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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2007

    Default 1950s supply damper control or what?

    Found these on the supply side of a 1950s Cape Cod forced air system in Chicago suburb. Didn't have courage to try as I didn't want to break one. Would you call it a damper//heat recovery// balancer?

    Haven't seen before but seems like a summer/winter mode. Thoughts?

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Chicago IL

    Default Re: 1950s supply damper control or what?

    Hi Ross, looked at and worked in a lot of 50's ranch houses, never seen that thing before. Probably some sort of volume controller. Like the adjustable fins on modern registers. Don't see any louvers on the front or sides of it though. You sure it isn't some sort of pass-through pipe that goes to an upper register? Open position pull return from an upper register, closed position pull return from there? Just don't know.
    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Snowbird (this means I'm retired and migrate between locations), FL/MI

    Default Re: 1950s supply damper control or what?


    Looks like a dirty common ordinary wall REGISTER for forced air with three vertical louvers behind face in the closed position, to me????

    Common to close on lower floor in attempt to get cooled air from AC coil in airhandler to warmer parts of the house, or more flow further down to another of the trunk's outlets such as upstairs, bedroom, etc...... If you removed the second screw you could easily determine if the cavity was restricted just above the opening. Usually find this type config when room wall is common to closets, pantries, bathrooms, offsets, plumbing, etc.

    Slightly unusual location (door stop indicating door swing into room and when fully open partially obstructing, but moot if the door stop is for a closet door, which wouldn't be expected to remain fully open for any significant period of time), so might be possible that some num-num installed a REGISTER where a COLD AIR RETURN duct/cavity is, and further messed up by CLOSING IT, however not all-together unusual to find 40s/50s/60s baseboard registers positioned slightly obstructed when door is fully open on primary entry doors or sleeping rooms in homes of that era.

    The next one just looks like a dirty and often painted one of the same with the thumb control arm broken off, close-up view so can't say. Suppose it could also be a "cold air return" using unlined voids in wall and floor joist cavitiesl, and void in subfloor, also common in const. 50s-60s....??? Not all registers and returns have a louvered slot/directional design even today.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 08-04-2010 at 07:17 AM.

  4. #4
    David Bell's Avatar
    David Bell Guest

    Default Re: 1950s supply damper control or what?

    If there is another return grill above this one, it is to open or close the higher vent depending on season.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007

    Default Re: 1950s supply damper control or what?

    That is actually the steel lally column behind that register and by turning that little lever you can raise or lower the home to your liking


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