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Scottpat

Cabinets used as ductwork!

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Next time you see an HVAC register cover on the kickplate of a kitchen or bathroom cabinet you might want to take a closer look. At an inspection today on a new home I decided to remove the cover and I found the air duct hole under the cabinet.

I have found this several times with new homes and on many pre-owned homes.

The builder told me that is how they do all of their homes.

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I see that all the time around here - it's never hard ducted. Bigger fish to fry.

Edit: I just caught myself in one of those complacent moments. It's done all the time but it doesn't make it right. It wastes a lot of energy turning the cabinet into a plate warmer.

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See that all the time here. Once did a house that recently had the bathroom remodeled and the contractor forgot to cut out the register. The duct just terminated under the cabinet. While inspecting the crawlspace I pulled back the insulation and the floor was soaked. I first thought one of the whirlpool jets was leaking.

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Next time you see an HVAC register cover on the kickplate of a kitchen or bathroom cabinet you might want to take a closer look. At an inspection today on a new home I decided to remove the cover and I found the air duct hole under the cabinet.

I have found this several times with new homes and on many pre-owned homes.

The builder told me that is how they do all of their homes.

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tn_201151118318_DSCN4269.jpg

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In all honesty, I've never seen a builder do it any other way. Sad, maybe, but true...

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This has been written up in a lot of builders rags; it's epidemic. It's even got a name......"plenum vented", or something like that.

The plenum being the base of the cabinet.

Honestly, if the base is clean, it's not that big a deal, it can work OK, it's just cheesey.

If I had to get "caught" on something, i hope it's something like this.

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It's done that way in 99% of the houses I see.

It's a problem when the cabinet is against an exterior wall and there are oversized holes for the plumbing pipes. Or when there are holes that lead into the crawlspace. Lots of heat gets wasted that way.

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I have seen it for years as well, but I still write it up. I guess it bugs me the most simply because the air can not be regulated at that register. It goes back to my old energy rating survey days.

This was at the end of the trunk line and the air was about half as strong at the other registers on that same trunk line.

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It's done that way in 99% of the houses I see.

I was writing this issue up in new construction for quite a while, but finally just started to ignore it.

Agree as almost 99% of the homes also do not have balanced systems so it is a moot point. I think those that are writing it up are wasting paper and the client's time.

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During a re-inspection yesterday, this document was provided to my client by the seller's hvac contractor. I had reported low flow to the bedrooms and no heat source in the kitchen. There was no change at the time of the 2nd inspection. I was unable to feel any air movement from under the dishwasher or the stove which block the supply in the kitchen.

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My client said that was BS. I suggested that she have the system properly balanced and the supply repaired in the kitchen. Closing was scheduled for today...

Anatol

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During a re-inspection yesterday, this document was provided to my client by the seller's hvac contractor. I had reported low flow to the bedrooms and no heat source in the kitchen. There was no change at the time of the 2nd inspection. I was unable to feel any air movement from under the dishwasher or the stove which block the supply in the kitchen.

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tn_201171155024_hvac.jpg

28.02 KB

My client said that was BS. I suggested that she have the system properly balanced and the supply repaired in the kitchen. Closing was scheduled for today...

Anatol

Rest assured, you did your job. Based on the HVAC contractors comments, they bought the problem.

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can any one tell me about cabinets

Sure, Maggie! They're boxes with sometimes plain and sometimes fancy doors that can be built from a variety of materials, and are often used to store people's stuff.

If you click on the link you dropped before it's removed, you can probably find some really cool pictures of what I described.

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Whoa, I got a job the other day. Anyway I was up on the top floor and the air flow was pretty weak. Down in the crawl space the duct was partially disconnected. I was a momentary hero.

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There are pros and cons to the cabinet plenum approach. I've seen them both.

If you have these under the bathroom cabinets on a second floor in a house with a crawlspace and a pipe bursts beneath a bathroom sink, 'cuz you were foolish enough to turn off the heat and then go on a December vacation, they allow water to move quickly to the crawlspace instead of totally ruining the entire second floor and then the weight of the water will pull the duct loose and flood the crawlspace versus the house (It happened!).

If a pipe bursts in a kitchen during construction and is not discovered for half a day, they allow water to flow quickly into the ducts in the crawlspace. Unfortunately, if the weight of the water isn't enough to cause the ducts to pull loose from the main trunk line, and nobody goes into the crawlspace to see what happened to all that water, the water could sit there in your heating ducts for up to six years before some anal retentive inspector notices that the ducts look unusually plump and lifts one to test it's weight and discovers they're still half full of water six years later (It happened!).

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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