Dryer Duct Problem: Broken Elbow Inside Wall

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Old 01-11-09, 10:30 AM
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Dryer Duct Problem: Broken Elbow Inside Wall

I recently moved into an 18 year old home. The dryer duct connection for the dryer is in a utility room in the center of the house (not on an exterior wall). The duct enters the wall, takes an immediate 90 degree turn vertically via a rigid, adjustable aluminum elbow, then goes up through the wall into the attic and out the roof.

As I was getting ready to hook up the clothes dryer, I checked the condition of the duct and found that the previously-mentioned elbow just inside the wall (at the dryer/utility-room end) was broken. Two sections of the elbow had separated. When I removed the duct connection from the wall, I found lint about 4 inches deep inside the wall due to the leakage from this broken elbow. Fortunately there is no sign of mold or moisture damage, but obviously I want to fix this now to prevent any future problems.

I've obtained a new elbow exactly like this one:
Lambro Industries at Lowe's: 4" Aluminum Adjustable Elbow

The original elbow was also very similar to the one at the above link.

The end of the vertical duct to which the elbow connects is just an inch or two above the 4.5" hole in the wallboard. My problem is one of attaching the new elbow to this duct. With my hand inside the elbow, I can get the elbow in the wall, aligned with the vertical duct, but there are two problems:

1) The end of the elbow will not currently fit inside the vertical duct. The size is correct, but I think the duct tube in the wall is no longer perfectly round at the end. Is is OK to compress or crimp the end of the elbow to make it fit?

2) Even if get the end of the elbow inserted in the vertical duct, I need to make the fix strong and well-sealed. I believe this is normally done by wrapping the outside of the connection with aluminum foil tape. Of course, once the elbow is in place, I have no access (currently) to the outside of the connection.

If I get the elbow properly inserted, I will be able to reach the inner-wall of the connection between the two tubes by reaching up inside the elbow with my hand. Therefore, I was thinking I could try to tape the connection on the inner wall of the tube, instead of on the outside. Is this acceptable? Bad idea? Would this be sufficiently strong enough and properly sealed?

I know I can get access to the outside of the ducts and this connection by cutting a hole in the wallboard, but I'd really rather avoid that if there is an easier solution. Does anyone here have any clever ideas or tricks for fixing this kind of problem without the headache of cutting, patching, texturing, and painting the wallboard?

Thanks.
 
  #2  
Old 01-11-09, 11:19 AM
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Dryer Duct

I seriously doubt that installation is legal. Instead of patching the drywall, why not install an access panel?
 
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Old 01-11-09, 02:47 PM
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The access panel is a good idea. I was considering that before, but until I started looking into it just now, I didn't realize how easy of a solution that might be.
 
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Old 01-11-09, 06:31 PM
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There is a dryer connection box available that mounts recessed in the wall and has a discharge hole in the top or bottom depending on what model you buy. There are a couple of manufacturers. I believe Standex Corp. makes one. Check this link. Photos of Dryer Box, Complete library of dryer venting solutions images
 
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Old 01-11-09, 07:54 PM
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That's a cool solution... it would eliminate the elbow altogether. It would require some additional work to cut the baseboards and to modify the duct to be oval instead of round.
 
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Old 01-12-09, 06:07 PM
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Be sure you get the correct model. They are made for 2x4 or 2x6 walls and up or down terminations.
 
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Old 01-10-10, 07:05 PM
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Buy the correct application. Anything in the wall or floor has to be smooth wall inside, NOT flex, as per code. Footnote on #1: http://www.hcpdc.com/pdf/Dryer%20Ven...quirements.pdf Your Insurance company could easily cancel a claim due to improper installation and this paper trail.

Be safe, Gary
 
 

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