Clothes Dreyer Venting Dangers?


The hired painting crew got through doing the outside of our home a couple of days ago and while I was admiring the improved look of the place I noticed that our clothes dryer's through the wall vent had been painted with siding paint.
While it blended in and looked better than if they'd left it in its native off-white plastic color, I wondered if its louvers were still free.
I grabbed a ladder and took a look. Sure enough, all three of its louvers were stuck in the closed position. It took me a few minutes with a putty knife to break them free and scrape off some dried paint ridges so the louvers were all flapping free as birds again.
That got me thinking about the often repeated warnings about the dangers of glogged clothes dryer vents and what can happen as a result.
I'd expect that a clogged vent on a gas fired dryer could cause gas combustion products to be released into the inside of the home, which doesn't sound like something you'd want to have happen.
Assuming an electric or a gas dryer, what "catches fire" and where, when the vent gets blocked with lint?
Do any dryer manufacturers equip their appliances with air flow or back pressure sensors to prevent them from running if the venting system becomes blocked?
My curious mind wants to know.
In our case I've got about the most direct outside venting possible, the vent goes through an outside wall behind our electric clothes dryer and is lined right up with the dryer's outlet port. A ten inch long length of corrugated aluminum flex connects the dryer to the vent which lets me move the dryer out enough to disconnect it when needed. A couple of blocks of wood screwed to the flook on each side of the dryer keeps its outlet from moving out of line with the vent.
Jeff
--
Jeffry Wisnia
(W1BSV + Brass Rat \'57 EE)
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There are number of overtemp sensors in both gas and electric dryers to prevent this.
Gas combustion products in normal conditions are not particularly dangerous, a gas stove/over releases them straight into the inside air. Carbon monoxide is only generated when there is not enough air to support complete combustion.
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And in my dryer, at least, the safety device in the exhaust flue is a thermal fuse that will not reset, it must be replaced. So it forces you to examine the system.
--
Dennis


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jeff_wisnia wrote:

Pretty much noting happens when the outlet is clogged, including no drying of clothes, since either type of dryer will trip it's high temp safety in a minute or so of operation and shutdown.
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