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Unread 12-22-2008, 11:58 AM
 
Location: Denver
1,316 posts, read 3,389,628 times
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Default Drilling a hole in brick?

So, I just bought a house that was built in 72'. Best I can tell it never had a dryer vent installed. I guess that would explain the lint.

So, to install one I have to drill a 4"+ hole in the brick. From what I have read I take a drill and a 1/4" masonary bit and drill small holes to make the circle. It recommended the use of a hammer drill. I just have a standard one. Then chip out the brick with a cold chisel.

However, a guy a Home Depot said I should hire out this job since the brick is old.

Any advice on doing this myself?

Thanks!
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Unread 12-22-2008, 12:10 PM
 
Location: Visitation between Wal-Mart & Home Depot
8,310 posts, read 18,853,043 times
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If you have old Mexican brick and try to use a hammer drill or any sort of reciprocating drill you will probably see the bricks crumble and spall. Just use a regular drill with a masonry bit if you try to do this yourself. Also, be very careful chipping out old brick with a chisel as old brick will often fracture in completely unpredictable ways. Make sure your drill holes are as close together as possible. It may take a while and you may need more than one bit. Exercise great caution with every step as it is very difficult to "take it back" if you hurt the brick's feelings.

I know it isn't ideal to have the dryer vent line going up, but it may be better to try to vent through the attic and out the eave (assuming this is a possibility).
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Unread 12-22-2008, 12:25 PM
 
Location: Denver
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There is a window about 10 feet to the left I could use. But it would look pretty tacky to go that way. I could not go up because the kitchen is above the dryer.

Thanks for the advice of using more than one bit. I didn't think about that.

Not sure what kind of brick it is. It seems like standard brick.
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Unread 12-22-2008, 01:11 PM
 
Location: West, Southwest, East & Northeast
3,446 posts, read 4,316,317 times
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Make sure you don't make your hole where a stud, plate, pipe or wiring is located. You might want to consider opening up a small hole in the drywall on the interior (where you "think" the vent pipe will go) first to make sure you have a clear shot to the brick's exterior without hitting a stud, plate, gas pipe, wiring, etc. I would rather repair a small hole in the interior's drywall than dealing with a misplaced hole in the brick on the exterior of the house.

Another tool you might want to consider using a 4 1/4" tungsten carbide grit hole saw, which will prevent brick damage caused by crumbling or broken pieces of the brick when using a hammer and cold chisel. It's a lot faster and easier to control, yet somewhat expensive to buy considering you'll only need it for one hole. You might even be able to rent one...
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Unread 12-22-2008, 01:31 PM
 
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Default You sort of already have the idea......

Jimboburnsy sort of outlined the general method if you do not have some special tools. Kootr is right know exactly what is in the path of the hole. What might be in the way.

As you seem to have standard brick, you probably do need a hammer drill with a masonary bit. Take the vent section, hold it up on the brick where you want to cut thru, draw a pattern around it. This gives you the drilling guide. You should also note how thick the wall is, just one layer of brick or is it more. Walk thru exactly how the vent is going to be installed in the wall, use the appropriate diameter to draw the pattern.

It actually works pretty easy with the right tools. Normal drill bits aren't going to be very effective in brick, especially with just a normal drill. Drill the holes just on the inside of the line. Maybe spacing the holes 1/2 to 1" apart. You can then either gently tap with a hammer or do some more chisel work to get the plug out.

There is another method you can attempt. Just get a normal wood cutting hole saw. Drill a center pilot hole first. Then fill the hole saw with dry very fine sand, say half way full. It will ruin the hole saw but it does work, can take a bit of time. Helps to knock out the material exposed after you get so deep with a steel brick working chisel. Can wet the hole after you get it going, basically uses the sand as a cutting media. The sand feeds from inside the hole saw and gets carried around by the rim, doing the cutting.
Softer the brick the faster it should go.

A diamond hole saw is the cat's meow probably can rent one, they also make some special masonry coring bits, probably not an option for DIY. Can also check the Yellow Pages for concrete drilling, see how much they would want for the job.
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Unread 12-22-2008, 01:38 PM
 
Location: Denver
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Thankfully, the basment is unfinished. So, I can look up at the large piece of wood that is above the foundation wall. And directcly on the other side of that is the brick vener.
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Unread 12-22-2008, 01:47 PM
 
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Default Use your pilot hole to locate it to the outside....

Quote:
Originally Posted by wankel7 View Post
Thankfully, the basment is unfinished. So, I can look up at the large piece of wood that is above the foundation wall. And directcly on the other side of that is the brick vener.
Then just drill a hole from the inside to accurately locate where the hole is to be drilled from the outside. Best to again draw the pattern, try to get the center to be over a mortar joint, that is the easiest drilling, might be able to get thru it with a standard drill, masonary bit with no problem. Can't tell from your comment if you can see the bare brick from the inside.

Then figure out what method you will use from the outside to bore the hole. As mentioned a bunch of potential methods can be tried.
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Unread 12-22-2008, 01:50 PM
 
Location: Visitation between Wal-Mart & Home Depot
8,310 posts, read 18,853,043 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wankel7 View Post
Thankfully, the basment is unfinished. So, I can look up at the large piece of wood that is above the foundation wall. And directcly on the other side of that is the brick vener.
Another option that may make your life easier would be to try and loosen some mortar and poke a few bricks out of the exterior wall until you have a space large enough to accomodate the vent line. Then you could cut a 4 1/2" hole in a piece of plywood and shape the edges to fit the missing bricks, expoxy (or Liquid Nails) it into the hole to make a good seal and then finish the exterior in some manner that would be both weathertight and aesthetically pleasing to you and, more importantly, your wife.
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Unread 12-22-2008, 02:44 PM
 
Location: Northern California
3,461 posts, read 8,171,846 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wankel7 View Post
So, I just bought a house that was built in 72. However, a guy a Home Depot said I should hire out this job since the brick is old.
A 36 year old house isn't that old! Drilling a series of holes with a 1/4 inch masonary drill bit in a circle should work out OK. Take a hammer and break loose the brick. Use mortar to fill and patch and make a tight fit between the vent pipe and brick.
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Unread 12-23-2008, 10:55 AM
 
Location: Denver
1,316 posts, read 3,389,628 times
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Thanks for all the advice! I will tackle it after Christmas and post up some pictures on how it went.
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