Toy car in furnace exhaust pipe

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Old 09-24-18, 03:28 PM
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Toy car in furnace exhaust pipe

My 2 year old toddler decided it was a good idea to roll his matchbox car inside the furnace exhaust flue (pvc pipe which is located about 2 feet above ground coming through exterior wall of the house). I honestly have no realistic idea of where the car could be in the pipe as it is about 12 ft long and is installed at an angle (sloping towards the furnace located in the basement of course). I spoke to the HVAC co. who installed it and they're saying $270 to cut the pvc pipe, get the toy out and re-pipe. I'm looking for ideas on how to get the damned thing out so I can avoid paying. I'm going to put this out there right now: no way am I disassembling the blower motor or piping myself - gas and high voltage electricity are 2 things I simply won't mess with. If any of you have ideas on how I could pull this off and save some money, that would be fantastic.

P.S: I am considering a 1 1/4 in shop vac hose attached to my shop vac and vacuuming it out of there by just shoving the hose through the piping while the vacuum is on. This is honestly the best I could come up _(ツ)_/.
 
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Old 09-24-18, 05:18 PM
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I never leave a straight pipe coming out of the wall. Your installer shouldn't have either. It's just a recipe for something to get in there. I'll at least put a 45 degree fitting on it and usually a 90. If it's a straight shot to the furnace..... the car will be at the furnace.

As Dane mentioned.... it's very easy to cut the pipe and then rejoin it with a new glued in coupler.
You could post a picture or two of the pipe for further comment...... How-to-insert-pictures
 
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Old 09-24-18, 05:24 PM
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sloping towards the furnace located in the basement of course
I always assumed they were sloped AWAY from the furnace to eliminate water condensate!

In prior house I had intake and exhaust with (2) 90's, they were not glued so easy to remove and "use a vacuum".
 
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Old 09-24-18, 05:29 PM
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Most condensing furnaces want the exhaust line pitched towards the furnace so that it doesn't freeze at the outside end.
 
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Old 09-24-18, 07:13 PM
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For clarification, the pipe inside the basement is straight and sloping. There are two 90 degree elbows on the outside, it was done properly Photo of outside fixture. My brother brought a snake cam so we can at least locate it. Ill update tomorrow afternoon, but keep the ideas coming and thank you!
 

Last edited by stefanoski; 09-24-18 at 07:19 PM. Reason: Added link to photo
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Old 09-25-18, 05:48 AM
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That outside arrangement is even worse than a straight pipe as far as kids and objects. Anything placed in the pipe is going down the vertical to build up speed and shot out into the horizontal section. I bet that little car had a bit of speed when it hit the straightaway.
 
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Old 09-25-18, 06:37 AM
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Are the cars metal (magnetic)? _______________________________
 
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Old 09-25-18, 08:24 AM
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1) I'd start with a swimming pool vacuum hose and a shop vac. Make sure the vacuum is ON while you feed it into the pipe, you want constant suction so you don't push the car down further.
2) Next would be garden hose with a strong magnet.
3) What make and model # of furnace? Might be easier to access the
4) Can you get a pic of the inside pipe and the connection TO the furnace?
5) Don't panic, That section of PVC pipe has no gas and no electric in it. Cutting and patching a 1' section of PVC pipe is, literally, about as difficult as cutting out a 1' section from a wooden 2x4.
 
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Old 09-25-18, 09:02 AM
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OK, I'll post some more pipe pics this afternoon as soon as I get home. To answer some of the questions:
1. The car may be plastic (he has a mixture of both and they sure as hell don't make them like they used to)
2. Make & model of furnace: Lennox "high efficiency" (not sure which model but will update when home)
Hopefully that snake cam will help at least locate it so I don't have to cut. If it's gone far enough down the pipe, it may have hit the other set of elbows at the entrance to the furnace which may or may not make it more difficult (two more there as well - I'll post pics in the afternoon).
 
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Old 09-25-18, 10:46 AM
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I just saw an ad for a new HotWheels car with GoPro attached. Who needs a camera snake, just send another down with the camera attached!




And only slightly more relevant, they do have screen plugs that can be used to cover the inlet/outlets of those pipes
https://www.amazon.com/Raven-R1508-T.../dp/B01BW2EXTS
 
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Old 09-25-18, 02:04 PM
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Thanks Zorfdt, I'm sure my kid would absolutely love the hot wheels, especially rolling it into the flue Now, about that screen plug, can I / should I keep that on during winter? I hear that condensation could happen, which would ultimately freeze and may block the exhaust. Although, if that exhaust air is hot enough, it should be able to melt the ice as well - not an expert though, so any thoughts are appreciated.
 
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Old 09-25-18, 02:13 PM
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If you look inside the furnace access panel you may be able to see where the pipes are connected to the furnace, most are connected with a rubber connector and clamps. If so you should be able to unhook the pipe and if you have enough room move it aside to look in it or at least it will make it easier to reconnect if you have to cut the pipe elsewhere along the run.
 
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Old 09-25-18, 04:57 PM
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No screen should be used when the furnace is operating, for reasons you described.
 
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Old 09-26-18, 05:30 AM
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I found it! Last night using this bad boy , I managed to locate it only two feet away from the outside end of the exhaust flue. This is good news on many levels, I can now try the shop vac method or just cut the pipe and re-couple.
 
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