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Author Topic: How to remove a gable vent (22" octagonal)?  (Read 13751 times)
K7RNO
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Posts: 279




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« on: March 11, 2013, 03:34:22 PM »

I need to get into my attic through the gable vent, an octagonal 22" vinyl louvered cover. It sits on top of vinyl siding and I assume that what I see is a snap-on piece that connects to a frame that is mounted to the wall, under the siding.

I don't want to break anything when I pry it off, so I need to know where the contact points are and how best to get it off. Whoever has done that, please share your experience and what you know.
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73,
aRNO
NAQCC #6870, SKCC #11131
N4JTE
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« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2013, 05:05:19 PM »

Been a contractor since I helped build the Ark but never saw an 8 sided one, hi. In my experience the vent is usualy  built with non removable cover and attached to a wall thickness frame with attachment thru the sides to the framing. I would expect that it would be hard to seperate it from the one piece inserted frame which is probaly buried in a quart of calk if done correctly.
Bob
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NJ3U
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« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2013, 05:54:47 PM »

Are you looking to slip some wiring / coax thru ?  If so most have a bird /bee screen that can be compromised and the louvers allow more then enough space for most cabling.
Otherwise a dryer vent can provide a nice entry point or even consider entering under the eaves through the ventilated soffit.
73 NJ3U Rory
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K7RNO
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« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2013, 08:04:46 PM »

More info for the inquiring minds:

Here is an image of my octagonal vent:
http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e363/Sharpshooter1/HAM%20Radio/th_gablevent_zps5be63948.jpg?t=1363056465

Installation instructions for this item show that there is a base plate that is nailed onto the wall, then the siding covers its flange, then the visible octagonal piece is snapped onto it. So it either can be pried off again, or it is not designed to be removable, and all of the snaps will break. That is part of what I need to know.

For my installation, I need to have access to the attic floor through that vent hole. The vent has an insect screen. I will also have to build a secure passage for the coax through that screen.

Who has done it or knows how to?
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73,
aRNO
NAQCC #6870, SKCC #11131
KC4MOP
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« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2013, 03:28:29 AM »

Can you access from inside the house? There must be a trap door in the ceilings in one of your bedrooms. The insulation will be a real nuisance.
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K3GM
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« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2013, 04:47:05 AM »

Attic entry concerns me for safety reasons.  It's a path through a relatively inaccessable part of your home for lightning.  Transmission line could routed across flammables, and may be possibly routed down through an interior wall to your operating position.  I believe that your transmission lines should be visible from the point of entry to your gear.
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AA4PB
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« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2013, 05:26:11 AM »

My vent is square but I was able to access the screen from inside the attic. I was running RG6 for a roof mount TV antenna. Punch a small hole thru the screen from inside. Push the coax thru the hole, thru the slats, and feed enough to reach where you need to go and let it hang down onto the ground. Put a little caulk around the coax to seal it to the screen so that bugs can't get through.

If you are trying to run LMR400 or a similar large cable it will be much more difficult. You might consider a short RG58 jumper to get through the screen and transition to a larger cable on each side.
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K1CJS
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« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2013, 08:10:37 AM »

The gable vent you show is probably not easily removable from the outside--without special tools.  Vinyl siding contractors should have those tools--have you thought of talking to one of them?

Barring that, you should be able to access the edges of the vent from inside the attic--and possibly would be able to see how to get it off from there.  It looks like you could even get a larger cable through the slats of the vent, and you can possibly feed that cable through without taking the vent off at all by slitting the screening in a cross pattern ( + ) and feeding the amount of cable through that you need to reach your installation site.  Once you've got that done, a bit of caulk or some monkey sh*t (duct seal) will stop bugs from getting in.

Don't forget lightning protection either, though.  If you're not going run the cable down to a low level and put your lightning protection there--the recommended procedure, you could put it right outside the gable vent and run a ground wire down from there.  Although that really isn't the proper way, it's better than nothing.

 
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KD0UN
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« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2013, 08:17:34 AM »

You can only remove this vent by removing the siding beginning at the peak and working down -- not an easy job.  The vent will likely be nailed to the sheathing and the siding is then slid into a channel surrounding the vent.  Take a look at one at your local Home Depot or Lowes, and you will have a better idea of what you are facing.  I would be surprised if this is the only entry into your attic -- there should be a trap door as someone else suggested.  It's a simple matter to make a hole from the inside through the screen and slide the cables through this. 
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K1BXI
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« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2013, 12:28:42 PM »

KD0UN probably has it right..........as a building contractor myself (since retired) I believe what you are seeing that looks to you like a removable snap on louver, is actually just a trim piece that will adjust in and out to allow various thickness of siding. Any units I have installed are of one piece construction. You may be able to pry that trim ring out  but the louver and mounting flange are all one piece.

Then again, it's been a few years since my last install. Maybe there is something new in the trade that I haven't seen.

Good luck............John
« Last Edit: March 12, 2013, 12:34:33 PM by K1BXI » Logged
K7RNO
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« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2013, 02:38:06 PM »

Thank you for all your well-meaning suggestions, and my question is still the same as described in my OP.

I am assuming to have a product like this one:
http://www.exteriorsolutions.com/descriptions/document/functional-vinyl-gable-vents-install-instructions.pdf

These installation instructions clearly indicate that it is a two-piece vent, with a snap-on outer piece. That's what I want to remove.

I do have access to the attic, but the location where I need to get to is at the other end from the trap door (longish house) and I am not physically able to get myself over there. I not only need to feed the coax inside the attic through the vent but also need to feed the coax through the floor there, into the garage underneath, from where I will continue to feed it through another wall to the shack. I am hoping to accomplish that through the open vent from outside.

So there, how can I pry it off?

Great idea to talk to a siding installer. Excellent idea!

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73,
aRNO
NAQCC #6870, SKCC #11131
K7RNO
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Posts: 279




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« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2013, 02:48:15 PM »

So, here is an update after talking to a knowledgeable siding expert: The face plate does pull off and snaps back on. However, he says, that will still not allow me access to the attic. While I don't understand why that is, I  trust that he know what he is talking about. So I am bracing myself to find a way to crawl in there instead.

I will update again as I find out more.
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73,
aRNO
NAQCC #6870, SKCC #11131
KE6EE
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« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2013, 06:09:02 PM »

The hole in your siding, according to the drawing is 50 sq. in., about 7 by 7. That's why you can't enter the attic there.  Grin
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K1CJS
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« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2013, 03:53:08 AM »

If that contractor says that it will not allow attic access, it's probably because the snap on piece is a simple trim ring, meant to hide the rough edges of the siding, and the louvers are attached to the nailed on section.  I've seen that--trim rings to hide edges only--before, although not on the type gable vent you describe, which I haven't seen.
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KB2WIG
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« Reply #14 on: March 13, 2013, 08:14:09 AM »

One of the homes I lived in did not have any access to the attic area. I ended up opening a hole in a closet ceiling to get inside. Get a framing square, a sharp knife and cut a hole. You can figure out which way the studs run by tapping with your knuckle and using a nail. Cut your hole the long way.  If you're carefull, the sheet of rock can be reused. You can even get some molding, and make it look like its been there for years. Put some foam board insulation, overlapping the hole, to keep the cold out. You can put some scrap lumber on top of the sheet rock 'plug'  and replace it.

klc
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