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Old 2015-12-08, 11:31 AM
homie27 homie27 is offline
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Default in-wall speakers on an outside wall with insulation

Hi all, I'm thinking of buying in-wall speakers for my family room. I will be putting them on an outside with insulation inside the wall. the speakers are around 3 inches thick. that means the back of the speaker will be pressed up against the insulation and the insulation will be compressed in that area. I'm not sure how thick the wall is. Is it a problem if the insulation is compressed like this? also, between the speaker and the insulation is the vapor barrier. Is that ok or should I cut out the vapor barrier so the speaker is pressed up against the insulation directly?
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Old 2015-12-08, 11:32 AM
GreyingJay GreyingJay is offline
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This sounds like a bad idea.
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Old 2015-12-08, 01:44 PM
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gerapau gerapau is offline
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I am sure someone with more knowledge will jump in but I don't see a problem with it. I wouldn't cut the vapor barrier (the less cuts in the vapor barrier the better). Expect that by compressing the insulation you will reduce it's R-rating a bit. But our homes are full of places where the R-rating is lower than optimal (windows, 2x6s in walls, etc...).

Not sure but you might want to see if whoever makes the speaker enclosure rates it for external walls (I don't know if that even exists).
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Old 2015-12-08, 02:07 PM
GreyingJay GreyingJay is offline
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I found this thread:

http://www.avsforum.com/forum/89-spe...ide-walls.html

Key risks are:
- if you don't seal up the vapor barrier properly, moisture penetration can lead to serious mold problems
- if you compress the insulation and the back part of your speaker is cold and the front is warm, there could be condensation in/on the speaker itself
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Old 2015-12-08, 03:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreyingJay View Post
- if you don't seal up the vapor barrier properly, moisture penetration can lead to serious mold problems
Sure, but the same could be said for every break in the vapor barrier. Doors, windows, electrical outlets, switches, etc...

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Originally Posted by GreyingJay View Post
- if you compress the insulation and the back part of your speaker is cold and the front is warm, there could be condensation in/on the speaker itself
As I mentioned, I assume the speakers have been designed for this. If not then I wouldn't do it. At 3 inches deep this wouldn't be much worse than most outlets and they don't usually end up soaking wet from condensation.
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Old 2015-12-09, 10:21 AM
GreyingJay GreyingJay is offline
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Originally Posted by gerapau View Post
Sure, but the same could be said for every break in the vapor barrier. Doors, windows, electrical outlets, switches, etc...
The OP specifically asked if it was OK to just cut a hole in the vapor barrier to accommodate the speakers, "so the speaker is pressed up against the insulation directly". Maybe this is OK, as long as the vapor barrier is then tightly sealed to the perimeter of the speaker enclosure?

If the OP wants to do this project, I think they should consider a professional installation just to make sure it's done correctly. I'm not even sure I know how to do it correctly. I do know I don't want to mess with my building envelope without being absolutely sure I'm doing it right.
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Old 2015-12-09, 01:52 PM
homie27 homie27 is offline
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after reading the link GreyingJay sent, i would definitely not cut the vapour barrier and have the speaker pressing up directing onto the insullation. so now my only concern is that the insullation would be compressed to 1 inch or a little more. how would that affect things? if condensation forms on the speaker itself, over time I may have to replace the speaker. not a huge deal. would the decrease in temperature be noticeable in the room or affect the inside of the wall? I was hoping for Greg's input.

Greg?????????
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Old 2015-12-09, 01:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreyingJay View Post
The OP specifically asked if it was OK to just cut a hole in the vapor barrier to accommodate the speakers, "so the speaker is pressed up against the insulation directly". Maybe this is OK, as long as the vapor barrier is then tightly sealed to the perimeter of the speaker enclosure?

If the OP wants to do this project, I think they should consider a professional installation just to make sure it's done correctly. I'm not even sure I know how to do it correctly. I do know I don't want to mess with my building envelope without being absolutely sure I'm doing it right.
Put your hand in front of an outlet on one of your outside walls on a cold windy day. You will be surprised how little attention your builder paid to ensuring there was no air leakage.

For sure you want to do it right. But it isn't rocket science. Just make sure the speaker enclosure is rated to be used as a vapor barrier and seal the original vapor barrier to it well.
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Old 2015-12-09, 02:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homie27 View Post
after reading the link GreyingJay sent, i would definitely not cut the vapour barrier and have the speaker pressing up directing onto the insullation. so now my only concern is that the insullation would be compressed to 1 inch or a little more. how would that affect things? if condensation forms on the speaker itself, over time I may have to replace the speaker. not a huge deal. would the decrease in temperature be noticeable in the room or affect the inside of the wall? I was hoping for Greg's input.

Greg?????????
You are going to probably have trouble installing an inwall speaker without having to cut the existing vapor barrier. Your exterior walls are more than likely 2x6s so if your speaker is 3 inches deep (is that measured from the front of the speaker) that should leave enough room. You shouldn't notice a difference in temperature in that room. The only problem would be if you don't seal it well.

Do you have a link for your speakers and enclosures that you plan to use?
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Old 2015-12-09, 02:11 PM
homie27 homie27 is offline
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what do you mean seal the original vapor barrier to it? if I cut a hole in the wall and don't cut the vapor barrier, I press the speaker up against the insulation, do I get a spare piece of vapor barrier and tape one end to the front of the speaker and the other end to the existing vapor barrier holding the insulation and repeat for all 4 sides of the speaker?
this is impossible to do because the hole cut for the speaker will be just big enough for the speaker. there is no room to do this.
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