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  1. #1
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    rope + block and tackle?

    I've been trying to figure out how to rig a light duty hoist into my attic. Our water heaters are in the attic and need to be changed. I'm trying to figure out how to get the old ones out and the new ones back in. I was thinking about a chain hoist but they are somewhat expensive and it is hard to find one with enough lift distance. In my search I found the rope and pulley systems that you can buy, rated for up to 1,000 pounds. That is much more capacity than I need, I'm just wondering if they are reliable and durable enough to hoist the load down and up twice both directions.

  2. #2
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    Most empty water heaters weigh about 150 lbs or so, right? If there is any way to get to the attic from the stairs, I would just convince a couple riding buddies to help you out. Otherwise a 2 loop block and tackle should reduce the weight down to by a factor of 4, which should be easy enough to manage.

  3. #3
    Bacon-wrapped Member ahsposo's Avatar
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    Oh, boy! I wanna watch this...
    Quote Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
    ...ixnay on the exsay alktay.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by KBentley57 View Post
    I would just convince a couple riding buddies to help you out.
    My plumber said they would bring a couple of big guys and get the water heaters out. Going into the attic we have one of those light folding wood stairs and I'm not sure it can handle one person plus the weight of a water heater. I thought if I could rig a hoist it would make things real easy.

  5. #5
    Trek 500 Kid Zinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bjtesch View Post
    My plumber said they would bring a couple of big guys and get the water heaters out. Going into the attic we have one of those light folding wood stairs and I'm not sure it can handle one person plus the weight of a water heater. I thought if I could rig a hoist it would make things real easy.
    Be careful what you rig up on. Those single rafters probably aren't much sturdier than the flimsy folding stairs. Would hate to see this go "Laurel & Hardy" on you now that ahsposo has subtly brought that possibility up.
    "I never lost a race because my bike was too heavy".......George Mount

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zinger View Post
    Be careful what you rig up on. Those single rafters probably aren't much sturdier than the flimsy folding stairs
    I'm a structural engineer, I can handle the rafter side of the system.

  7. #7
    Trek 500 Kid Zinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bjtesch View Post
    I'm a structural engineer, I can handle the rafter side of the system.
    All kinds of folks posting in here. Just covering the bases.
    "I never lost a race because my bike was too heavy".......George Mount

  8. #8
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    Why would anyone put the water heater in the attic?
    Last edited by leob1; 06-11-15 at 01:32 PM.
    If you don't know the way, you shouldn't be going there.

  9. #9
    Bluebird of Hapiness Marcus_Ti's Avatar
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    How much do these heaters weigh?

    Rule of thumb in rope rigging knot tying, when you tie a knot in a rope subtract 40% off the rated load.

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    Senior Member CliffordK's Avatar
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    Many of the houses in Amsterdam have a gable and pulley that extends out to help with getting stuff to the upper floors.

    A double or triple pulley system should lift your water heater just fine. Just make sure the blocks you use are built well (antiques)? The pulleys need to be built wide enough and deep enough that the rope can not roll off the pulley and get stuck.

    You may also need to either protect the house with boards, or rig your lift up so it gets the water heaters away from the house.

  11. #11
    Chepooka StupidlyBrave's Avatar
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    Bonus points will be awarded for using explosives to remove the old one.

  12. #12
    Senior Member himespau's Avatar
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    How far does it have to be lifted up?
    Punctuation is important. It's the difference between "I helped my uncle, Jack, off a horse" and "I helped my uncle Jack off a horse"

  13. #13
    A Roadie Forever 79pmooney's Avatar
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    I googled Grainger block and tackle. First hit: TUF-TUG Block And Tackle,Rope - Block and Tackle - 4RU48|TTRH-700 - Grainger Industrial Supply

    Ought to work just fine.

    In a pulley system, the rope within the pulley does not have to be strong enough to hold the item being lifted. Say we are lifting 150 pounds with a 4 part block and tackle. 150 / 4 X 3 (conservative safety factor including both the rope SF and the pulley friction) = 113 lbs. This pulley has 3/8" rope rated for 350 lbs. Good to go. (Now the tie to the radiator has to be a lot more substantial since that tie is getting no assist from the pulley but that same 350# rope with two wraps around the radiator and hook will work just fine.)

    Read the instructions and be careful trusting the ratchet. I'd tie off the rope anytime the radiator is left hanging.

    Ben

  14. #14
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    more pulleys the line goes over the lower the ratio of lift to amount of line pulled through the blocks

    Higher the Mechanical advantage..

    Block and tackle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    G*n tackle was used to pull the cannon back into the firing position

    after it kicked back from the last round , and muzzle reloading the next one.

  15. #15
    Senior Member no motor?'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
    Oh, boy! I wanna watch this...
    This does have some foo comedic potential!

  16. #16
    Senior Member locolobo13's Avatar
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    I'll bring the popcorn

  17. #17
    on by skijor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
    Oh, boy! I wanna watch this...
    I suspected as much.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
    That looks more trustworthy than the other products I've been finding.

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