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Old 11-12-2007, 12:58 PM   #1
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Drilling into Brick?


I need to drill a 1" hole into a chimney. Is it better idea to drill between the bricks (in the mortar and partially in two surrounding bricks) or directly in the center of the brick? Do you think a hammer drill will be able to handle this?
TIA
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Old 11-12-2007, 01:20 PM   #2
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Make sure this is not fire brick or a chimney flue. I would drill through one of the voids of the block. A block will have three webs, one near each end and the other in the middle. My DeWalt 14.4 hammerdrill has drilled 1" holes through block. I would measure the distance by going to truck stops and... funny.

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Old 11-12-2007, 01:32 PM   #3
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Quote:
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Make sure this is not fire brick or a chimney flue. I would drill through one of the voids of the block. A block will have three webs, one near each end and the other in the middle. My DeWalt 14.4 hammerdrill has drilled 1" holes through block. I would measure the distance by going to truck stops and... funny.
Ha, wise guy.
I'm drilling the hole in the basement to get power through the ash cleanout door at the bottom of the fireplace for my insert, so I don't think that there will be a terra cotta liner or fire brick involved.

What do you mean "one of the voids of the block"? The chimney is brick from basement to attic.
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Old 11-12-2007, 02:24 PM   #4
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I thought you meant concrete block, but on re-reading, you have bricks. I have not done this, and cannot advise if a hammer drill would work or to the hole location. I do know that 3/4" green flexible conduit is slightly larger than 1".
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Old 11-13-2007, 12:26 PM   #5
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ttt
It's only one brick. Does it matter where the hole is drilled?
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Last edited by Clutchcargo; 11-13-2007 at 12:37 PM.
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Old 11-13-2007, 12:45 PM   #6
 
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Clutch....

Your approach may depend on a few things.....age of the brick and condition of the mortar joints.

The older the brick usually the softer it gets....easier to drill through. If you have mortar joints that are deteriorating.. i.e. you can break pieces off with your fingers I would try to stay away from it. if you drill through the mortar and do a lot of damage you can create gaps cracks and holes that could allow excess moisture and such to penetrate your walls. If you live in an area that has cold winters any moisture that gets into the cracks could freeze, expand in your wall, and cause heaving....not good!!

I would go ahead and go for the center of a brick.....try for dead center just to give yourself more of the meat of the brick. Caulk any holes or cracks with a good silicon or weatherproof caulk and you should be good.
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Old 11-13-2007, 03:20 PM   #7
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Thanks DIY, great answer.
The brick is in the basement and not exposed to freezing. Overall it's in good shape. I'll try drilling a pilot hole tonight to see if it cleanly goes through or chips away at the brick.
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Old 11-15-2007, 09:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clutchcargo View Post
I need to drill a 1" hole into a chimney. Is it better idea to drill between the bricks (in the mortar and partially in two surrounding bricks) or directly in the center of the brick? Do you think a hammer drill will be able to handle this?
TIA
Use a rotary hammer, not a hammer drill. The terms are often interchanged, but they are two completely different animals. A hole this size through brick is no challenge for a rotary hammer.
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Old 12-19-2009, 05:41 PM   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clutchcargo View Post
I need to drill a 1" hole into a chimney. Is it better idea to drill between the bricks (in the mortar and partially in two surrounding bricks) or directly in the center of the brick? Do you think a hammer drill will be able to handle this?
TIA
Clutch,
I am about to put an insert in my old fireplace and was wondering how your install came out?
Also, did you use a masonary bit or something else to punch the hole for the wiring?
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Old 12-19-2009, 08:02 PM   #10
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CC,
Bosch makes carbide tipped hole saws for masonry work. I used a 4 1/8" to drill through a brick veneer wall to install a bath fan vent. I used a milwaukee right angle drill to power it. It took me about 45 minutes to get through. But that was a big hole and some very tough brick. It did cut a very clean hole.
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Old 12-19-2009, 08:58 PM   #11
 
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firehawkmph,
Thanks, I'll check and see if they have a size for the 3/8" BMX conduit I need to runn.
Your project reminds me I need to do the same in my house. Always one more project.
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Old 12-23-2009, 04:30 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 807 TDBn View Post
Clutch,
I am about to put an insert in my old fireplace and was wondering how your install came out?
Also, did you use a masonary bit or something else to punch the hole for the wiring?
My install came out looking pro. I impressed myself. Unfortunately, no pics.
I used a 1.25" concrete bit for the CSST gas line (don't forget the protective sleeve) and a 3/4" for the power. It only took about 2 minutes to make it through with my hammer drill.
I then inserted 3/4" plywood into the ash sweep that I used for an outlet and gas connection. I pondered this for about 2 days before I did anything.
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