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Running CAT POE through return air ducts.

nbstl68

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While trying to figure out how to get POE lines up into my attic from the basement of my two story house through interior walls, the straightest and easiest shot, I thought, would be through the return air duct work to the ceiling height return air vent in an upstairs bedroom, then just one hole to drill above that to the attic and foam seal up the holes aftereward. (I've done this before on the 1st floor to run a sat cable to the master bedroom).

I removing the bedroom vent screen and looked down the return air duct wall in the bedroom...to my surprise it appears to drop the two floors down but then it just dead ends dry-walled off at the bottom and no air passages through to the HVAC can be seen?!
It does not appear to turn or go into any return air passage in the basement at all. (The dark area along the two 2x4s is just more drywall)
Does that make any sense?

20170901_145558.jpg
 

weigle2

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You only looked down, not up. If you take a picture going up from the vent, does it look like you can see the attic? Or at least an opening to the attic? Makes no sense to have a return air vent that goes nowhere. I know my return air vents not only return to the furnace via sheet metal ducting, but also go up through the wall into the vaulted ceiling, which is vented to the outside. Well, at least they did until I blocked it off. Now my heat/air conditioning bills are substantially lower.
 

nbstl68

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Just looked up and solid plywood, (attic past that.) Yeah, makes no sense that it would go to nowhere...There are return air ducts in the basement that run up and alont the inside walls to other areas of the house properly. This is leaving me scratching my head. I'm going to try to drop my cheap borescope down to the bottom to make sure I'm not missing anything.
 

spankdog

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Are you sure that this is actually a return duct? I don't know if anyone else does this but my dad likes to cover up holes in the wall/ceiling with a register rather than repairing the drywall. So maybe that register was just an access.
 

nbstl68

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Yes, definitely is "supposed" to be the return air duct for the room. I had this house built...so you'd think I'd know what was going on during construction, but never imagined I'd have to look for something like fake air returns.
If I could just get a 2 story long drill bit, I'd put a hole in that floor and try to see where it comes out in the basement. :facepalm:
 

Bitslizer

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looks way too clean to be a return air duct, unless the house is brand new... where are the dust bunnies?
 

kheiney

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Get a wire toning kit, tie a string to the toner and lower it to the bottom. Then go hunt for it with the tone probe in the basement.
 

Snapper30

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Time to pull the plans and then call the builder...

On the other hand, you may have lucked out with your very own cable chase and you won't have to buy plenum rated cables.
 

nbstl68

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Good points. I thought it looked pretty clean too...would make sense if it's fake. We built in 2004...the builder is custom and, shocker, no longer in business. We had plenty of other issues along the way so something weird like this should not surprise me.
That piece of drywall at the bottom looks like a purposely inserted block. I may be able to jab a hole in it with something then drop a flashlight down there and look for light in the basement.
 

Snapper30

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You also may want to have a good HVAC company check your system to make sure the missing return isn't affecting anything.
 
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