Dryer exhaust blocked

Old 03-03-21, 04:34 AM
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Dryer exhaust blocked

I live in south Florida in a single family home and unfortunately the designer of the house made it so that the air exhaust of our dryer goes up from the ground floor through the ceiling of the room, through the attic and then out through the roof.
And somewhere in that long pipe must be a blockage. I took the dryer apart and it works fine, there is hot air coming out at the rear. I stuck a long about 10ft, plastic tube up the exhaust pipe, but not much lint came out.
I had the dryer running and went onto the roof. The opening was not blocked, however I could not feel any hot air coming out, so I assume there is a blockage somewhere in the middle. The clothes won't get dry.

How could I get access to the whole pipe or how could I figure out if and where the blockage is?
The roof opening is very curved and tight, so I am thinking to maybe get a plumbing snake and stick it up from below? Or I could go into the attic and cut an opening into the pipe and see or feel from there, maybe?
Any other ideas?

Many thanks, Richard

Old 03-03-21, 05:43 AM
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"How could I get access to the whole pipe..."
You can access the pipe from either end, like you have already done. There are flexible dryer vent cleaning brushes that might be helpful.

"...how could I figure out if and where the blockage is?"
Well, you've already determined you have a blockage and you already know it's not in the lower 10' of the pipe. It would be easiest to probe down from the roof. If there is a bird or insect nest blocking the pipe you can break it up then vacuum out the mess from below.

"... Or I could go into the attic and cut an opening into the pipe..."
You don't need to cut. The piping is usually in sections. You can unscrew a joint or two and pull the piping apart in the attic if you have space in there to work. You can also remove the hood on the roof though you might destroy it in the process but they are relatively easy to replace.
Old 03-03-21, 06:30 AM
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Might be best to call a duct cleaning service if you can't access it. A clogged dryer vent is a fire hazard.
Old 03-05-21, 12:25 PM
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Hello Pilot Dane and tomf63,

thanks for your replies.

I took the dryer partly apart and cleaned out the lint, bought a plumber's snake and stuck it up the vent tube about 10 feet high and got some lint that way. My wife said, that could have been it, I am not so knowlegdable re lint problems.

Unfortunately since I had taken the dryer apart, it is now still working except not producing any hot air
That wasn't the case before.
Watched a few Youtube videos and tested the fuse and the healing element with an electrical (Ohm) meter.
Well, according to the meter, the fuse is sometimes okay and sometimes not okay.
The heating element is similar.
The heating element issue is described here, if anyone wants to read it.

Dryer heating element - broken or not

Best regards, Richard
Old 03-06-21, 05:04 AM
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I would think it would be very difficult for a 4" dryer vent to get completely clogged. If it is it will likely be at where the vent comes out on the roof. I would go there and inspect it. While you are there you can easily inspect the vent top down.
Old 03-08-21, 04:14 AM
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Thanks Tolyn,

will have a look.

Best, Richard
Old 03-08-21, 04:47 AM
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A model number might be useful.

Also what fuse are you talking about.
On most units the thermal fuse on the blower kills power to the unit.
The thermal cutoff (also a fuse) on the heater cuts power to just the heater element.
Old 03-16-21, 08:24 AM
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Hello guys,

thanks for all your input.

I made an appointment last week (in 3 days) online for a technician from a company to come out and fix it. However, the appointment was made online and in the description I wrote that I had taken the dryer apart a little bit. Then the night before the appointment I noticed a couple of voice messages on my phone where the company said that they will not come out if the dryer is not fully assembled. So I called them up the next day and the person on the other line confirmed that and one of the things she said was that the technician might electrocute himself if the dryer is not re-assembled.
Hmm.... that got me thinking. So if I, as an amateur, re-assemble the dryer, then there is less risk of electrocution than if a pro does it? Really?
So I didn't go with them. Next person I found on next-door neighbor was a single person shop. We had a good talk, he seemed knowledgeable and cooperative and didn't mind that I had partly dis-assembled the dryer. Toward the end I asked him how long he thinks it will take him to fix it and he said about 45 minutes since he was quite sure to know where the problem was. Then I asked about the price and he wanted $150 for the visit plus the parts. So around $250.
Blimey - $150 for 45 minutes. Sure he needs to drive to our place, but still. Now for almost twice that money I can buy a new dryer. So I didn't go with him either.
After talking to my wife, we decided that I would have a go again to try to fix it. I found a very good tutorial on Youtube and right now I am only waiting for a new/better meter (to test parts) to arrive at Lowes and then I will try to fix it myself.
Will keep you posted and thanks again, Richard

It seems like it is mostly a changing of some fuses somewhere.


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