Foil dryer vent hose OK to use? Whirlpool warns against it.

dalemcclJanuary 2, 2009

I have a new Whirlpool Cabrio W&D scheduled for delivery next week. I read the on-line manual for the gas dryer and it says to use a solid metal or flexible metal vent hose. It warns against using a plastic or foil vent hose. I was planning to use a foil hose.

What is the problem with foil vent hoses that would make Whirlpool specifically state that they should not be used? I would much prefer to use one because of the ease of installation. (My wall vent connector is low on the wall behind the dryer, immediately above the baseboard, and is only about a foot to the left of the dryer vent connection so I need something flexible. Particularly since I need to keep the dryer as close to the back wall as possible because of limited depth in the room.)

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This should help:

Here is a link that might be useful: periscope vent

    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 2:44PM
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Per the article in the attached link, those foil vents can trap more lint than the preferred solid or flexible metal ones and thereby possibly cause a fire. When we purchased a new W/D set about a year ago, we discussed the various materials with the installer. He said he would never install a foil vent because of the potential fire hazard. He did put in a flexible metal vent (our setup is practically the same as yours). The folks who deliver your new appliances should be doing the hookup as well, unless you insist on doing it yourself. Should not cost anything more. BTW, the flexible metal vent is sufficiently flexible to be able to pull the dryer forward to vacuum around it, etc. (Even though the distance in our cases is short, the installer should leave enough length so that you can move the dryer a short distance.)

The bottom line is to avoid the foil hoses. Risking a fire is just not worth it. Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: Truths and Myths of Dryer Fires

    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 3:47PM
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In short the foil (and sister plastic) vent hoses have dimples or ripples caused by the wire ring spiraling through the material that it supports.
It's those dimples through out the length of the hose that causes a lot of wind turbulence within the hose.

Moisture and heat from the dryer pump through the hose and the moisture condenses inside the hose and lint clings on to it.
Some of it is dislodged by the force of the dryer fan but some becomes stuck like a paste. Every cycle, this happens again and again eventually coating the inside of the hose.

A solid metal hose/pipe has no ripples so it's the lease resistant. Flexible metal has tiny ripples so there is minimal wind turbulence.

Flat out DON'T USE those cheap foil or plastic hoses.

Like dixiedarlin1 stated, you can try the "Periscope" type vent. Or replace what you have with "Flexible Metal" (Flexible Metal being the best of both worlds...flexible like the cheap plastic/foil tubes but rigid like solid metal).

Remember, if there ever was a fire, metal hoses will not melt and spread the fire like foil and plastic WILL.

Now is the perfect time to upgrade your venting situation since your getting a new dryer.
Check your outside vent cover or flapper to see if it needs updating, cleaning or replacing.
I updated my old setup and cut my drying time by 10 minutes.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 11:24PM
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Based on the responses, I know I should use a flexible metal hose (the solid metal seems like it would take custom fabricating to get to the exact length and shape). The problem is that the flexible metal hoses I have seen at Lowes, Home Depot, etc. are all longer than the distance from the dryer vent connection to the wall connection (in their unexpanded form). Can these things be cut to be shorter?

The periscope looks like it might work but also looks like it would need to be cut. I have seen ones that are 0"-5", which is too short, and 0"-18". I haven't measured exactly because the dryer has not been delivered yet, but I probably need around 12"-15" of length.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2009 at 1:08AM
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Yes, flexible metal can be cut with scissors.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2009 at 1:33AM
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>>Yes, flexible metal can be cut with scissors.Thanks. I will take the foil vent back to the store and get either a flexible metal one or maybe a periscope.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2009 at 12:22PM
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We used all rigid vents on our dryer.

We have the bottom elbow and the first length of pipe connected to the dryer vent outlet,
and held in place somehow while we slide the dryer into position.

Then we connect it to the remaining lengths of pipe (that are already mounted to the wall/vent)
by tilting the lengths sideways until we can fit them together.

Of course, one of the pipes may have to be cut to the correct length.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2009 at 7:08PM
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NO plastic
NO screws

foil duct tape is OK

    Bookmark   January 4, 2009 at 7:12PM
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Using the "rigid" pipe is easy. regus_patoff gave a good description and that's essentially how I did mine. You can cut it with a tin snips or a heavy scissor even. It's not precision work. When I put the top & bottom sections on, I just put a band of duct tape around to let it lean and keep it from falling but if you have an assistant, it's easier.

Just hold the last section up and make a mark with a marker on the pipe about where to cut it. It's so simple. Cheap and effective too.

Don't be fooled into thinking it's more complicated than it is.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2009 at 9:38PM
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I would like to use rigid vent pipe to extend 25 ft from the dryer to an outside vent. I am having problems closing the 4" rigid venr hoses. Also, I would like to know the best way to connect two hoses, foil tape or clamps?

    Bookmark   May 3, 2011 at 3:14PM
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I had a 6 yr old Fridgedaire and thought it was faulty because it took 3 to 4 60 minute cycles to dry my clothes when I only had like 6 ft of foil vent hose to exit my basement. I bought a new dryer (Roper,super capicity, whirlpool econmy version) and it took 2 hrs to dry my clothes. I am thinking my foil flexible tubing is to blame not the dryers! My foil vent hose had lint build up and like a gallon of water every month or so collecting that I had to drain out routinely. Wish I would have read this before buying a new dryer.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 2:18AM
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