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Old 03-04-2019, 01:06 PM   #1
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Default How to test a vent?

I'm doing an estimate for someone but I haven't been on site and all the walls and ceilings are finished. The owner says there is a pipe protruding the basement ceiling with an orange cap.(Probably a test cap)

I need to find a way to see if that pipe is a vent. Since I never did this what is recommended to see if it leads all the way to the roof? Some type of smoke or incense from the basement preferably without having to buy a 24 foot ladder to go to the roof.
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Old 03-04-2019, 03:03 PM   #2
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i would use smoke...not liquid or you may damage the house..if you dont have a smoke machine you can get colored smoke bombs and a shop vac to force the smoke into the pipe..
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Old 03-04-2019, 03:24 PM   #3
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I saw smoke bombs at the supply house and remember once a friend of mine unrelated to the plumbing business had a few of the same(well they looked similar) and we lit it up outside. It produced a huge cloud for several minutes.

So are there tiny smoke bombs?

I guess I would have the existing 1 1/2" coming from the ceiling to a 4" pipe piece with a side hole and slap the smoking bomb inside and use the shop vac to push the smoke out?
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Old 03-04-2019, 03:32 PM   #4
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Well the supply house only have them for ducts, 60 delay and 60 second gray smoke burn time. I bet that's going to be way to much.
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Old 03-04-2019, 05:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tango View Post
I saw smoke bombs at the supply house and remember once a friend of mine unrelated to the plumbing business had a few of the same(well they looked similar) and we lit it up outside. It produced a huge cloud for several minutes.

So are there tiny smoke bombs?

I guess I would have the existing 1 1/2" coming from the ceiling to a 4" pipe piece with a side hole and slap the smoking bomb inside and use the shop vac to push the smoke out?

set up with shop vac hose on the push side of vac connected to vent pipe in question, have shop vac outside of hose and use long hose( garden hose will do if you dont have long enough vac hose..light smoke bomb in small metal can so you dont burn hand and hold it up to suction port on vac, vac sucks in smoke and pushes it through hose into vent line, by you , vac and smoke source outside, no stray smoke goes into house, then see if smoke comes out roof vent, or where ever that pipe terminates..
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Old 03-04-2019, 06:22 PM   #6
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Good idea! I'll try it if the guy isn't a cheap skate (which I suspect) and accepts my estimate.
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Old 03-05-2019, 11:31 AM   #7
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Quote:
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Good idea! I'll try it if the guy isn't a cheap skate (which I suspect) and accepts my estimate.
Tango here is a smoke machine cobbled together by Randy Hilton.
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Old 03-05-2019, 01:05 PM   #8
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Tango here is a smoke machine cobbled together by Randy Hilton.

looks pretty good, only problem is i would have some metal plate to protect pvc from burning or replace pvc cleanout with a cast one as burning pvc is HIGHLY toxic and now your blowing toxic fumes into a house or building..
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Old 03-05-2019, 01:18 PM   #9
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Awesome idea! A bathroom fan with an extension cord and a dryer vent.
How about replacing the the 4" tee and coupling with a galvanized duct tee? If the bomb gets two hot maybe b-vent tee or just and extra patch layer of tin on the side where the toolbox sides are.
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Old 03-05-2019, 01:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Awesome idea! A bathroom fan with an extension cord and a dryer vent.
How about replacing the the 4" tee and coupling with a galvanized duct tee? If the bomb gets two hot maybe b-vent tee or just and extra patch layer of tin on the side where the toolbox sides are.
you can use anything that will give you a sealable chamber for the smoke bomb to go...
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