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Dryer Vent Cleaning Help

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by AAshooter, Feb 22, 2010.

  1. AAshooter

    AAshooter

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    I am looking for suggestions on cleaning a 4" rigid dryer vent from folks that have cleaned them themselves.

    My dryer is taking forever to dry clothes and I suspect it is due to lint accumulation in the dryer vent system. I am planning on purchasing a dryer vent cleaning kit and was wondering if anyone has any recommendations based on actual use.

    For my purpose, I will need a brush with about 15' worth of extensions to be able to run the full length. Any product suggestions? Any cleaning tips?
     
  2. HerrGlock

    HerrGlock Scouts Out CLM

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    That may be part of it but another part might be your heating element might be dying. That happened on mine after 5 years and it cost about $50 for the element and two thermal breakers. While it was opened up I cleaned it out of the hundred pounds of lint as well.

    Just get a new flexible exhaust hose, that's the easiest way :)
     

  3. DR. HOUSE

    DR. HOUSE Everybody Lies

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    Does it vent out your house vertically or horizontally?

    What about an air compressor?
     
  4. AAshooter

    AAshooter

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    8' rectangular vent between the studs going vertically and then 15' horizontal run in 4" circular duct to outside. Commercial outfits in our neighborhood vacuum out the inlet to the vent system (the stuff that falls to the bottom of the vertical run) in the house and then use a brush on a flexible rod with a drill from the outside vent to clean the horizontal run.
     
  5. G30SF/F-250

    G30SF/F-250 Pinky Out Platinum Member

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    How old is the dryer? I ask because there are electrical parts that go bad and can be checked fairley easy with a volt meter.
     
  6. bocephus549

    bocephus549 Bo Knows.......

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    Another possibility is your washer is not spinning properly. This will leave more water in them to begin with.
     
  7. Dan_ntx

    Dan_ntx

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    I use a standard kit I bought years ago... a flexible metal cable push handle and a head that looks like a tennis ball that got attacked by a porcupine. It works well and after I ream the tube a few times I use the vacuum to blow it out. It must do something because it produces an impressive cloud of lint at the exhaust.

    It has been much cleaner since I switched to a gas dryer, but that may just be because the dryer has a better filter than the old one did.

    Either way it is a good habit to get into, dryer vent fires are common and preventable.
     
  8. Truffle8Shuffle

    Truffle8Shuffle

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    To clean ours, which vents through the roof, my dad gets up on the roof and takes off the grate on the exhaust outlet and I just stick our leaf blower in the exhaust inlet in the house and blow all the lint out. Works pretty well and is quick and easy.
     
  9. AAshooter

    AAshooter

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    The dryer is in good shape. I have already determined it is a venting issue. I am just trying to figure out what equipment to purchase to clean the vent. Some of the cleaning kits seem pretty cheesy and I would rather purchase a quality set. I don't want to have the thing break and get it stuck in the dryer vent.

    I've seen kits from $20 to hundreds of dollars that is why I was hoping some of the GTers have some actual experience using some of the cleaning systems. Commercial outfits in our area charge about $100 to provide the service.
     
  10. armorplated

    armorplated

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    Is this a new (to you) house and you're just discovering the problem? Or is it just now occuring?

    If it's a new house, long drying times just might be the norm. That's a long way for the exhaust to travel.

    But if it's a just-emerging-problem I'd try buying a four inch attic brush from Ace hardware, and jerry rig it to a cheapo plumber's snake. Run the brush the 15' of horizontal run. Remove snake/brush. Then take a leaf blower and blow the debris into the vertical run. Most of it should be on the floor (assuming you disconnected the dryer first).

    That should either solve the problem, or it will show you one way not to do it.
     
  11. G30SF/F-250

    G30SF/F-250 Pinky Out Platinum Member

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    Sorry, just trying to help...............:whistling:

    A lot of the parts on the new dryers only last up to 5 years.
     
  12. failsafe

    failsafe

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    I have used an electric leaf blower as well..just remove the tubing from the dryer..Insert the discharge end of the Leaf blower..Wrap with a trash bag, duct tape to get a good seal and have at it...
    You might want to take the vent screen off the outside of the exhaust first....
     
  13. AAshooter

    AAshooter

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    No problem. I appreciate the help. Your point is a good one. I have just been through the troubleshooting and finally got to the point where I have narrowed it down to the vent system. For others trying to figure out their problems, your advice is sound.
     
  14. hikerpaddler

    hikerpaddler

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    I used a plumber's squirrel and a toilet plunger. Worked pretty good.

     
  15. REDDAWN

    REDDAWN

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    GRASS BLOWER or ever what they call the darn thing. You need to do it ever few months. I DO..
     
  16. grendelprime

    grendelprime

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    Another possibility is the primary (removable) lint trap if you have one.

    I checked my screen after moving into the place and found that the lint trap would hold water.
    A little scrubbing got it corrected, and drying times did improve somewhat.

    For clearing the vents (I have flexible metal duct work) I use a flex-rod with brush (LintEater) on a drill and the shop-vac every couple years, amazing how much comes out once it's been fluffed up.
     
  17. Lothar

    Lothar Noob

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    This is what we do also, works very well.
     
  18. Paul_J

    Paul_J

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    Get the kit with the brush. The lint is practical glued to the inside from the moisture and steam. Blowing it out will only remove so much. Blowing it out after you run the brush through it will get it clean!

    Do you have access to the vertical duct where it transitions to the 4" round. That would be a great place to add an access door or coupling for future cleaning.
     
  19. AAshooter

    AAshooter

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    Man, I wish I did, that would be great . . . but unfortunately I do not and it would not be wife-approved to add one where it would need to be added. Any feature to add to my dream house.
     
  20. Mrs. Tink

    Mrs. Tink Semper Fidelis

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    My heating element went out a couple of weeks ago. When the dryer guy came to replace it, he also cut about a foot off the vent hose that comes out of the back of the dryer and goes into the wall. There used to be three bends in the hose. Now there is only one, and not a major one at that. I am amazed at how fast the dryer dries clothes now. If you have more than one bend, consider shortening the vent hose.