sewer snake broke dryer vent pipe??

My inside dryer operated very poorly, and I found out it was because the dryer vent was heavily clogged by lint and even dryer papers. The vent pipe goes vertically up to the ceiling and then horizontally out of the house. The vent pipe is metal, and the horizontal section is aluminum. I put a sewer snake through both ends, trying to break the lint. The snake can go quite a distance from either end, but cannot make a turn to go all the way through. When I pushed the snake hard, I heard a noise sounded like a click. The noise is like you use your palm to hold up your car's sunroof and the roof drops down if you release your hand. I do not know whether I have broken the section that connects horizontal pipe and vertical pipe. Is there a way that I can check it, for example, a camera that I can put inside and take pictures? And if the section breaks, it will be a big trouble. Is there any solution to that?
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Chang,
Some plumbers do have cameras to do exactly this. Look in your phonebook.
Good luck, Dave M.
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<< I put a sewer snake through both ends, trying to break the lint. >>
Can't you simply disassemble the entire pipe run for clean out? Alternatively, use a shop vacuum to remove debris. HTH
Joe
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Joe,
I cannot, because the vent pipe is completely embedded inside the wall. It is a two-story house, and the horizontal part of the vent pipe is in between the ceiling of ground story and floor of the second story. I am just a little worried that if I break the connection, how difficult it is to fix.
Thanks anyway Chang
snipped-for-privacy@aol.comtosspam (Joe Bobst) wrote in message

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Chang Kuang wrote:

What kind of material is the vent made of? Is it flexible metal, flexible foil covered material or solid metal? If it is anything other than solid metal, time to replace it, even if it is not going to be easy to do. It is not safe to leave the other stuff in service. A professional should be able to replace it with minimal disruption to the walls.
--
Joseph E. Meehan

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Joseph,
The vertical part is pretty stiff, I guess that is what you mean by "solid metal". The horizontal part is "wave-like" shiny aluminum from what I see. Is that what you mean by "flexible foil covered material"?
I am just curious how these two parts are connected together. Probably the top part of vertical solid metal part has extended horizontally (like the rain gutter), and then run into the horizontal aluminum pipe, which has a bigger caliber.
Thanks, Chang
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Chang Kuang wrote:

It should not bend at all without crimping. That you should be able to hold a five foot section horizontal and not have it bend or sag. It should be smooth inside and out. That sounds like what you have.

It is harder for me to describe the flexible types. One is made from the same material as the solid metal stuff, but is designed with angle joints that when twisted will change a short (less than about a foot) section to change from straight to a 90 bend and will hold that shape. Both of the other two usually come labeled as vent hose and often sold for dryer venting. They are just bent into shape or in the case of the really light weight stuff will just fall into shape.
I don't like either of these for dryer vents. Both have the corrugated interiors that reduce air flow and pick up lint. Neither is very fire proof and sorry to say, fire is a possibility with a lint filled vent.

The solid stuff is crimped on one end and that crimped end slips inside the end of the last pipe. In a dryer vent the crimp ends should always be at the end away from the dryer. In some applications screws are used to secure them, but for a dryer the screws will cause lint build up and they should only be taped using real "duct" tape not duck tape.
The other stuff is often attached using some sort of clamp.
I hope that helps.

--
Joseph E. Meehan

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Yes the vertical part is smooth inside and out, but the cross section is not purely circular or rectangular. Instead, it is like an eclipse:
--------- ///- -\\\ // \\ / \ || || | | | | | | | | | | || || ----------------------- \-------------------/

I still do not understand how the the vertical part connects to the horizontal part. Since the horizontal part is of large caliber, how can the vertical part seamlessly connects to it? I can think of two cases, as shown in the two figures below). Which case is more like the reality? And, did I break that connection (see my original post)?
CASE 1:
+---------------------------------------------+ |---------------------------------------------| +------+----+---------------------------------------------| |IIIIIIIIIIIIIIII|----------------------------------------| |IIIIIIIIIIIIIIII|----------horizontal-pipe---------------| +IIIIIII----+---------------------------------------------| |IIIIII| |---------------------------------------------| |IIIIII| +---------------------------------------------+ |IIIIII| out |IIvIII| of |IIeIII| the |IIrIII| house |IItIII| |IIIIII| +-----+IIIIII+ |IIIIIIIIIIII| |IIIIIIIIIIII| +-----+------+ To Dryer
CASE 2:
*----------------------------------------+ /-----------------------------------------| /------------------------------------------| *II*----------------------------------------| |III\---------------------------------------| |IIII\--------------------------------------| |IIIII\+------------------------------------+ |IIIIII| |IIIIII| |IIIIII| |IIIIII| |IIIIII| |IIIIII| |IIIIII| |IIIIII| +IIIII+IIIIII+ |IIIIIIIIIIII| |IIIIIIIIIIII| +-----+------+
To Dryer
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Chang Kuang wrote:

Thats stuff is OK, it is just a different shape.

Sorry the ASCI art got mugged.

--
Joseph E. Meehan

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Joseph, what program do you use to read newsgroup? Could you see this:
http://home.comcast.net/~pbrett2/ventpipetwocases.jpg

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Chang Kuang wrote:

That I could see. In any case the corners are generally turned using pre-formed parts made from sheet metal (usually aluminum for dryers).
--
Joseph E. Meehan

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You can try calling the local tool rental shops and see if they have a camera you can rent. Alternatively, you could try a notebook PC connected to a USB camera connected to a stiff stick or rod.
I wouldn't get too worried. Even if you determine the pipe is broken, the fix is still relatively easy. You just need to cut open the drywall between the studs where the pipe is located, replace, then patch and repaint. Since this is usually in a laundry room of limited size, the mess and scope is easily contained.
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Chet Hayes wrote:

Chet, Do you have an idea how much this might cost. It seems a big project to me :-( I am living in California.
Thanks!
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On 22 Apr 2004 00:13:30 -0700, someone wrote:

Why so?
Sheetrock work is not so much hard as time consuming.
Open the wall and ceiling as needed and fix it. Not a big deal. Rather than make a lot of trouble for yourself trying to work thru a small hole, I'd suggest opeing up from stud to stud (or joist to joist) and then you have big area to work in, and can easily nail.screw the replacement pieces of wallboard back in.
Of course, if you have some kind of precious special wall paper, well now that is a bother. But merely replacing a small area of painted sheetrock is not that major.
-v.
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In my downstairs laundry/bathroom the dryer vent is in the wall. I've had a couple of problems with it. Instead of drywall patching, I screwed a piece of masonite over the opening and painted it along with the wall. Easy access and hardly noticeable.
On another wall I have an opening from when the shower valve had to be replaced. It has a mirror over it and is easily removed if I ever have to get to it again. Ed snipped-for-privacy@snet.net http://pages.cthome.net/edhome
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