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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    7

    Default Did something REALLY stupid . . . now driving me NuTs!

    To make a very long story short, I dropped a piece of Styrofoam down a vent duct in our master bed. It dropped three stories to the basement, straight down. I was trying to fix an expansion/contraction problem and it accidentally slipped out of my hand.

    Now when the AC comes on/off, it shakes, rattles and rolls. . . all the time. Tough to sleep at night. I tried fishing it out with a shop vac and a pool filter hose but that didn’t work. (My kids thought it was neat that I was built the world’s longest vacuum cleaner)

    Of course, it is a finished basement and all of the duct work is covered by drywall.

    This forums has always been incredibly helpful to my DIY efforts. So before I take a sledge to the drywall . . .

    Any ideas?

    Thanks,

    Bailey

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Needham, MA
    Posts
    559

    Default Re: Did something REALLY stupid . . . now driving me NuTs!

    short of getting extremely creative with some sort of snake device, it's not that big a deal to cut open a hole in the basement ceiling then patch it up when you're done.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Northeast
    Posts
    661

    Default Re: Did something REALLY stupid . . . now driving me NuTs!

    Klein makes something called a Fish Rod Set that's used for snaking wires. It's made of 1/4 inch fiberglass and comes in 3 four foot sections but I believe you can buy extra lengths. Included in the set is a hook that you screw onto one end, maybe you can get lucky and snag the Styrofoam with it. The Model no. is 56100 and it should be available at an electrical store, or at least you should be able to order one. Good Luck

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,825

    Default Re: Did something REALLY stupid . . . now driving me NuTs!

    Is the duct work large enough to slide one of your kids down on a rope?

    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    2,969

    Default Re: Did something REALLY stupid . . . now driving me NuTs!

    My McGuyver ideas;

    1- A piece of string with a weighted barb on the end. Send the sting down. When it hits the styrofoam, pull up quickly on the sring then let it fall back down piercing into the foam block. Pull up the block.

    2- Monkey on a string

    3- Drop down a bowling ball to push the foam block back to the furnace.

    4- reverse air flow to push the foam block back to the furnace.

    5- 200 compressed air cartridges to blow the foam block up to the third floor. Close off the other vents so all the air comes out the one vent.

    6- line the duct with sandpaper. The block will grind itself down

    7- drop down a metal plate with some glue on it. Let that dry. Send down a magnet on a string

    8- pull the rug back in the room above the duct. Cut through the floor plywood to expose the duct. Cut into the duct or take it apart to free the block. Repair the plywood with blocking of needed. Replace the carpet. Donate to the TOH forum members retirement fund.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,825

    Default Re: Did something REALLY stupid . . . now driving me NuTs!

    Another McGuyver idea, pour acetone down the duct to dissolve the Styrofoam, wait a couple of hours and drop a match down to clear the fumes. He always did like to make thing explode.

    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Did something REALLY stupid . . . now driving me NuTs!

    Maybe a duct cleaning company could blow it out.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    6,694

    Default Re: Did something REALLY stupid . . . now driving me NuTs!

    If it is in a vent duct, which is inside the wall in the basement...

    1. I don't think you can successfully raise it 3 stories up, with whatever device you can think of.

    2. You will have to cut the drywall. Cutting drywall and patching it is not the end of the world, folks do it all the time. A nice professional job won't even be noticeable.

    Good luck.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Pacific Northwet
    Posts
    1,643

    Default Re: Did something REALLY stupid . . . now driving me NuTs!

    Gasoline dissolves styrofoam, so... just fill up your ducts with gasoline! (No, don't do that, I was just kidding.)

    If it has fallen into a mainline duct, perhaps you could access it from another vent. Maybe you can close off all the vents except the nearest one "upstream" of the styrofoam, turn on the furnace fan, and blow it out.
    The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,825

    Default Re: Did something REALLY stupid . . . now driving me NuTs!

    I think Fencepost has the most logical solution, even if you can't blow it out you may be qable to snare it from another duct opening.

    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

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