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Help - replacing HVAC register covers in house with old plaster walls

AgleKearns26's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 2

07-23-08, 05:38 PM   #1  
Help - replacing HVAC register covers in house with old plaster walls

I am replacing old register covers along baseboards in the house. When removing old register covers noticed the plaster around opening in duct is quite old. I am having difficulty putting new covers on due to old plaster/unsecure surface to screw in to. Any advice???

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ecman51's Avatar
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Join Date: May 2007
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07-24-08, 06:53 AM   #2  
I am real familiar with old houses and plaster, and these registers that are down low. Sometimes there is studs next to them, sometimes just horizontal lath, and sometimes the metal of the duct is bent 90 degrees where you screw into that flat edge of the metal duct.

I am presuming that you have a void alongside the duct and as you look at the duct, you simply see the sharp edge of it? If so, maybe you could cut with tin snips a tab and fold it back toward the plaster. Then hold onto that tab with some kind of pliers and drill a hole in it where that hole then lines up with a hole in the register.

Or, you could maybe just cheat and caulk the register in place. I actually did that recently and it worked out great. If the regsiter wants to 'pull away' while the caulk is fresh, put a weight up against it til the caulk sets up. Silicone caulk is quite heat resistant and has a very strong grip.

Yesterday I changed out the drain under a bathroom sink, and the bottom rubber was previously silicone caulked and on there so good and tight, I was able to unscrew the drain tailpiece right out of that rubber AND the top chrome ring (which also was silicone caulked), with a big channel lock, and it never broke the bond on either of these 2 caulked-in pieces. Then I was able to simply screw the new tailpiece back through these parts without changing those out!, and the caulk never budged.

That being said, the caulk will hold the register, if you imbed the edge of the register in a bead of caulk (trace pencil line lightly around it as you 'dry fit' it up to the wall, so you know where to caulk), and then neatly get off the excess that squirts out around the edge and use that as well as a small neat bead around the sides of it.

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