Dryer vent flooding

Old 05-04-05, 07:26 PM
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Dryer vent flooding

We have a dryer vent that passes through the interior of the house to the outside near the air conditioner unit (it goes down into the ground, forming a kind of elongated "U" to come UP on the outside -- it is not connected to the house wall at all, but is freestanding). Recently we noticed the clothes not drying, and so tried to check the vent pipe. We found it full of water! I tried using a siphon hose to drain the water, and got about a tablespoon of water out. Evidentally, the water level is too low to allow the hose to rest submerged to pump out the water.

My wife has resorted to taking a plumber's snake (auger) and tying an old towel to the end and pushing it down and then pulling it out to wring it dry. This helps, but how can we a) get the water out and b) keep it out?

Any helpful advice is MUCH appreciated.

Jim E.

Last edited by LibraryJim; 05-04-05 at 07:47 PM.
Old 05-04-05, 11:43 PM
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LibraryJim, Welcome to the DIY Forums.
I really don't understand the "u" outside that the pipe makes. A dryer vent should go straight out the wall and end with a cover that keeps the critters out. Some have flappers that keep cold air out also. There will always be moisture in a dryer vent so you cannot have any type "trap" that will retain the water. Any horizonatal runs of vent pipe must also be pitched downwards towards the exit point allowing water to drain out. Hope this helps. Reply back with any further questions. Good luck.
Old 05-05-05, 02:21 PM
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ok, to put it simply, so even dragons can understand , the dryer is located in an inside room. The vent goes down though the floor (not through the wall) out to the outside where it comes up again, sort of like this:
-|________________| |-
* \________________/

| = wall -| = intake
_____ = floor of house
\____/ = dryer vent line |- vent outside pipe, freestanding
The pipe has water in it and needs draining.

Last edited by LibraryJim; 05-05-05 at 06:31 PM.
Old 05-05-05, 04:29 PM
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By The Looks Of That You Are Going To Have That Problem Many Times Over And Over Again .... Is There Any Way You Can Run It Straight Out Without The Down And Up... Its Working Like A Sink Drain.......
Old 05-05-05, 04:33 PM
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Cant you run it up and out the roof?????? They have veent caps for that.

Old 05-05-05, 05:54 PM
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Sorry library. Dragons don't understand what never should have been done as it makes no sense. You need to run the ventline overhead to keep the moisture from pooling.
Old 05-07-05, 07:02 AM
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<sigh> Unfortunately, this seems to be the preferred and common method of installation in North Florida. Oh, well.

Thanks for the replies, gang!
Old 05-16-05, 12:09 PM
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Let me take a shot at this. On the out side where it comes
out why don't you mount a 90 degree elbow (PVC) and then mount
you a standard vent door with flapper(s) on that. Thats what I
would do.
Old 05-16-05, 10:26 PM
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dryer vent

I have seen this type of venting only once, and its the most ridiculous thing I have ever seen. Its one of those things that will ALWAYS give you problems. My advice is to route a new vent opening for the dryer, preferably to the outside and NOT into the ground. Not only is it much easier to maintain, but I think you will find your dryer works more efficiently.
Old 06-11-06, 04:53 PM
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Update to problem

I posted this to the Homeowner's Association message board, and y'all might be interested in the replies I received there, especially the first one:

We found the same problem soon after moving in. We contacted the plumbers and they explained that the design was flawed but (the developer) insisted they install the dryer pipes and vent in the fashion you illustrated. We purchased a pump and after a good rain we would pump the water out. We contacted the plumber again and they came out and drilled holes in the pipe and layed rock underneath so the pipe could drain. However, still, after a good soaking rain I know I will have to wait for the pipe to drain (sometimes hours or longer) before I can use the dryer. The only other idea we considered was disconnecting the current pipe and run an alternate pipe along the inside wall of the garage and out.

Unfortunately, we don't really want an unsightly pipe running through our garage. We've seen this in other homes, and it may indeed solve the problem, but it creates other problems for shelving storage, parking, etc.

second response:

I had a similar problem 3 months ago--vent almost totally blocked, clothes not drying, etc. My solution was this: I disconnected my dryer hose inside the house, then went outside and removed the vent cover. I then took my electric leaf blower inside the house and forced the air down the vent. I went outside and found about 3 pounds of wet lint had blown through. I hooked everything back up and the dryer has worked great ever since.

hmmm, sounds interesting, but would that damage the pipe, with so much pressure going through?

Anyway, that's the update. We have taken to feeding an old towel up through the outside and wringing out as much water as we can to relieve the air-flow, and this works for a while until it builds up again, when we repeat the process.

Thanks for all the replies.

Jim in North Florida.

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