Replace a low-hanging duct
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Photo 1: Disassemble a duct joint
Unbend the folded portion of each joint's “drive coupler.” Pull each one off
with pliers. Support the duct with two spring clamps and chain and then
remove the duct hangers.
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Photo 2: Install the new duct
Hoist the new duct into place and hold it with the spring clamps and chain. Line up the joints and insert the top and bottom edges into
the S-slips. Install the drive couplers and bend the ends with a hammer. Then install the duct hangers.
Don't let low-hanging ductwork scuttle your
plans for a basement remodel. If the ductwork is
in the way, you have three options. You can
reroute it or split it into more but smaller ducts.
But the least disruptive and easiest way is to
replace the low ducts with new ducts that are
flatter but wider. In most cases, you can gain several
inches of headroom.
Measure the existing ducts that are too low.
Sketch out the current duct layout and note the
location of each joint. Take the sketch to a professional
heating contractor and get a quote for
building new, flatter ducts. If the new ducts provide
enough headroom, just deliver the old ducts
to the contractor to use as a template for the new
To disassemble a duct joint, remove the drive
“couplers” (Photo 1). Then install the new duct
(Photo 2). Seal all the joints with aluminum duct
tape or duct-sealing caulk.