How to convert a hair dryer
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Reaction with electrical wiring?
6 September 2009
I am considering getting into this insulation in South Island. Was very informative to read your experiences. Can anyone tell me more about the reaction with electrical wirirng.
Suggestion: how to create a hole for an extractor fan outlet in a wall filled with polystyrene beads
6 March 2009
Try a "circle" of small holes (probably 5 or 6) around the proposed duct position and inject expanding polyurethane foam. Expanding foam should have enough pressure to push the beads back and replace them with solid foam. You can then drill through the foam for the duct.
John P (UK)
Blown cellulose insulation into attic floor adventure
26 February 2009
I just want to thank you for sharing your experience in making the two insulation blowers. I recently purchased 8 bags of fiber glass blown insulation for just some Attic touch up after installing 2 bathroom exhaust fans on the floor beneath. I had thought of renting a professional blowing machine but had not realized how large and heavy they are. Problem is you need a truck to haul this heavy machine. I think your home made blowers will work well for my small task. This week-end I'll start making one using the exhaust port of a vacuum cleaner which I think is more powerful than the dryer method. I'll email you after I'm done. Again thanks.
3 March 2009
I wanted to give you an update. I tried your "Y" connector vacuum cleaner exhaust system that you designed for blowing polystyrene insulation in wall cavities but I was blowing cellulose insulation onto my attic floor. (I did not try the hair dryer method.)
Unfortunately the "Y" system did not work with the heavier dense fiberglass blown fibers I was using. I had only eight bags (2 x 2 x 3.5 feet) and used a new system which I developed out of desperation/frustration while standing in my attic.
I opened each bag one by one and emptied the contents and while the fibers expanded I speared the contents using my hands in a circular and pulling motion. I separated the bale into many smaller portions and then continued with my hands and feet to separate the lumps. It was labor intensive and I do not recommend it for large projects and I do not feel this is an ideal solution. Then I used the exhaust on my vacuum to blow the pieces across the attic. Also the air from the vacuum hose continued to separate the fibers more.
I'm sure I still had some small clumps but it was acceptable for this small project due I did not want to rent and transport a very heavy profession insulation blower especially since the units would not fit in my car and I do not own a truck. Considering my circumstances I am pleased with the results and that I finally finished.
But I'm very glad my wife could not see me doing this.
12 Oct 2008
Found your article very helpful but for a different insulation problem. I have a modern penthouse flat with insulation in the flat roof construction not the ceiling 2ft below the roof. There is a lot of heat loss. Several insulation contractors have been to quote and because its small the price is expensive (£4k for one!) I'm going to use your vacuum solution to do it myself. How far do you think the vacuum cleaner will blow beads into the roof space ie., if I put a 10 ft extended noozle on the Y section.
Simon T (UK)
I'm really impressed with your work and it looks like you just managed to finish before the baby arrived! Do you think your system would work from the inside? ie cut holes in plasterboard, fill with beads then re-fill the plasterboard? Does polystyrene degrade PVC used in electrical wiring? I also have dwangs so I\'ll need 3 times the number of holes too! Anyway thanks again for the inspiration
Tom M (Scotland, UK)
6 September 2008
Did the EPS beads get a static charge from all the handling? How did you keep the beads from creating a "chimney effect" in the wall when the static charge creates a void in the middle of the wall cavity?
Any regrets yet?
Most houses in Southern California built before 1975 (mine) don\'t have insulated walls, and your retrofit solution sounds better than the expanding foam or celulose (shreaded newspapers!) blown in.
4 July 2008
What about electrical wires - doesn't the polystyrene react with the plastic around the wires?
Is it fire retardant?
In the UK polystyrene wall insulation is blown in with a glue. Why is that?
- it means the next time you drill a hole in the wall you don't have a lot of beads dribble out
- it stops/reduces the polystyrene from settling
- it may improve the polystyrene water resistance
I've heard that polystyrene absorbs water over time. Given that your house has wooden walls - will any leaks mean your walls become water logged over time?