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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Dryer vents, who knew?

If you are squeamish this post is not for you. 

I have a fairly new washer and dryer, not quite 3 years old. 
So I was not happy that my clothes were taking more than two and sometimes three cycles to dry!!!!
  I had read or heard somewhere that you should clean out your ducts.
(I have never cleaned out my dryer duct before. 
I never really knew you needed to. 
Silly me!!!!)

Any whoo, I thought that might be the problem, but I just kept putting it off. 
Then one day Les was in the store room under the laundry room and felt something drip on him. 
After further investigation we determined it must be condensation from the dryer vent, and it was dripping down and out the bottom of the vent. 
We took off the small piece of venting that connects the dryer to the wall and this is what we found.  (Yes, this is extremely gross, don't judge me I did not know!!!)
I can't believe I showed you that!!!

It was so bad there was actually water sitting in the bottom of the tube!!


After doing a little research I found you shouldn't use the foil or plastic tubing if at all possible. 
 Use only metal.  Guess what we had? 
They say they are fire hazards.


Here is our shinny new rigid venting. 
Crisis adverted?
Right? 
Wrong!!!!!


In just a few days I found it dripping down stairs again. 
Now I have 8 people to do laundry for.  As you can guess we are almost always running a load. 
So I can't really be with out a dryer!!! 
So more research and up to the roof I went.
(My dryer vents to the roof!
Found out that's not the best plan for dryer venting.)
I'm getting off the subject. 
Up on the roof I found my vent opening was completely block off with lint!!! 
 I had to dig it all out with my fingers, I dug out a wad the size of my fist. 
Gross!
 But I knew that the inside of my venting tube had to also be full of lint. 
So I went on line and found the Lint Eater. (Available at Lowe's). 
 I marched myself down there and bought it.
 ($34 plus extra extensions $18) 
The next morning I set out to clean my venting tube. 
(But first as usual, I had to go back to Lowe's to get a larger shop vac tube.)   

You use your drill and it twists a brush as it goes up through your vent.  It can make turns. 
You can work from the outside or inside depending on your set up. 
 I had to work from the inside. 
It comes with an  attachment so you can hook up a shop vac and suck out the lint while you are cleaning. 
 Only you have to have 4 inch hose on your shop vac.
 (Who has that? Not me or any of my 5 neighbors and family I called.) 
I did find you can buy a 4 inch hose that will work with my existing shop vac. ($20) 
 So $72 and a day latter,
my dryer gets my clothes dry in record time.  
 I did this all while my husband was at work,
 it wasn't super hard just a little time consuming. 



So if you are any thing like me,
you now want to run to your dryer vent and check it out! 
 I hope you do, that's really the reason I posted this. 
 I assume there are other Dryer Vent Dummies out there
and I would rather you solve the problem before you get drips or something. 
The info that came with the Lint Eater suggests you clean the dryer vent 3 to 4 times a year!!! 
 I am a believer now!! 

4 comments:

Celeste B. said...

Um....eeww! We did know about the metal vents. In Arizona when you become a foster family you have to a metal dryer vent installed. They shouldn't even sell the plastic ones if you ask me.

Ours vents to the roof too. I'll have to remember to get one of those cleaner thingies!

The Hargrave's said...

WoW...I have my dryer venting to outside...a straight run...But I know now to keep it checked! Thanks

eve said...

I have an appointment to get our cleaned next week but it'll cost $80. I wonder if I should just get the kit at Lowes so I'll have it... Thanks for the tips!

Emma said...

Thanks for the tips. Ours vents from the basement to the first floor. We have to clean it out every few months. Funny story: When we moved into our house 2 years ago, we bought a new washer and dryer. The dryer wasn't drying the clothes. So Best Buy brought a new one out. That one didn't work either. Then we realized the vent was so clogged the dryer couldn't work. We cleaned it, hooray a working dryer. I agree having the venting go up is rediculous.