07:35AM | 01/01/03
Member Since: 12/31/02
2 lifetime posts
I need to put 2 return ducts (forced air furnace) in a basement load bearing wall (2x4 8 foot wood studs, 16 inches apart on center). This is the main load bearing wall spanning the length of the house. There is a 2x4 wood block staggered about half way up between each stud (connecting the 2 studs).

Can I remove the wood block between the studs to run the return ducts? The wall has 1/2 inch "drywall" screwed to both sides. Does the "drywall" provide enough support to allow for the blocks to be removed (I notice the load bearing outside walls do not have blocks between the studs).


[This message has been edited by jeff9848 (edited January 01, 2003).]

Lane Gray

09:54AM | 01/01/03
Member Since: 12/26/02
4 lifetime posts
I do'nt see why you wouldn't be able to. IIRC, those blocks are called "firebreaks" and are not there so much for structural reasons, but to keep the wall void from acting as a chimney in event of a fire.
But now, you're WANTING the free flow of air, so their original purpose is exactly against what you're trying to do. I don't recall their serving any other purpose, though.
If I'm remembering my stuff from high school (twenty some years gone), somebody correct me.


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