Replacing a Dryer Vent


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Cleaning Dryer Vents

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Dear NH,
Is there a way to replace the plastic dryer vent without tearing up the wall? I recently got a new dryer and the serviceman would not hook it up to the plastic venting because it is no longer acceptable. The dryer is in the basement and the vent runs up the wall, about 10 to 12 feet. I really don't want to cut into the wall. (Someone told me that that a liner could be put in there.)
SW from Sandy, UT

SW,
A typical residential clothes dryer is designed for a 4" circular vent hose, preferably solid metal with smooth interior walls to allow maximal airflow. Smaller diameter hoses cause a pressure backup into the dryer, slowing clothes drying and possibly leading to dangerous overheating!

A typical wall today has only 3 1/2" of open space inside. Though this slight squeezing of the hose may not cause a noticeable reduction in airflow, it does make replacing the hose impossible without cutting open the wall!

You need to evaluate the venting arrangement for your dryer. Is there a more direct path to the outside than the one you are currently using? If there is an unfinished attic above, basement below or an adjacent closet with an outside wall, can you run the hose through these areas to avoid carpentry/drywall repairs? A dryer vent hose can be boxed in with minimal carpentry skills, so it is often possible to make the hose disappear in an attractive fashion.

Regarding a liner, it cannot be done with a flexible dryer vent hose because the reduction in hose size would cause the problems mentioned earlier.
NH


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