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Is It Time To Clean My Dryer Vent, I do not know???

At a previous seminar we had a lengthy discussion about dryer vents; the exhaust hose material and the importance of periodic cleaning .

As part of your Home Examination, I have to ask:

  • Are your clothes coming out of the dryer damp?
  • Are you adding more time to the drying cycle?
  • Are you no longer feeling hot air coming out of the exterior vent opening?

In March 2017, the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) issued a report on this topic. Below is a summary of the report’s findings:

“Report Highlights

  • In 2010-2014, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 15,970 home structure fires involving clothes dryers or washing machines each year.

  • These fires caused annual averages of 13 civilian deaths, 444 civilian injuries, and $238 million in direct property damage.

  • The vast majority of fires (92%) involved clothes dryers.

  • The leading items first ignited in dryer fires were dust, fiber or lint (26% of total) and clothing (26%), while items first ignited in washing machine fires were part of the appliance itself, including wire or cable insulation (26%), appliance housing or casing (24%), and drive belt (11%).”
  • National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA)

    So how are we going to remove the lint/dust from this pipe?

    Tools for Cleaning the Vent Piping

    The basic tools required to clean a 4″ vent pipe: A drill, a brush tip and enough flexible extension attachments to clean the length of your pipe.

    Dryer vent cleaning
    Dryer vent cleaning in action. All parts attached with one section of flex-extensions added at a time from the outside-in.

    How About the Dryer

    Here are the brushes need to clean the lint filter opening:

    Two lint brushes to clean the lint vent opening.
    Cleaning the lint filter opening

    Many years ago I had trouble with our dryer, it just was not drying the clothes. I cleaned the pipes, the dryer itself, everything I could think of. So I called Sears. Well, after checking everything that I had done, and made sure the flame was coming on, he noticed that the lint screen was clogged with soap. He asked me if we did a lot of our laundry in cold water, yea, we do I replied. He explained to me that the soap, which was not totally dissolved in the cold water clogged the lint screen and that is why our clothes were coming out damp…FYI Guys!!!!!

    Our Clean Lint Screen

    What does a poorly installed vent pipe look like?

    How about a properly installed venting system???

    Dryer vent properly installed
    The dryer vent is a galvanized metal pipe and a metal elbow with aluminum tape to secure the pipe connections.

    Vent piping materials:

    Dryer vent materials
    Vinyl, Rigged galvanized pipe, Aluminum foil, Flexible/Corrugated galvanized pipe.

    I hope this Tip of The Month helps.

    See you all soon.

    Brian

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