Dryer Vent Collecting Water

j2bohanMarch 24, 2013


I am looking for options for solving a strange issue. In my home, the laundry room is in the middle of the house, against the wall of the garage, the living room, and the kitchen. The dryer actually vents underneath the house; the pipe goes under the slab, then under the kitchen. The pipe exits next to my A/C unit.

When it rains, water collects in the pipe under the house. When this happens, the water prohibits the exhaust from leaving the dryer appropriately, meaning it takes hours to dry a load of clothes. When I can hear the water sloshing in the pipe (when the dryer is on), I take a ShopVac out and suck all of the water out of the pipe.

I'd prefer to move the vent, but don't have a good idea for where to move it. If I go through the wall into the garage, I would have to run the new pipe up the wall and out the side of the house, unless someone has a better option. Also, if anyone has any ideas for how to fix the pipe (without digging under the slab, which would be quite costly), I would appreciate it.


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If you can upload a photograph of the exhaust where it resides next to the AC condenser unit, it will help. Maybe all you need to do is finish the exhaust with an upside-down "J" duct (like you see along sidewalks done by the utility company). How close is the vent to the AC condenser unit is also relevant as lint is not good for the condenser coils.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 2:49PM
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^ ^ Yup, both of those points.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 3:13PM
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Picture is attached. The "J" joint is already in place, and pointing away from the AC unit (hopefully that's enough, since I didn't put in the vent, but I did just recently replace the AC, and would rather avoid damage to that.) :-)

I've checked the joint, and there's no obvious cracks or damage...not saying that I don't have *some* amount of water flowing in that way, but I'm averaging 2-2.5 gallons of water in the pipe every time I vacuum it out, so I doubt that would be the entire reason.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 3:38PM
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That's too close to the A/C IMO. You don't show the full unit, but most of them pull air through the sides of the coils when running and exhaust it out the fan at the top of the unit. It'll be pulling warm, linty dryer exhaust through the coils whenever the dryer is running simultaneous with the A/C. It may be somewhat OK but I wouldn't arrange mine as such.

You've got a breach somewhere in the buried PVC pipe that's letting in water.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 3:48PM
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Thanks! Three questions:
- What's the easiest way to fix the pipe? I have a friend who has mentioned a sealant you can spray into a pipe, but I don't know if that's actually a viable fix for PVC.
- Should I just knock off the end of the "J" and extend the pipe further away from the unit? Relay everything if I have to dig it up to fix the breach?
- Is there a safe way to just move the vent through the garage?

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 4:01PM
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If the dryer vent line is filling with water after a rain, the pipe has been damaged. There are ways to fix pipes without digging up the slab but I'm not sure it would be cost effective for a dryer vent. You might want to look in another direction.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 11:39AM
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A few more questions:

  • Where are you vacuuming out the water--at what point in the duct?

  • Have to excavated the dirt around the outside exhaust to reach the underground elbow to determine whether it is glued in place and not just a friction-fit?

  • If the pipe is glued properly then might want to have a plumber come out and use a video scope to see where the problem(s) is located.

  • I see leaves in your photograph, invasive tree roots will seek water through any pipe joint that was not sealed correctly or any pipe that might have been cracked during installation.

  • Does the end of the exhaust pipe have a critter screen?

  • Check to see whether the exposed white PVC piping is UV rated.

This post was edited by fahrenheit_451 on Tue, Mar 26, 13 at 23:18

    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 9:01PM
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