Author Topic: Blow Insulation but not enough Tube  (Read 3965 times)

ohyonghao

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Blow Insulation but not enough Tube
« on: January 06, 2014, 03:06:38 PM »
Just wondering if anyone else has ran into this situation, or what they might have done differently.  My house is approximately 20'/50'.  I had originally read that the blower at Lowes comes with two 50' tubes for blowing the insulation.  After having gotten everything ready and rented a U-Haul to transport the blower to our house for an afternoon of work it turns out that between the two blowers they have there is only one 50' tube.  My money was already into the van we rented and the afternoon cleared, not too much I could do about the situation and decided to truck forward with it and make the best.

This is my first insulation install I've ever done, and after getting over the fact that I'm walking on the ceiling and if I miss the two by fours I might be walking through the ceiling, I got pretty comfortable up there.  I brought a broom and swept a path up the middle of the already installed fiber insulation and pulled the tube as far as I could but I still had another 15' or so before hitting the end of the house.  What we ended up doing was blowing 15 bales into a pile first and "shoveling" with the broom into the far end of the attic.  We then blew the other 15 bales to fill in the area I had swept clean and continued normally with the work.  It was a huge hassle and isn't very level, especially in the very far right and left, but I would say it is a success.  Finishing up the job with being able to blow directly to where I want showed me that blow insulation would be very simple with the proper length of tube.

Has anyone else been in a similar situation?  If so, how did you solve the too short tube problem?

TomTX

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Re: Blow Insulation but not enough Tube
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2014, 05:13:48 PM »
Not a direct answer, just a note:

High spots of insulation aren't a problem. Low spots are a problem. Even a small bare area makes a HUGE difference with heat flow.

Emg03063

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Re: Blow Insulation but not enough Tube
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2014, 07:34:33 PM »
Can't answer that, but if you don't mind my asking, do you think it is feasible to blow a couple of bags as a one person operation?  (I've been insulating my attic with rolls and want to blow a couple of bags into some harder to reach areas, but am having some trouble finding someone to feed the machine for me).

TomTX

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Re: Blow Insulation but not enough Tube
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2014, 09:25:56 PM »
Introduce yourself to the neighbors and see if they want (free) use of the machine too while you have it rented?


GuitarStv

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Re: Blow Insulation but not enough Tube
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2014, 09:11:15 AM »
Use a rake to push the insulation further than the tube goes.

Cromacster

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Re: Blow Insulation but not enough Tube
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2014, 09:40:45 AM »
I more or less ran into this same problem, my solution was just to carry the blower upstairs rather than keeping it outside.  Was it messier?  Probably, but nothing a shopvac can't handle.

As to the one vs two person operation.  I would recommend this be a two person operation.  Doing it solo would require a lot of running back and forth.  Depending on access and amount being blown this would get very old.  On top of that the hose would be blowing unattended during transition time.  This wouldn't be the end of the world but would require more touch up work with a rake or whatever.

ohyonghao

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Re: Blow Insulation but not enough Tube
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2014, 11:41:02 AM »
From my one time experience I would say if you are starting from scratch, or just roles, it would be somewhat feasible to do it as a one man operation, but do not recommend it.  Try a neighbor, friend, co-worker before just attempting it yourself.

If you are still interested in doing it yourself, you lose a lot of the niceness of blowing insulation, and have to work with pushing it into corners and shoveling it.  I would recommend the following:
  • prep the area by marking clearly how deep you want the insulation.  You can find some calculators out there, if you are using cellulose it is about R-3.5 per inch, I think fiber is around R-2.7, might want to double check.  You can easily mark it either with multiple yard strips, a pen on each beam, or a string running the length across and secured at the correct height, this will help greatly in making sure you get a level amount.  Since you are starting with only rolled insulation down this will make it easy to follow the next step.
  • Secure the hose in the attic in a location near where you want insulation blown.  Since you won't be up there to guide it I recommend hanging it from about shoulder height, probably in two spots so as to allow the hose to point in a single direction.
  • Go down to the blower and begin feeding in bales, examine the tube while it is blowing to make sure insulation is actually making it through.  You might try 5 bales at first, but we did 10 at a time.
  • Once you have fed your bales in, go up to the attic and begin brooming, racking, or somehow pushing the insulation, start in the back corners and pile it until it reaches that line you made in step 1.  Make sure not to compress the insulation, it needs to be fluffed to be most effective.
  • repeat steps 2 through 4 until you have finished your insulation

One caveat is you may run out of insulation.  I found that my estimates for how much insulation I should have were off and was only able to do about 2/3 of the house, our bedroom could still use a bit more insulation.  I would say this might take you 3x or 4x the time to do than if you had a second person feeding while you blew the insulation in.

After reading online the estimated time per bale is about 5 minutes.  If it's taking you longer than that to feed a bale in something might be wrong.

I hope this helps, and good luck.

chardog

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Re: Blow Insulation but not enough Tube
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2014, 02:58:36 PM »
I used a garbage can, leaf blower/vac, dryer hose and some duct tape to fashion a system to blow old blown insulation back into my attic after replacing a ceiling.  It worked out pretty well.  I did have a friend re-load the garbage can with the old blown insulation that I had previously swept up and collected in trash bags.  He also worked the on/off switch on the leaf blower/vac when re-loading.  The only hitch was when he almost sucked up a mouse that was hanging out in the old insulation. :)  That was exciting!