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Precautionary Tale -- Clean your dryer vent

24 posts in this topic

I had the air ducts in the house cleaned (bad allergies) and part of the service was to clean the dryer vent out.  I'm thinking:  "bah, I clean that out once a year and make sure there is no build up..."

 

My dryer vents straight up through the roof of my single story house.  It's a 14' run straight up.  Odd configuration and one I now strongly don't recommend.

 

Anyway, the guy gets up on the roof with his long brush and starts going to work running it up and down.  I live in Vegas and yet it looked like a Minnesota blizzard around my house.  Big chunks of lint and lots of lint dust flying all over the place as the technician did his thing.  I'd estimate a half-pound of lint total (that's a lot!).

 

So I dodged a bullet there with that amount of build up.  I have added regular dryer vent cleaning by a professional to my house maintenance list.

 

Hopefully, this will help others avoid a big problem.  Get your dryer vents cleaned please!

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Should be a Sticky

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Should be a Sticky

 

 

Done

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vent_zps336828d4.jpg Slight airflow problem.

Edited by bayouboy
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Great pic, bayou!

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vent_zps336828d4.jpg Slight airflow problem.

ya think? Lol

Complaint was dryer kept blowing thermal fuses. We had previously asked  about venting and he said it was good. When we went to the house he quietly said "oh yeah, a couple of bats live in the vent." His thinking was that if the bats could come and go, the vent couldn't be blocked. 

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My dryer vent in the garage enters wall near middle of house, 90's up at wall, runs 13', 2 - 45's move it  over 8", continues another 10+ feet up & out roof 2' from ridgebeam.  4" PVC pipe open at top where rain would run down straight to dryer. 

 

What were the builders thinking?   I put vent cap on top piping & clean it out twice a year.

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can you re-locate the Dryer to an outside wall of the garage ?

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Wish I could,  but momma likes it where it is, Right outside the kitchen door to garage, in its own little wash area cubby.   She would like for me to orientate the door to hinge on other side.  :rolleyes:  besides I would have to knock a hole in the brick wall.

Edited by Patricio

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Lint fire inside gas dryer. Dryer duct clogged with wet lent approx. 18' run.

 

gasdryer_zps4d4ac23c.jpg

gasdryer2_zps827af2a1.jpg

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Great point! Hubby did ours yesterday - first time in about 2 years...

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Just cleaned a vent on Friday for an older couple.  It was a short run and not to dirty.  They were concerned about a fire in the dryer and asked how many I had seen.  I don't fully understand how the fires happen because I have cleaned vent's that I removed an entire shopping bag full of lint and the dryer didn't catch on fire.  I make it a point to vacuum and service each dryer I repair to help prevent fires and futures issues.  Are fire's more prominent in gas dryer's from clogged vent's?

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Just cleaned a vent on Friday for an older couple. It was a short run and not to dirty. They were concerned about a fire in the dryer and asked how many I had seen. I don't fully understand how the fires happen because I have cleaned vent's that I removed an entire shopping bag full of lint and the dryer didn't catch on fire. I make it a point to vacuum and service each dryer I repair to help prevent fires and futures issues. Are fire's more prominent in gas dryer's from clogged vent's?

Have you taken apart a dryer that has a block vent? Lint that builds up in a dryer can eventually be ignited by the element. You have a very flammable material (lint) and an open heat source (element). You don't have ignition every time. As a matter of fact, you don't have ignition the vast majority of times. But who would knowingly take that risk? It is incumbent upon a tech to understand and likewise advise his customers of the potential hazards a dryer imposes.

check out the video in the following post.... look at the charred lint we removed from several electric dryers in the span of one week... http://appliantology.org/topic/35885-how-deep-is-your-lint-bee-gees-as-appliantologists/

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My worst dryer vent cleaning ever was an apartment building where the maintenance drunks had installed the exterior vent housing UPSIDE DOWN.  So all the rain mixed with the grass clippings that floated into the vent during mowing and created an adobe mixture with the lint.  There was so much lint in the dryer it was coating the heating element itself. I am not sure how this thing did not catch on fire. 

 

If the dryer vents to the roof, I tell the customer I don't have a ladder and that they need to have the vent cleaned by someone who specializes in that. The Home Depot dryer vent cleaning kits usually aren't long enough for that situation anyhow. 

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This was an actual call I went on..............

 

 

310979_153283831513252_1515430413_n_zps3

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My client had multiple fires going on inside his dryer because of this stuff. It was so bad he even melted his wire harness. Make sure you open up your dryer and clean in there too because you're going to have a ton of lint around your burner. If your dryer is a gas-operated one the danger is that much more.

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This is a gas dryer in action, with a clogged dryer vent, ie bad airflow.  This is a fire hazard.

 

 

Same dryer, 30 minutes later.  Good airflow.  Not so much of a hazard.

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Yeah, hi-limit was kicking off the heat circuit.

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Yeah, hi-limit was kicking off the heat circuit.

Yes, but as you can see the flames still managed to get outside of the containment can.  The lint in that area had ignited, and burnt lint was found in other areas of that dryer.  With proper venting and proper dryer placement in the home, you can reduce needed maintenance.  Best case scenario, the laundry room would be built on an outside wall of the home, with the vent exiting said wall.

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Had one today, the vent was so clogged that no air was coming out of the vent hood.

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Fire spreads fast it's evil!

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Last week I cleared a bird's nest out of my in-laws' dryer vent pipe. It's horizontal for about 17 feet. It's in the floor of the second floor. The hood out on the brick wall decayed from UV rays from the sunlight and broke apart, allowing the robins in. The nest ran pretty much the length of the pipe. I ran the dryer and poked in there dislodging things and it blew out bit by bit. Sorry about the eggs that came out and fell about 12' to their demise. The builder(5 year old townhouse) did a terrible job connecting the hood's bit of pipe to the duct they ran to it. Sleeved together backward(Hood's pipe inside duct) for the airflow direction, and the end of the hood's pipe was dented in enough to catch a lot of stuff. It was pretty much packed. the birds must have loved the warmth. So new it has a better hood, installed correctly.

 

When I was initially up the ladder investigating, a neighbour told me she'd seen birds going in and out. Oddly, she said they aren't hurting anything. She must've thought I knew about the birds and my purpose there was to attack birds and she objected. I'm guessing that.

Not hurting anything???? True if you don't count burning the house down as hurting something!

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