Dryer vent problem

I may or may not have a clogged dryer vent, but I think I have a problem nonetheless. The ductwork from the dryer to the outside vent is probably 30-40 feet. The dryer takes forever to dry things and I was wondering if it had to do with that length (although there is no choice, based on the layout of my condo). Secondly, I can't tell where the ductwork runs. It goes straight up into the ceiling, but it disappears and the room above that does not show the other side. It comes out of the wall 20 feet away and runs to the external wall to vent. How can I tell if there is a clog at some point in the ductwork? I know there are kits that will snake up and clean it, but they only have 12' long extentions. Also, the ductwork is that white plastic stuff. Is that dangerous? I am not sure how I could replace it without tearing up my entire condo. Any guidance or information on this would be a huge help. Thanks very much!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

This is a very bad design and unless it's grandfathered does not meet code. This is not only a drying problem, but also a safety issue. The white plastic crap isn't adequate for just connecting the dryer to the vent, let alone using it for concealed venting in walls. A run of that length is going to need some type of booster fan assistance, as I doubt a std dryer will be able to work very well trying to push air that far. And the more turns it makes the worse it gets.
Since this is a condo there must be other units with the same layout and problem. I'd try to get some other unit owners interested in this and take it to the board. If a good solution can be found, you could get a contractor to do the job for all the units, thereby saving you a lot of headache and likely getting a better deal.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Too long, really.

Go outside and feel the air coming out. No air ? Little air?

I was able to pull some through by attaching it to the old duct.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

I can't tell because it vents about 30 feet up. I am on the second flooy and it vents off the roof. I don't have access or a ladder that long.

I lost you. What old duct?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The duct you think is clogged. That is one way to pull new material through by attaching the new to the old and feeding it in while pulling on the other end.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Plastic venting cracks over time. Its high ridges attract lint. Long runs attract lint too. These reasons are why plastic is a negative over time. Smooth metal is better for hidden areas, and long runs.
There is such thing as a vent cleaning company for dryers. You or your homeowner assoc. should hire them. As another poster said, a contractor can open walls to convert plastic to metal.
Buying a condo? Don't overlook dryer venting issues during inspection. This will never go away once you buy the place. Just because the condo cost a million bucks doesn't mean that the venting had some thought to it. It is usually just an afterthought during construction.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Is is also a code requirement to have smooth metal.

Reputable dryer vent cleaners will not clean flexible plastic as it is a fire hazard. The only proper solution is to replace this. Your home and all others in the complex are at risk. One starts to burn, you are all going to burn. If the Board will not address the issue, call the fire department inspector or the mechanical inspector. They will make sure the repairs happen.

Great idea.
Alisa LeSueur Certified Dryer Exhaust Technician http://CleanYourOwnDryerVent.com /
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Why exactly is plastic venting a fire hazard? I think we should define our terms. Plastic venting can burn during a fire, but it won't cause a fire by spontaneously combusting; temps in venting just aren't that hot. A combustion source would have to come from the dryer itself. So here's the truth: poor venting arrangements can make lint back up in the dryer, and if there is so much lint that it combusts near the element, then the fire could travel to the venting. However, I would like to know just how often this really happens. Every time I read about a dryer fire, I never here that the the fire travelled through the venting too. So, it is time to put the urban legends away, and spend some time with reality. Having a better venting application simply allows the dryer to do its thing, which is to get rid of lint.
On the other hand, some dryer designs are notoriously poor lint handlers, and will collect lint even under some of the best venting applications. That is because they are poorly designed. Does anyone know which ones they are?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

True. Plastic venting does not spontaneously combust.

Lint is the combution source. As lint burns in a metal pipe, the fire is more easily contained. Lint can burn through the plastic vinyl and on through the structure.

When the fire department is putting out one of 12,000 dryer fires each year, it is tough to say just how the flame traveled. Fact is that lint is highly combustible and you want to reduce your chance of a structure fire by using the recommended materials. It's just not that much more expensive.
Every time I read

Good luck finding these statistics. I have never heard of the dryer design contributing to the lint expulsion issue.
Alisa LeSueur Certified Dryer Exhaust Technician http://CleanYourOwnDryerVent.com /
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
For the average person, they should be more concerned about the length of venting, not what it is made of. Visible is better than in a wall or ceiling. Shorter is better than long. Metal is better than plastic. Taking a common sense approach to venting is what counts. Dryer fires don't just happen on their own; you have to create a situation that makes the lint stay in the dryer. The most common reason is venting that is too long, or too many turns.
You can reduce lint retention by buying a dryer that is known for better airflow. Some dryers have stonger airflow, and some dryers have weaker airflow and a geater propensity for lint retention. If you don't work on appliances, then you won't know what I mean. And if a consumer buys purely on what is told to them by the sales rep at the store, they won't care either.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Frankly I believe from a safety standpoint what it is made of is far more important and should be the first concern for anyone. That plastic stuff also has poor air flow properties so it has the effect of lengthening the effective length.
I do agree that in most cases exposed is better and allows for maintenance.
--
Joseph Meehan

Dia duit
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

They may not like it, but I believe it is time to talk to your condo association. First that plastic trash pipe is a fire hazard and is likely a code violation. You may want to check that out first. As you have found out, it also can be a efficiency problem as well. You can run further with good duct that that accordion plastic stuff without causing a problem for the dryer. The plastic also collects more lint so it is a maintenance issue.
It would be a lot cheaper for all of them to be replaced at once that each owner replacing one at a time. It also may be that your condo rules would require them to do the work anyway.
--
Joseph Meehan

Dia duit
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 10 Jul 2006 06:51:56 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

The dryer exhaust needs periodic cleaning. Rubber band a few rags to the end of a garden hose and use this to clean out the lint. Also, it will be good to vacuum up the lint around the dryer and the exhaust area.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Mine is longer than it should be (although not as long as yours!) and I've cleaned it successfully by running in a ShopVac hose.
--
The e-mail address in our reply-to line is reversed in an attempt to
minimize spam. Our true address is of the form snipped-for-privacy@prodigy.net.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.