advice on cleaning my Dryer Venting

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Old 02-22-09, 08:43 AM
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advice on cleaning my Dryer Venting

Hi Forum,

Can you offer me any advice on cleaning my Electric Dryer vent? The dryer is in a small laundry nook/closet/room on the top floor of my home; the venting system is in 2 parts – the first from the dryer to the ceiling of the laundry nook/closet/room – the second from the ceiling through the house attic to the where the vent terminates through the roof.

I am able to clean the fist part, but am not sure how to clean the second part (which I estimate is some 15 to 25 ish feet in length.

Can I rent or buy some type of cleaning snake kit? Can I build my own with a plumber’s drain snake or an electrician’s fishing wire? What else do I need to know about taking on this job myself?

If I am better off hiring a professional for this service, how much do you think I should expect to pay and what criteria do you suggest I use to select who gets my business?

Thanks in advance for any help and assistance with this matter.

Regards,
Andy
 
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Old 02-22-09, 10:26 AM
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There are some brushes that you can buy either on line or sometimes at big box builder stores. They have extentions that lets you push brush all the way through. If vent is white plastic don't try to clean it replace it.
 
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Old 02-23-09, 04:27 AM
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remove dryer and with a strong leaf blower duct tape it to the vent system
 
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Old 02-25-09, 09:41 AM
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You can crunch into Google "The lint Eater" This is a 4 inch brush designed for cleaning ducting with 15 foot extension and you can buy more extensions. Unfortunately, sticking a leaf blower in to blow lint out will not work well, the lint sticks to the sides of the ducting. I usually just hook up the dryer to the ducting and run the brush through, the dryer will blow out the lint as the brush removes it from the sides of the ducting.
If your attic has the white plastic ducting, this brush will not work and probably punch holes in it, just replace with solid alluminum.
 
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Old 08-02-09, 10:08 AM
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Hi Forum,

Thanks for the great advise, I finally got around to cleaning my dryer vent.

I got a "The lint Eater" product suggested in this thread and found that it did a great job of cleaning the vent. I had to clean from the inside to the outside since my vent runs 13 1/2 feet from my through my attic and terminates near the peek of my steep roof. I was able to clean with a shop vac just below the vent and found that most of the removed lint went into the vac and not on the floor.

So while my vent is now clean I am not sure I have solved my real problem of it taking too long for the clothes to dry.
  • While I was able to clean the vent, I'm not sold that the vent cover (which is on the outside of my roof) was cleaned as well as I would have liked. I tried looking through binoculars at the vent cover both before and after the vent cleaning but could not see any difference.
  • I also did a test of removing the lint trap from the dryer, placing a sheet of paper over the hole where the lint trap goes, and ran the dryer on low temp to see how much air flow/suction is being produced. Unfortunately I didn't think to do this test before the vent cleaning. However I ran this test with the vent both connected and not connected to the dryer and found there is considerably more air flow/suction when the vent is not connected then when it is not. Perhaps the reduced air flow/suction is the impact of 21 1/2 feet of venting (13 1/2 in the attic + 8 feet from the dryer exhaust to the ceiling) which travels in an upward direction. Can anyone comment to this and let me know if I am on to something or worrying about nothing.
I have thought for a very short moment about re-routing the dryer vent. Unfortunately, I feel this would be a job that is beyond my abilities and too costly if contracted out.

At this point I feel my options are as follows:
  1. Hire someone to clime up on my roof and examine/clean the vent cover. But I'm not sure this is really a problem or not.
  2. Buy a new dryer. But I'm doubtful this will solve my problem.
  3. Suck it up and have the dryer vent re-routed.

OK Forum, sorry for the long build up, here are my questions:
  1. Which option (or options) should I do next (and/or in which order)?
  2. What else should I consider that I haven't?

Thanks again for your help and assistance with this matter.

Regards,
Andy
 
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Old 08-02-09, 10:32 AM
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I'd say get someone to get on the roof. My setup is not that different from yours and I have no problems. But when we first moved in I must have cleaned a large buckets worth of lint out of the ducting, and the grille on the roof was about 1/2 clogged. It doesn't take much blockage at the vent outlet to really restrict the airflow.

Make sure the person that gets up there feels the airflow at the dryer and before and after cleaning the outlet.
 
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