Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Mysteries of the Attic, Revealed II

Ok. This has gotten pretty complicated so i'm going to try to summarize. About one year after i moved here, intrigued by smell, dust, sound of belts of cars starting, i popped the attic lid that was made of drywall with popcorn on it. One corner was cracked. Too bad back then i didn't take pictures of everything.

None of the three pipes from all levels did have an individual passage through the roof. Mine was laying on the floor like this blowing insulation and smell above the kitchen window and in the parking lot and the other two were hanging near an airing vent, partially evacuating the smell in the attic.

First i replaced the lid with i guess 3/4 inch white laminated fiberboard to which i attached two hooks. Later i added an alarm to it (and it was effective, for a while).

I put all three bathroom exhaust together with a fan on top near a vent and enclosed it. I made an enclosure too for the 6" kitchen exhaust. After many trials it all started looking like this:

All three pipes in the first of two picture above have dampers at the end near the vent. There is one more damper preventing backlow in the attic.

Today they look different. I attached some pieces of rubber pipes in the end for attenuating vibrations.

After the neighbors downstairs let their exhaust fans running for years and creating all sort of problems, i moved my pipe near my kitchen exahust with some dampers preventing backflow both in the attic and in the bathroom exhaust. The kitchen 6" exhaust pipe does not have a damper at the end but has one near the lower end on top of the present mold evacuation system (not seen in last picture). The polystiren foam adapter for that damper broke and i replaced it Monday with a plywood ring.

Today i moved back my exhaust pipe near the other two since currently the bathroom fan downstairs is running less than an hour a day like it's supposed to. This way there can be no suspicion that i'm using it to pump stuff back in the kitchen exhaust and into the floor but there will be that i'm using to pump air back in the other two bathroom exhaust but there are two dampers on each of those, one installed by me at the upper end as seen in the pictures and one near each fan. (All three pipes are fitted and connected symmetrical with dampers and everything). But to me there is no doubt to me they will adapt and will come with more insinuating actions like last night leaving the window cracked. Cause they are Now, featuring ninja.

The two 1.5 pipes hanging near the attic damper where the fan pulls air from the attic insuring the airing at all times are connecting to the two exhaust pipes' housing from the lower levels, as some of the pipes are leaking. Airing those housings, through thermal flow only.

The fan in the picture below is now above my stove in the place normally used for the kitchen exhaust, that is the lower end of the 6" pipe seen in the pictures above and turns counterclockwise as most BLCD (BrushLess DC) computer (not laptop) fans do . (BLCD is an improper name, they are actually AC motors with a built in inverter). It is part of the system that pulls with two 1.5" flexible hoses air from the floor, behind the fridge, where there's been a leak and near the bathroom. Initially built last November for eliminating mold from floor after a leak, i keep it running now for eliminating smoke (probably cigarette) that for some reason is present in floor and kitchen wall common with the next entrance) near the fridge.

Computer fans can't turn the other way because they are actually synchronous AC motors with a built in invertor (improperly named BLCDs). By inverting the polarity of the power supply they simply won't start.
One more thing before i forget. I might be wrong, but there is one passage visible from the parking lot, a chmney like 3 or 4 inch thick structure somewhere above the kitchen that doesn't seem to have a correspondent in the attic.

This is the last configuration as of 03/04/2015 10 AM
03/05/2015 @7 PM

04/06/2015 I discovered this: Just above the kitchen, the exhaust 6" pipe sits next to the hot water pipe that goes left to the kitchen and right to the bathroom. The tape was all dried and not sealing anymore. Parts of it came easily. The remaining one was put by me more recently, however that is not a good job either, is very hard to work, you have to kinda sit on your knees beacause the roof is too close. So i poured two cans of Great Stuff Fire Block that actually does not extend as much as the cheaper foam. It covered almost to the last fold of the pipe. I'm gone keep an eye on to see if the foam does not bend a pipe or cracks a solder joint or something but i don't think it's possible in open space.

The whole pipe was covered with an insulation blanket; every time i was using the exhaust stuff was getting in it. This spring when it got hot the first time it was stinking really bad, i went in the attic and removed the blanket from the top of the pipe. But there is one more thing. During the night time the pipe was cooling (in the morning i have to leave the water to run like one whole minute). Since everything was covered with an insulating blanket, i assume the whole pipe was heating and cooling loosing heat but also dilating and contracting, with the folds opening and closing. Quite a piece of engineering. Also cannot understand why they didn't use that T at the right the other way and save an elbow. Just to make the hot water pipe run under the elbow of the exhaust?