Need help with Dryer vent tube!

kitkat3September 5, 2010

Hello. I just moved to a new apartment and the dryer vent tube is super long and I need to replace it. It goes from the back of a "potential dryer" (to be purchased) across the basement ceiling joists(about 20 or more ft) to the outside. The dryer's electrical outlet is in the middle of the basement instead of near an outside wall. The current dryer vent tube is made of white plastic--looks like a giant white Slinky and right now it's hanging down from the ceiling. It's really old,filled with gunk and I want to replace it with a new metal one.

Where can I find a vent tube that long? Or would I get smaller pieces and join them together somehow? It's at least 20 feet...maybe longer from the back of the dryer, up the wall, across the ceiling and out.

Does this seem to be a fire hazard? Any suggestions on how to hang it up properly? How can I attach it without puncturing the metal?

I'm also wondering how to clean lint out of that tube on a regular basis since it's so long.

All ideas are very welcome...I'll be posting help for my new washer/dryer purchase too. Thanks!

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I would not use a short one and join you can buy metal pipe and run that that is stiff enough then get the hangers with it. talk to your local store or hardware they know the best and cheapest ways. I would not go with the flex tube in there.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2010 at 1:12AM
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If you go to Lowes or HD, go over to the HVAC section and look for piping and hangers.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2010 at 2:35AM
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It sounds like you're saying that I don't have to buy the flexible metal that right? I can buy any kind of metal pipe if it's big enough?

How would you clean the lint out of such a long pipe?
Would I need to do that every year?
I am a newbie at all of this so sorry if my questions are silly!

Thank you!!!

    Bookmark   September 6, 2010 at 10:30AM
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Yes, you can use solid metal ductwork for your dryers exhaust. You need one with two 90 degree bends to get from the dryer to the pipe and then straight out to the exit on the house.

The pieces just go together by pushing them together. Use straps made for this purpose to hang them up.

You could call in a chimney sweep every couple of years to clean the pipe out. That's what we do.
That flexible plastic tubing is indeed a fire hazard. Lint builds up inside (as you have seen) and can catch fire. Lint from dryers is very flammable. You can mix it in with some hot wax and make fire starters for your fireplace!

Plus your dryer will dry so much faster with the metal ducting. Just make sure you buy an outside vent cover with a door inside so you don't get insects and snakes coming inside via the duct work.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2010 at 1:41PM
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Thanks so much for the help!!! Much appreciated. I have so much to learn! I can't believe I stumbled on this forum---what good luck for me! Now at least I feel like I can talk the same language with the HD guys!

    Bookmark   September 6, 2010 at 2:39PM
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I think dualref hit the nail on the head. I think they should outlaw the plastic vent ducting, it is ***DEFINITELY*** hazardous!

When I bought my house nine years ago it also had the plastic duct garbage which I replaced with as much rigid metal duct as possible- I still needed some flexible metal ducting but I kept it to a minimum. But there is NO plastic left-

I clean mine out every year or two- there's almost no lint build-up when I do clean it out- and the ductwork is rather long since it's in the basement.

Metal FTW!

    Bookmark   September 6, 2010 at 3:39PM
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