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Dryer exhaust

3 replies [Last post]
Joined: Jun 19 2007


Recently my dryer has been taking longer to dry each load, almost 2-3 cycles. I'm afraid the exhaust vent may be stuffed up somehow. I live in a Cupertino eichler and the dryer exhaust seems to go into the wall and the washer/dryer area is in the hallway. Does anyone know where the dryer exhaust goes out to?

When the dryer runs it gets very hot and steamy inside, so I know the dryer itself is not broken. Any other ideas on what might be wrong?


Joined: Apr 17 2007

In order to check your dryer exhaust, you will need to pull your dryer out from the wall where the exhaust vent enters the wall. Disconnect the dryer vent hose, and consider replacing it if it has been severely kinked. A new hose should cost less than $15. With the vent hose out of the way, use a flashlight to see into the dryer vent. If it's clogged, it should be full of dust and lint.

The vent that I have goes straight up to the roof, and is capped with a lid that is pop-riveted to the top of the vent. Go up on the roof to find it. Once identified, determine how to remove the lid, and be sure that you can re-secure it. In a pinch, duct tape will hold the lid in place, but using sheet metal screws is better. (And removable again in the future.)

Get a partner to insert the hose from a shop vac in the dryer vent opening in the laundry area. Use a long handled light duster (sold at most hardware stores) and slide it down inside the vent from the roof. At the same time, have your partner turn on the shop vac and vacuum up all the lint/dirt/dust that the duster will force down into the dryer vent. Run the brush up and down the vent to dislodge everything that you can, and be sure to vacuum the vent out well. Once you're satisfied that the vent is clean, re-secure the vent lid on the roof, reconnect your dryer to the vent with the vent hose, push your dryer back in place, and run a load in the dryer. This process would be a good one to conduct annually to prevent any risk of fires or long dry times. I hope your process is this easy! - John

Joined: Apr 20 2006

Berry Patch John gave you very useful advice.
The vent goes inside the wall, and the outlet is straight to the roof.
When lint builds up on this roof vent, rain water will wick inside and make a puddle around your dryer.
Most often, the lint can be removed by hand from the outlet on the roof. If you need to clean the whole outlet as Berry Patch John describes; You can cut one side of the cap support with a saw or tin snips...then bend the cap open for access. When done, you must bend the cap back over the outlet. The remaining tab will hold the cap in place. If the other tab were to break after multiple bendings, you can purchase a replacement for the whole vent cap and just push it in place over the old one.
A working lint screen can minimize problems with lint build-up. This is the key. The vast majority of Eichler dryer outlets do not have a lint build up. If your dryer lint filter is broken or missing, the lint will build up and eventually cause you some grief.

Joined: Jun 28 2003

Here is one other possible solution

The lint filter is made of a mesh material ... Run hot water over the filter (even if it looks clean)
If the water sits on top or drains slowly this might be your problem.

Dryer sheets cause a film over that mesh that's what burns out the heating unit.

You can't SEE the film, but it's there. It's what is in the dryer sheets to make your
clothes soft and static free ... that nice fragrance too. You know how they can feel
waxy when you take them out of the box ... well this stuff builds up on your clothes
and on your lint screen.

This is also what causes dryer units to potentially burn your
house down with it! To keep your dryer working for a very long time (and to keep your electric bill lower)
take that filter out and wash it with hot soapy water and an old toothbrush (or other brush) at least every six months.

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