarter size hole in ductwork in my home, inside th duct, just below the register. I need to temporarily run some CCTV wires from the upstairs into the basement and this seems the easiest way.
Remove vent cover/ register, drill hole inside duct and feed wire thru and into basement.

I will cover with metallic tape... Likewise when done with temporary CCTV location I'm planning on patching from the inside and outside with metallic tape. Any problems with the tape edges catching dust or disrupting the flow before it comes thru the register? Seems simple enough but I'm making sure I'm not missing something.

big juicy01 11-07-2013 09:44 PM

I would drill thru a wall plate behind some drywall. Easier to patch the drywall than screwing around with tape. Or investing in a cordless cctv setup. Drilling through ductwork would not be my choice.

yuri 11-08-2013 08:44 AM

No problems at all. Go 4 it.:thumbsup:

kree 11-08-2013 08:54 AM

Thanks for the replies. The basement is unfinished, so the duct is the easiest's also an exterior wall so there is insulation there too, to complicate anything in the wall.

I tried wireless and it was a terrible picture, and I have a wired CCTV system, I just haven't gotten to that side of the house yet and won't have time before the holidays and winter to install.

The duct is easiest in my view as long as it doesn't affect the hvac.
Thanks again for the responses.

yuri 11-08-2013 09:05 AM

Yur Welcome.:)

if it is a hot air duct the warm air will eventually dry out the wire and it may fail in 5-10 yrs so you may have to monitor it. may not happen at all.

wkearney99 11-08-2013 11:49 AM

The downside here is fire risk. They do sell cabling specifically designed to work in an air plenum. It's designed to be 'less toxic' should it catch fire. Otherwise the fumes from it would be fed throughout the house, not a good thing.

There's usually enough 'wiggle room' around the sides of a duct to get a wire in next to it. I'd seriously exhaust those options first before shelling out for more expensive plenum-rated cabling.

kree 11-08-2013 03:19 PM

Again thanks for all the comments. This is central air so there will be warm air coming through but it is 30' downstream of the main furnace plenum. Also,, this wire will go through the floor register in the first floor, travel 6 inches into the duct and exit through a hole into the unfinished basement.

This is not a cold air return duct so Dust, smoke and such would flow out and not be distributed throughout thr home.

Also I hope to have a permanent installation in the eaves after winter. I looked at the construction of the duct and elbow and it looks screwed together pretty well. Also the duct work is pretty tight to the plywood and carpet floor around it.

If I temporarily bend the ducting as it comes through the floor, i.e. run the wire on the side to prevent punching a hole, I'm afraid it will remain somewhat bowed when I try to bend it back.

While I would rather not have any extraneous holes in the duct, it is near the exit register and there is a relatively decent patch for it with te metallic tape. Also there is no structural load versus going around or through the floor, i.e. no one walking on the actual duct. I suppose I may lose .001% heat and cold into the basement though.

I do appreciate all the pros/ cons... Thanks again.

yuri 11-08-2013 03:39 PM

if it is not permanent then go 4 it.

wkearney99 11-08-2013 06:06 PM

Things claimed as 'temporary' often never get taken back out. If you're gonna run wire, do it right the first time and don't molest everything else just to half-ass it. That's my take, from having done one too many half-ass jobs myself, whose cleanup was often more work than the job done-right would have been. Just sayin'....

kree 11-08-2013 07:07 PM

Ok so it seems fine to do then. I need those cameras up to keep an eye on a crazy neighbor. So the choices are.... Not to do it since between family, work, and winter coming there is not time... Or do it temporarily.
I should have explained the cameras will be on a window sill and the wife won't let them stay there forever ! :-)

Temporary is the only way.
Thanks everyone for your opinions :-)

beenthere 11-09-2013 08:57 AM


Keep holes as small as possible. Long runs in metal duct may require you to ground the coaxial to it.

Technow 11-09-2013 11:06 AM

If the wiring is that "temporary" why not run it along the floor? And not CUT HOLES???

It's your house ...cut away...

big juicy01 11-09-2013 04:37 PM

Wow you must hate that neighbor. Looking at my vents I should be able to take screwdriver and separate the ductwork from the subfloor. You may be able to do the same. Same routing method less evasive. Just hate to know you're going to drill thru perfectly good ductwork. Lol

beenthere 11-09-2013 04:56 PM


Originally Posted by big juicy01 (Post 1264534)
Wow you must hate that neighbor.

One of my cameras is just to track if neighborhood kids open up the back of my pick up. I use it to clean up a job site once in a while. And for fun, some kids will route through the back, and just throw stuff in the drive way. Imagine what mom and dad say when hey see the vid of their kids. LOL

That camera picks up part of the property of 4 neighbors. Just the edges of them. But I can see them doing yard work. And they don't know the camera is if recording them. As long as I don't record audio, its allowed. Its a felony to record audio without consent in PA.

big juicy01 11-09-2013 05:27 PM

Those kinds of kids is the reason I store food and ammo. The children are our future. Lol

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