Cutting a hole in a brick wall

nola mike Posted By nola mike, Nov 22, 2012 at 10:23 PM

  1. nola mike

    nola mike
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    Thinking about a direct vent v. vent free heater for my upstairs bedroom. Would prefer vented, but am concerned about what's involved and if it's structurally ok to cut a 7" or so hole in my 12" 100 yo brick wall...
     
  2. semipro

    semipro
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    I'd hate to see you have to cut into brick that old.
    Could you go through the roof? There are roof mount coaxial vent/supply pipes for direct vent units.
    We used to have a direct vent stove in our fireplace that used two co-linear 3" dia. pipes that terminated at the top of our chimney 25 ft. above.
     
  3. DAKSY

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    The co-linear vent kit is for fireplace inserts or in the case of Regency (& possibly some other mfrs.), DV fireplaces, that are vented thru an existing flue.... I agree though, vent your unit vertically & preserve your 100-yr-old brick wall. If you can install your DV unit in a corner, you can conceal the vertical venting with a false wall that will STILL leave you room for a mantel shelf. The vent will pass thru a flashing on the roof with a storm collar & if installed correctly, will not leak...
     
  4. ROVERT

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    You'll be fine with a hole of that size. Even if you have to take out a full two bricks worth, that only exposes one single brick to the risk of falling.

    Here's a pic that gives you an idea:

    [​IMG]

    I personally would go through the wall rather than the ceiling and roof. That is just my choice though.

    With little care, you should be able to remove two full bricks and two halves doing very little damage to the bricks. This should leave you with a hole as big as you need and leave no bricks unsupported. If you ever wanted to close the hole back up, it could be done quite neatly with the salvaged bricks.
     
  5. Dune

    Dune
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    Consider a core bore for round holes in brick. I drill some ridiculously expensive/old stone/brick whatever with my core rig. It cuts with a grinding action, no impact so damage is very unlikely.
     
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  6. semipro

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    I'm probably not understanding your comment.
    We've had two different DV units, one freestanding (Jotul Allagash) and one built-in (Heatilator). Both could be used with coaxial flues. The Jotul was later converted from coaxial to co-linear for use inside an existing fireplace with ceramic flue. The coaxial setup for the (freestanding) Allagash is shown below.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. DAKSY

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    You caught me. I corrected my original post. I had my "Cos" mixed up. Apologies..
     
  8. greg13

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    There's NO way I would want to try to hold a hand held core rig with a 7" bit on it!!! That's just asking for trouble.
     
  9. Thistle

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    I've never seen or used a hand held core drill with 7" bit.1" to 5" dry cutting bits for cutting brick/block,softer stone & non-reinforced concrete are available with 5/8-11 threaded arbor holes to fit heavy duty 7" or 9" electric angle grinders though.What would work is using the 4 holes in the base that regular sized 'floor model' rigs have to anchor them to a brick,concrete or stone wall with 3/8" or 1/2" wedge anchors.

    Takes 2 people to set it up & anchor it obviously,plus scaffold,heavy saw horses with 2 x 12's across them or similar staging.Like certain other procedures it often takes more time/effort to get things ready & then tear it down than doing the actual job.
     
  10. ROVERT

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    We've bolted our core drill to walls on several occasions where blocking it up wasn't practical. We usually just drill a 1/2 hole the whole way through the wall and then bolt the drill on with a piece of all thread. We typically drill through basement walls, so another small hole isn't a big deal.

    For brick, especially on a second story, I wouldn't go to the hassle of setting up the core drill. Just drill out the mortar and remove the bricks.
     
  11. Dune

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    Me neither. That's why I said core rig.
    I routinely hang my rig from one anchor bolt, if the vacuum pump will not hold it.
     
  12. semipro

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    No apology required. I wasn't trying to "catch" you and didn't realize I had. I just didn't understand your response and wanted to clarify that I'd definitely seen both coaxial and co-linear direct vent systems (my terms for them, they may have others).
    Cheers.
     
  13. btuser

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    Structurally I wouldn't think it's an issue. Most times I've caused a problem in old brick has been from drilling inside-out. Keep this in mind.

    If you don't want to drill the brick I've used a grinder with a masonry blade to remove the mortar and loosen the bricks with very little impact.
     
  14. nola mike

    nola mike
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    Yeah, that's what I thought. Seems like a huge PITA. Going through the roof means going through either a) 100 year old slate or b) going horizontally to get to 100 year old tin. Neither is particularly appealing. I think the wall is 3 courses of brick thick, so knocking out individual bricks would likely not work.
     
  15. brian89gp

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    You would only knock out the individual bricks on the inside and outside layers, the middle layer you could just bust out. Old bricks are usually pretty easy to break if you want them to.

    Through the slate would be the easiest and most easily reversible. Just place the hole the best you can so that you minimize the amount of slate cutting that will need to be done.
     
  16. btuser

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    I'd rather go through a dozen course of brick than touch a slate roof.
     
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  17. greg13

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    Well, Since it is brick a vacuum base is out of the question. Trying to bolt 100 pounds of core rig to a wall is difficult at best. I think the best option would be to remove enough bricks to make the hole, cut the circular pattern on the outside remaining bricks and re install.
    Any way you do it, it is not going to be a fun job.
     
  18. Dune

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    Not really, I have done it countless times. The core drill is easily the best, easiest solution, as well as causing the least damage, especially since the wall is so thick.
     
  19. nola mike

    nola mike
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    Where does one get a core drill? Sounds like I'd have to pay to have it done...
     
  20. Dune

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    You could look into renting. Plumbers and electricians sometimes own them, otherwise a concrete cutting company. During this economy, the fee could be somewhat negotiable.
     
  21. greg13

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    Any rental house should have them, I know we have 4 or 5 of the core rigs plus a few hand held.
     
  22. btuser

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    I'd look at both options of renting vs renting the job out. You have to rent the bit as well as the drill, and often the quality of the bit is suspect. Come to think of it you might have a hard time finding that size hole in your average rental shop.

    A 7" hole is not a small hole. You have to be careful with the machine, the setup, a lot of stuff. If the difference between renting and hiring was $100 I'd hire it out, and I've spent weeks of my life staring at a core rig.
     
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  23. woodgeek

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    I had a concrete cutting company core a 4" dryer vent through my basement wall. Took em less than an hour total, maybe 5 mins for the cut. A few hundred $$ IIRC.

    I'd at least get a quote.
     
  24. jamesfarrell

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    I'm contemplating a free standing gas stove. Enviro ascot. My chimney is high and I've been quoted about $1200 just for the pipe up the chimney. Damn. So I was wondering. My dad has a gas stove, direct vent through a wall. Outside it's got just a small amount of pipe and the cap or whatever it's called.

    Now I plan on putting the stove on the existing hearth, or pushing it in the fireplace a bit, depending on various factors. This got me to thinking. Why could I not drill a hole through the back of the chimney, which would be the same as the setup my father has, but instead of through the wall, it would be through brick.

    I realize the drilling of a hole through the brick would be a chore, but the savings in the cost of the pipe would be good.

    Thanks
     
  25. nola mike

    nola mike
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    Youd probably get a better response by starting your own thread rather than resurrecting a 3 year old thread of mine. That said, you can't direct vent a wood stove. You could run the pipe outside the house, but you'd need class a chimney, which would be more expensive than liner. And as an update, I ended up going with a ventless unit. Works great.
     

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