Dryer or vent clogged, how can I figure it out

Just moved into townhome and the dryer doesn't dry a load of towels on high heat within the maximum time, 50 minutes. For troubleshooting purposes, what should I look for and/or tests that I should do to tell if it's the dryer or if the vent is clogged?
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You don't specify if it's gas or electric, but first I'd determine if it's heating sufficiently. If so, I'd disconnect the vent hose from the machine and look for lint. I'd also trace the vent hose to it's outside location and make sure the outlet port is clean. They make tools to clean out vent hoses but it may be easier to just replace it, if necessary
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make sure the washer is spoinning out the clothes enough.......
too wet slow dry
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disconnect vent, run load vented to room leave window open......
if it drys ok its the vent
you might try usinmg a shopvac as a blower to clear the vent. have someone outside watch for dust cloud.
just recently i had the slow dry problem....
turned out the flexible duch had a low spot filled with condestated water that must of blocked the line.
i picked up the line and got a arm full of water, so look for low spots.
vacuumn out the dryer vent while you have it apart
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Exactly right.
I had the same problem a few years ago. I disconnected the vent hose and the towels dried fine (although the room was very humid). I tracked the problem to a bird's nest just inside the outlet port. After relocating the nest to a nearby tree, I installed a bird-proof outlet cage.
BRW
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Or a gas-powered leaf blower!
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the simplest test for the clogged vent theory is to run it with the hose off, and see if it works better. If it's a gas dryer, you may not want to do this.
s

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Znott wrote:

I would start by checking the filter. Then check outside end of the exhaust - if there is a screen on the outlet, clean it. If not screen, reach in and try to find blockage. You can even get bird nests in them. How long is the exhaust? Straight out the wall?
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Or birds.
True story. About 12 years ago, started noticing an odor coming from the laundry room. Kept getting worse over the next 3 or 4 days. Nose testing localized the source of the odor to the dryer. Nothing immediately obvious. Laid dryer on its side and started taking stuff apart. Discovered a dead bird wedged into a corner of the squirrel- cage blower. Apparently he couldn't get out the way he came in, so he went the other direction and died in the dryer. Removed bird with a pair of kitchen tongs. Threw away bird and tongs. Covered the outside vent opening with 1/4 inch mesh screen. Had to clean the lint off the screen every 3 or 4 months, but it was better than looking for dead birds in the dryer.
Jerry
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Jerry wrote:

Condo next to us has dryer vents on 2nd floor; interesting to watch birds flying in and out :o)
We had the fire dept out late one night after the dryer started pouring black smoke. I shut it off right away, the clothes were not burnt. Fire dept very patient - took back off dryer and found a pile of dog chow stacked in the burner :o) I thought for a very brief moment that my son had done another experiment, but quickly decided it was a much smaller creature :o)
My grandson went missing one day when he was about 2 1/2; he had a story book, reading in a very cozy place - the clothes dryer. Great picture.
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Do you have some way to post that photo? Sound totally cute.
--
Christopher A. Young
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That's a very real concern. I found three birds in the flue pipe from a boiler, one time. Very dessicated, dried birds.
--
Christopher A. Young
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Norminn wrote:

Rueful chuckle. The silly twit previous owner of this house put the exhaust through a basement window, UNDER the 18" tall deck. So unless I cut a hole in the deck, or crawl under there and fight the spiders and such, I can't get to the outside cover.
-- aem sends...
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Harbor Freight sells a very nice dryer vent cleaning brush designed to fit into a 3 to 4 inch duct and has a 10 foot long flexible but sturdy wire shaft and handle. It did a great job for me cleaning out a very hard to access duct. For under 4 bucks I very highly would recommend it. See link below:
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber396
Good luck and hope this helps,
Smarty

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Define: "load". A lot of people, SWMBO included, think a load consists of "as much as I can cram in the washer" (so I do the laundry).
Define: "dryer". Is this one of those little stackables apartment sized units?
If the exterior dryer vent door is blowing open (or upon disconnecting the dryer vent hose a sizeable amount of air is being discharged), and the load is getting "hot", there's likely a short between the laundry basket and the washer. -----
- gpsman
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Turn it on and feel over the exhaust. All vents should be periodically cleaned out to increase efficiency and prevent fire. The tool I use is a garden hose (no water!) with a wad of rags rubber-banded to the end. It helps to have another person near the dryer to turn it on/off--be careful or you might get a faceful of lint!
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I got a like new dryer a couple of months ago from a man who said it wouldn't dry, wasn't 2 years old. Went over to pick it up and he had it shoved clear back to the wall, the vent hose was collapsed flatter than a pancake, works fine for me, with a new vent hose. BTW, last week i picked up the matching washer, he said hot water wouldnt come in, the inlet screen was clogged with sand and debris, a simple cleaning and it works great. love it and so does Sears
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You are a true handyman. Well done, sir.
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Christopher A. Young
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You have reveived some interesting testimonials as the the value of a clear dryer vent. To test the vent, run the dryer with the accordian hose disconnected from the wall, but place a pantyhose on the end of the hose to catch the lint. If the load dries in 30 minutes using high heat, there is an air flow issue, which is usually the vent pipe in the wall.
Clean it out using whatever method you choose, which might mean calling a chimney sweep out to clean it for you.
Alisa LeSueur Certified Dryer Exhaust Technician http://CleanYourOwnDryerVent.com
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You have reveived some interesting testimonials as the the value of a clear dryer vent. To test the vent, run the dryer with the accordian hose disconnected from the wall, but place a pantyhose on the end of the hose to catch the lint. If the load dries in 30 minutes using high heat, there is an air flow issue, which is usually the vent pipe in the wall.
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That will work, but you can also feel the air coming out the vent, then disconnect and feel how much is coming out the dryer alone. If it is not more, you have a dryer clog. Most likely though, it is the vent.
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