Crisis: I Installed Hardwood Over My Heating Duct... - Flooring - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

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Old 06-04-2012, 08:20 PM   #1
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Crisis: I installed hardwood over my heating duct...

how do I find the duct and cut it out?

I had to shim the old pine floors in my 2nd floor bedroom and install 1/2" plywood to level them prior to installation. In the process, I forgot to cut out the vent. The vent is a 4" diameter pipe and I don't have access to the other end of the pipe. I can't find the hole.

I do have a separate duct along the same wall in the adjacent room. Do I just drill a hole through the hardwood at the same distance from the hallway as the other vent and hope and pray to hit it? How do I go about cutting out the hole?

Any feedback welcome.

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Old 06-04-2012, 08:29 PM   #2
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Why can you not get to it from under the floor.


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Old 06-04-2012, 08:36 PM   #3
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Not without cutting through some plaster (not drywall) to get there...

I think that they were both run in a wall that is perpendicular to the shared wall between the two bedrooms. That would place both of the ducts at the same location - relative to the entryways of the respective rooms.

Do I just drill a hole, drop a coat hanger and hope that I hit something metal, then start to make a bigger hole until I can determine the appropriate dimensions? Once I find those dimensions, do I need an ir distributor or should I just drop in a floor vent? The rooms are 12x15 ft each.
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Old 06-05-2012, 07:01 AM   #4
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How about using a stud finder on the floor - they pick up nails, stud edges and you know there's a 4x10 or 3x10 in the general vicinity..........turn your heat up high and feel where the hot spot is if you remember the general area of where the duct is, then drill a finger width hole and gradually cut with a jig'll hit the sides of the duct and won't go through if you are carefull.
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Old 06-05-2012, 08:37 AM   #5
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I covered a vent once and I went and bought a Infrared thermal gun (they are cheap at hardware stores). I turned on the furnace and started using the gun and it was very accurate. I was able to find the center by passing the gun over different areas at which point I used a drill and started cutting from that point. It took a little while but I was successful.
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Old 06-05-2012, 10:04 AM   #6
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I would try a stud finder, thermal imager, thermal temp gun, or even tapping with a hammer until it sounds different.

Heck, turn on the heat and feel around. Have someone bang the ducts and put your ear on the floor. I'm sure you'll find it.
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Old 06-06-2012, 10:18 PM   #7
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I agree with the others. Turing the heat on would probably help.
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Old 06-07-2012, 07:57 PM   #8
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I appreciate the suggestions and I will get the heat gun. I didn't just cover it with hardwood, I covered it with 1/4" plywood as well...
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Old 06-08-2012, 07:59 AM   #9
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If your overnight temps are cool then leave the window open and let the room cool down as much as possible. That way when you crank up the heat the next morning you'll have a better chance of finding the warmer spot with the IR temp gun.

Another idea might be to use a electrician's fish tape or rods and a helper to tap through the duct. Have a helper tapping the fish while you listen at the floor. This assumes there's a reasonably close and straight run that'd like you get through the duct.


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