cutting a hole through a brick foundation

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Old 01-28-13, 09:19 AM
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cutting a hole through a brick foundation

My son's home was built in the 1920's and has a true brick foundation. There is plenty of informatoin available about how to cut a hole in a brick veneer foundation but none that I can find about cutting a hole (for a dryer vent) in a brick foundation. The foundation is three bricks thick and my question is whether any different technique is required in order to protect the foundation when cutting a hole for a dryer vent.
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Old 01-28-13, 10:26 AM
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I think much depends on the tools you have available. Boring the hole would be the cleanest looking and best structurally for the bricks but requires buying or renting the tools. You could also chisel out the hole. My pick would be to mark the circle and bore a series of smaller holes around the perimeter with 12" long masonry bits and rotary hammer drill and then break out the center .
 
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Old 01-28-13, 11:15 AM
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OK, but my main concern is whether a hole in an older brick only foundation is compromised by such a hole.
 
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Old 01-28-13, 12:41 PM
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Depending where you are located getting concrete drilling contractor (with different diameters) to come in and if it fits his schedule, it may be the best way to go to get a good clean job at a good price in the end. They like fill-in work and it is only 15 to 20 minutes if the location is right.

A DIY solution is attractive, but if you must buy the additional equipment needed for just one project, a contractor may be best.

Dick
 
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Old 01-28-13, 12:46 PM
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Drilling a hole through the foundation certainly does nothing to improve it's strength. Where it's located and how it's made can weaken the foundation though generally not enough for concern. Boring, or having a pro bore the hole would structurally be the best. If you try to DIY it with a hammer and chisel you might break some adjoining bricks or mortar joints while the bored hole will be nice and clean with minimal damage to the surrounding structure.
 
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Old 01-29-13, 10:05 PM
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If your concern is wall strength, just bore the hole over-sized, and then mortar in a decent steel pipe liner (1/4" wall thickness or better, for a 4" +/- hole), before inserting the dryer vent into it. Such will easily carry any future settlement and wall loads. Give the steel a few good coats of enamel paint first (primer and top coat) to make sure it doesn't corrode away.
 
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Old 01-30-13, 06:46 AM
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The hole is for a dryer vent so I don't think I could find a steel pipe large enough to act as a liner. Any other ideas on how to strengthen the hole?
 
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Old 01-30-13, 06:57 AM
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If you go to a plumbing supply place, you can find cast steel pipe of virtually any size. A few years ago, I was helping a friend of mine that does sprinkler fitting. Every day we'd be hauling around 21' lengths of everything from 2" to 8" and bigger.

Hopefully you wouldn't have to buy a full 21' length. If so, bring a few helpers.
 
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Old 01-30-13, 07:35 AM
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Thanks this is very helpful!
 
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Old 01-30-13, 08:28 AM
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Check with steel fabrication and welding shops. They usually have a scrap pile of short niblet sections. Pick through it and you might find what you need for free or a 6 pack & a smile.
 
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