Removing Coal Chute

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Old 02-17-15, 06:17 PM
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Removing Coal Chute

I'm planning to remove an old 18" x 12" coal chute and replace it with a 4" dryer exhaust line. What would be the recommended way to frame in the remaining space? Is there a temperature minimum I should stay above when working with mortar? Would fast setting repair mortar work well in this application?

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Old 02-18-15, 04:23 AM
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Not sure I understand the framing aspect of your question. Do you intend to fill in the void with brick or are you wanting to frame, lath and stucco the opening? You don't want to apply stucco when the temps fail below freezing, that includes drying time.
 
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Old 02-18-15, 05:57 AM
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Got a picture of the outside?
Reason I'd like to see the outside is so we can see how low that door is to grade.
Dryer vents are often done by going through the rim joist not the walls it's self.
I have a 4-1/4" hole saw just for this job.
Needs bigger then just 4" so the flange on the back side of the outside vent will fit in the hole.
One good reason to do it in your area would be because you want that vent above the snow.
Also a lot easier then trying to make a hole through the block and have wood not block to attach the outside vent to.
 
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Old 02-18-15, 10:24 AM
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From the outside, the bottom of the chute is right at grade level and the top of the chute butts up against the house siding. So, at most the bottom of the dryer exhaust vent would be 3 inches above grade. I would likely need to come up with a window-well type of enclosure for the vent. I will try to get an outside picture tonight.

What should be used to fill in the hole, solid cement block? brick?

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Old 02-18-15, 10:30 AM
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The dryer vent should go as high as possible and take the shortest practical route, which in this case would be between the floor joists, out through the rim joist and siding, not out the foundation close to the ground. You would do this as close to the dryer as possible with solid ductwork.

If the dryer is upstairs, and it's on an exterior wall, its usually possible to go straight out with it.

Since the door looks like it already has a wood buck, the easiest thing to do would be to frame it in with wood, and cover the exterior with plywood or foam. But without a description of the outside surface or a picture, it's hard to say.
 
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Old 02-18-15, 10:34 AM
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I agree with Joe it would be better to exhaust the dryer thru the rim joist! You don't want snow or leaves to gather around the vent and restrict the air flow. Block would probably look best but brick would likely be easier. You could frame it out, cover it with plywood, felt, lath and stucco but there is always the chance of moisture damage being that close to the ground.
 
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Old 02-18-15, 04:06 PM
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That makes sense, exhausting through the rim joist. The dryer will be on the floor in the basement.

Could I face join 2 8x16 solid cement blocks together with mortar and fill the hole with that block? Is that an acceptable solution? I planned to remove all the wood associated with the coal chute.

Is there a minimum temp when working with mortar? Right now in PA we're lucky to hit freezing, but it is supposed to be in the upper 30's this weekend.
 
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Old 02-19-15, 03:46 AM
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IMO filling the hole with block is best, how tall is the opening [minus the wood]? You don't want mortar to freeze so you want to use it above freezing and keep it warm enough until it cures [sometimes covering it up is enough] I think there are additives that can be mixed with mortar when it's real cold but I don't know anything about them.
 
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Old 02-19-15, 07:05 AM
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Opening is 18 x 12 without the wood chute frame.

This weekend could be a good opportunity, should be above freezing for at least 24 hrs.
 
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Old 02-19-15, 07:10 AM
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You should be able to insert a 4" cap block along with a 8x16 block to fill the hole, the mortar joints will be a little wide on each end but ......
 
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Old 02-19-15, 07:22 AM
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I agree with the 4x8x16 solid block on bottom.

You can cut them to length with a grinder and a diamond wheel or a skilsaw and a diamond wheel. Your horizontal mortar joint will probably then lineup with the existing if you pick the right solid to start out with.

You will probably want to put a couple rocks or short pieces of rebar in the mortar bed so that the solids don't sink once you set them. Because when you put the 8x8x16 CMU on top you will need to shim it up tight to the sill sealer on the sill, which will put a lot of downward pressure on the mortar bed, smashing it down... unless the rocks/rebar are in there to keep it suspended at the right height. Once you shim up the top block (again short pieces of rebar work good) you will need to tuck point around and underneath it, then strike/smooth/tool all your mortar joints inside and out. Use a tuck pointing trowel, so that you can completely push mortar into the voids.

According to this authority, you should keep this area above freezing for as long as possible... a minimum of 2 days at 50F. That includes the temperature at night.

When working in the winter, the best thing to do is to tent the area and heat it to speed the dry time.
 
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Old 02-19-15, 03:56 PM
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Above 50 for 2 days...that won't happen until June! I'd really rather not run a heater outside in tent overnight. This will set my timeline back...
 
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Old 02-19-15, 06:50 PM
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And having to replace all the mortar because it froze will set your timeline a lot further back.
 
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Old 02-20-15, 04:10 AM
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so ? just do it now & just use a piece of plywood til it warms up - no big deal, is it ? back up the plywood w/insulation + place the pipe on a downward slope

do i have to think of everything ?????????????????
 
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Old 02-20-15, 05:08 AM
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I'm not a mason but I've worked around a lot of masons and they work in cold weather when necessary. Best I could tell the biggest thing they do is cover everything up well before they leave. I've seen a lot of brick/block and stone laid when the temps were below 50
 
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Old 02-20-15, 06:00 AM
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Have you considered glass block to replace that door? You'll get a bit of light, good insulation and security.
 
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Old 02-20-15, 07:26 AM
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Expanding on Norms suggestion they make plastic versions of glass blocks that come as a premade custom unit. I think they can be ordered in custom sizes. Example: http://www.acrylicblocks4less.com/ac...ks4less_1.html
 
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Old 02-20-15, 09:44 AM
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Glass bock won't provide a benefit as the area will be framed in and covered eventually. I'll stick with concrete block.

Really wanted to get the block coated soon, including the patched in area, but I will likely hold off until the weather breaks (-14 here this morning).
 
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