Dryer vent and birds

Birds have been using our dryer vent as a nesting area. It runs from the floor to the ceiling, behind the wall, and emerges about 8 or 10 feet from the ground on the side of the house. I've used a 4.25 HP shop vac on it, sealed tightly at the vac hose end, and it still failed to blow out (remove) the blockage. I got my wife to observe the little flap outside the house while I tried to blow it out, and it did come open, but you could tell that obviously the vent was still majorly clogged. Nothing came out, in other words.
(the birds actually lifted the little flap thing with their beak and entered the pipe, I saw one of the little bastards doing it)
What's the best way to get this thing clean? I'm thinking that I'll have to get a ladder on the outside of the house and try to use some kind of thin hook type apparatus to snag the debris and attempt to pull it out. I'd have to remove the little hood thing that covers the end of the vent somehow, it looks like it's hooked on to the vinyl siding. I'm sure that'll be a pain in the ass. The 4.25 hp shop vac blows (and sucks) pretty hard, and since I had no luck with it I imagine that the vent is fairly packed with bird nest materials. Any ideas?
If I fail to clean it out myself, how much would something like this cost? 50, 100, maybe even 200 bucks? There's really no way to access it other than from either end. It has two 90 degree turns in it. Any help appreciated.
--
candeh

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How about an electrican's fish-wire to clear the vent? Or a plumbing snake? Be careful not to puncture the piping, whatever you do; if it's aluminum, it's real easy to puncture. The magnets that hold the flap closed are -supposed- to keep birds from being able to open it! Interesting problem.
Could you push a heavy weight into it from outside? Like a brick tied to a line so it's held vertical? How long is the horizontal run? Bounce it up and down on the blockage until it dislodges?
How about the garden hose? Water would melt away all the mud, etc. the nest's built with but you'll have a mess at the other end, so prepare for it.
Where in the pipe is the blockage, what kind/size pipe is it, what kind of bird, etc.?
Pop
| Birds have been using our dryer vent as a nesting area. It runs from | the floor to the ceiling, behind the wall, and emerges about 8 or 10 | feet from the ground on the side of the house. I've used a 4.25 HP | shop vac on it, sealed tightly at the vac hose end, and it still | failed to blow out (remove) the blockage. I got my wife to observe the | little flap outside the house while I tried to blow it out, and it did | come open, but you could tell that obviously the vent was still | majorly clogged. Nothing came out, in other words. | | (the birds actually lifted the little flap thing with their beak and | entered the pipe, I saw one of the little bastards doing it) | | What's the best way to get this thing clean? I'm thinking that I'll | have to get a ladder on the outside of the house and try to use some | kind of thin hook type apparatus to snag the debris and attempt to | pull it out. I'd have to remove the little hood thing that covers the | end of the vent somehow, it looks like it's hooked on to the vinyl | siding. I'm sure that'll be a pain in the ass. The 4.25 hp shop vac | blows (and sucks) pretty hard, and since I had no luck with it I | imagine that the vent is fairly packed with bird nest materials. Any | ideas? | | If I fail to clean it out myself, how much would something like this | cost? 50, 100, maybe even 200 bucks? There's really no way to access | it other than from either end. It has two 90 degree turns in it. Any | help appreciated. | -- | candeh
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Bacon on one side, and put a rat in the other?
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Hey,
I carry a 30 ft central vac hose in the truck, and often connect it to my shopvac to do this job. Working it back/forth with the vac running will eventually clear it. Hopefully it wasn't a nest made by wrens - they're mostly small twigs, and very nasty to clear.
Once it's cleared, replace the single-flapper type outside hood with the 3 or 4 louvered style. 'Have never had a bird problem with those, and they seal pretty tightly.
*Don't* yield to the temptation to buy a hood with any sized screening over the end - not even the 3/8 inch mesh version that's so popular. Had another one last week, brand new vent system - plugged solid in only 2 loads and blew the dryer's thermal!
There's a picture of the hood style I'm talking about in this article: http://www.DavesRepair.com/DIYhelp/DIYdryerventscreens.htm
Hope that's of some help.
God bless,
Dave Harnish Dave's Repair Service New Albany, PA www.DavesRepair.com snipped-for-privacy@sosbbs.com 570-363-2404
Free home appliance tips from a 32-year pro repair technician! Get your monthly email newsletter here: (Back issues now posted too!) www.DavesRepair.com
John 3:3

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wrote:

a violation of the building and mechanical codes.
Dan
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wrote:

Thanks very much, Dave, it was a real big help. Like I said, I did try my 4.25 hp Craftsman shopvac (both sucking and blowing) but I didn't keep at it for too long. (I have to stop and change the hose from one side of the vac to the other each time.) I'll try that again. And as Dan mentioned in the next message in this thread, it is indeed a fire hazard, because our smoke detector went off on the last load of clothes we did. I knew immediately what the problem was. I stopped it in plenty enough time to prevent blowing the thermal (whatever that is. In other words yes, it still blows hot air)
You'll never believe this, water had actually gathered in the bottom of the hose, enough that it completely blocked the opening at the back of the dryer. My wife does all the clothes, so naturally the excessive drying times never bothered me personally so of course it remained last in my list of things to do. Not anymore! And oh yeah, I'm definitely going with a louvered style vent hood this time.
Thanks again.
--
candeh

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clipped

We have louvered and they are great. We have neighboring condo that had lots of bird traffic to their dryer vents, 2nd and 3rd story. They put in the kind with a mesh type bird blocker - molded plastic, part of the vent, with about 3/4" openings. Don't know if they might trap lint too easily, but the mesh type might be better. Birds haven't visited ours, and it's doubtful they could get into it, but ya' never know :o)
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I have the plain louvered 3 flat style & have birds that use them in 3 different places. They learn how to open them up then go in and lay there eggs & build there nests. (returning each yr) This summer I had to take 2 baby birds out of the downstairs 1/2 bathroom. I plan on replacing them with the type that has plastic bar barriers behind them. Its a big problem wait until you hear them singing in your bathroom fan or it won't turn.LOL Vent Covers http://www.nwlink.com/~pkrogh/ventcovers.html
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