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Securing and sealing snap-lock ducting

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Forum topic by Béla posted 02-13-2013 05:04 PM 3199 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Béla

24 posts in 1397 days


02-13-2013 05:04 PM

I’m finishing up an install of a full sized cyclone dust collector and it’s time to run the ducting. Based on my reading of the opinions on this forum, for a small shop and relatively short runs, 26 gauge snap-lock is more than adequate. Nordfab is impressive stuff but over 2x as many dollars. PVC is cheap but the fittings, especially those short radius elbows, look pretty restrictive.

What is the best way to secure and seal the joints on snap-lock? I’d rather not drive sheet metal screws into the air stream, it seems like they might snag debris and predispose to clogs. I plan on using foil tape along the seam and at all joints. Is tape enough to secure the joint? Does anyone think a bead of silicone would add anything to the seal?

Thanks for your help!

-- Béla, Memphis TN


11 replies so far

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revanson11

92 posts in 1801 days


#1 posted 02-13-2013 05:48 PM

Bela, I built my duct system out of the 26 ga. snap lock and then sealed all of the joints and seams with aluminum duct tape. It does a great job of sealing and is very malleable when going around curves.

I did all of the seams on the 5’ duct runs and on the blast gate connections also. I am very pleased with the system and have no major leaks. I even wrapped the edges of the blast gates.

Randy

-- Randy, Central MN

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Béla

24 posts in 1397 days


#2 posted 02-13-2013 06:09 PM

Thanks Randy, nice installation! – Did you find need to screw or rivet the connections or did the tape make things secure enough?

-- Béla, Memphis TN

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copcarcollector

254 posts in 1585 days


#3 posted 02-13-2013 06:37 PM

I used foil tape, lots of it (!) on the seams and joints and then turned the system on from time to time to feel for leaks, none found. There was one Y fitting that had a leak in the weld, I added silicone there. No screws.

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revanson11

92 posts in 1801 days


#4 posted 02-15-2013 07:16 PM

The only place I used sheet metal screws was where i installed blast gates.

-- Randy, Central MN

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Bobsboxes

1108 posts in 2131 days


#5 posted 02-15-2013 08:03 PM

I used short pop rivets, and taped every joint with aluminum tape. Just don’t use duct tape, it will not last. That is a nice looking setup, you have there.

-- Bob in Montana. Kindness is the Language the blind can see and deaf can hear. - Mark Twain

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Rayne

470 posts in 1007 days


#6 posted 03-12-2015 03:13 AM

This is a few years old, but I’d like to hear what people have been doing lately with their installs. Has anyone used sheet metal screws or is the consensus to just use tape on every joint? How about a metal blast gate? Same there or pre-drill, install screws and then seal with caulk? I’ve bought pretty much everything I need for my install and would appreciate some insight on proper connections.

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JAAune

1646 posts in 1784 days


#7 posted 03-12-2015 05:11 AM

I used self-tapping sheet metal screws to assemble 26 gauge spiral pipe and it works well. I could even drive them right into the aluminum blast gates.

Tape is still needed afterwards to seal air leaks but the screws prevent the pipe from sagging and ripping the tape.

Avoid caulk on joints as it’ll make life difficult if you decide to make changes down the road. Caulk on the seams of the snap-loc may be a good idea or you can just tape that off too.

-- See my work at http://remmertstudios.com and http://altaredesign.com

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Jim Finn

2417 posts in 2389 days


#8 posted 03-12-2015 12:42 PM

I am a retired sheet metal worker and I have installed miles of snap lock duct. Two years ago, I put in a six inch 26 Gauge system in my shop using sheet metal screws at the joints but not along the seams. I sealed all the seams and joints with a brush on sealer. Worked well for me.

-- "You may have your PHD but I have my GED and my DD 214"

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Rayne

470 posts in 1007 days


#9 posted 03-12-2015 01:51 PM



I used self-tapping sheet metal screws to assemble 26 gauge spiral pipe and it works well. I could even drive them right into the aluminum blast gates.

Tape is still needed afterwards to seal air leaks but the screws prevent the pipe from sagging and ripping the tape.

Avoid caulk on joints as it ll make life difficult if you decide to make changes down the road. Caulk on the seams of the snap-loc may be a good idea or you can just tape that off too.

- JAAune


That makes a lot of sense. No need for the long run of pipes to sag. I was reading through some of the earlier comments about air restriction with all the screws going in and maybe some scraps possibly catching onto the screws, which is why I’m asking. I see the rivets being a good option, but you can’t separate them very easily if something happens or you decide there might be a more efficient design or maybe you bought a shiny new tool that needs the system modified. I do see that people aren’t particularly fond of using caulk on the blast gates, so how do you seal these? Does the tape work pretty well?

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Jim Finn

2417 posts in 2389 days


#10 posted 03-12-2015 09:59 PM

Pop rivets can be drilled out easily. Spiral pipe leaks badly. I have seen this while doing smoke/leak tests. Long seam to seal there. This is why I used snap lock pipe.

-- "You may have your PHD but I have my GED and my DD 214"

View Holbs's profile

Holbs

1379 posts in 1497 days


#11 posted 03-13-2015 12:46 AM

I sealed my 26 gauge snap duct and fittings with the grey goop stuff. Initially, used duct tape to seal the seam itself and then grey goop (can not remember the true HVAC name) over everything. Very easy to remove if needed.

-- Yes, my profile picture is of a Carpenter Bee! The name is derived from the Ancient Greek "wood-cutter"

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