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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a few asbestos fabric flex connectors on my rectangular metal AC duct work that I would like to replace. From experience I will need to have them removed professionally. Which will be easy to arrange. However, none of the calls I've places to the big HVAC contractors in my area (northern Virginia just outside DC) will return my calls. So I'm thinking of resorting to DIY.

I have observational knowledge of duct working. I oversaw a few projects where the tin-knockers built and connected duct work on site.

I have found that I can order the basic material from grainger on line. But I'm not sure how big a job I'm getting into. Will I need to know how to fold a pittsburgh joint (not that I know what one is)? Can i just slap on the basic material and run a few sheetmetal screws through it?

Any suggestions would be useful.
 

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I'm Your Huckleberry
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You need to conference with an asbestos abatement company which is why the contractors are not calling back. They must add into their bid the money to have an asbestos abatement company involved and you will not like that total price from one company.

When it comes to asbestos it is serious business and no one really cares to take on that kind of promise alone.
 

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Most HVAC companies contract out asbestos abatement.
 

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Do you know for sure it's asbestos ? How old is it ? It could be made of canvas material or some other material. Maybe you should have it checked for asbestos content before you do any thing. Disregard the last sentence if you already know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
COLDIRON said:
Do you know for sure it's asbestos ? How old is it ? It could be made of canvas material or some other material. Maybe you should have it checked for asbestos content before you do any thing. Disregard the last sentence if you already know.
Thank you for the responses. However my issue is not whether the connectors are asbestos but rather how to put in new connectors. Apparently it's too small a job for any of the local guys.

Is it really that difficult to put in new ones? Is it because the duct work was assembled in series so replacing the connectors would entail deconstructing the entire duct work system?
 

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Not trying to be evasive or noisy just wondering why you want to replace them?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
COLDIRON said:
Not trying to be evasive or noisy just wondering why you want to replace them?
Simply put: the wife (and kids).

I tend to support her. Some of the connectors are breaking apart. Asbestos is most dangerous when friable and inhaled. With the connectors being on both the return and supply side I'd prefer to have them replaced. Less risk of blowing the fibers around the house. Although we're likely talking about a minimal quantity but anything I can do to protect my kids I'll try to do. (I've tried wrapping them in bubble wrap but they complain too much) :)
 

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fabrk8r
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If it were me, and I suspected that the flexible connectors really were asbestos (which I have never seen), I would spray them liberally with water to prevent the friable particles from contaminating my entire house and then remove and bag them.

Then measure the duct dimensions and length needed for new connectors and note the type of connections, make a drawing and take it to a local heating contractor. Most medium to large sheet metal shops will be able to make these for you.

The problem now is all the loose asbestos in your duct from the old connectors.
 

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fabrk8r
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I'm still in doubt that the connectors are asbestos.

These types of connectors used to be called "canvas connections" and were made from heavy tan, gray or black canvas material. New products have replaced the canvas and they are now made from rubber coated nylon. We still call it "canvas connector" though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
fabrk8r said:
The problem now is all the loose asbestos in your duct from the old connectors.
Fabrk8r you've ID'd the method that past contractors have used, and is the recommended method of the removal. At my previous residence I had asbestos duct wrap removed. Cost about $800 for maybe 40 square feet that the previous owner didn't remove because it was tough to reach. I expect about the same pricing for the connectors since they are easily accessible.

Regarding the left overs: The guidance is to wipe the inside of the duct as far as you can to recover any errant fibers.

Anything else that may have been deposited from the normal operation of the unit are just going to have to remain there.

Thanks for the guidance on measuring things out. Any hints/tips regarding the measuring (e.g., round to nearest 1/64 inch, measure from front of seam, etc.)?
 

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fabrk8r
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1. Measure the duct size.
2. Note the type of connections used, (slip and drive, "S" slips all around, TDC) and note their location. The drive cleat is usually on the short side, but not always.
3. Measure the finished length needed for the new flexible connector.
 
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