How can I properly vent my dryer in a narrow area?

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Old 03-24-15, 10:58 PM
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How can I properly vent my dryer in a narrow area?

My wife and I bought our 1st house 5 years ago and immediately ran into issues when we tried to hook up our dryer.

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The laundry room is 5'8" x 2'5" and the dryer is 2'2" deep but it butts up against the 220v outlet and plug which makes it stick out into the door frame.

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The vent hole in the wall is about 6" further to the right than the dryer exhaust vent but since I can't move the dryer any further to the right I just used the same plastic vent ducting that my brother in law had been using when he sold us the dryer (which I now know to be the incorrect ducting for dryer use).

I want to recess the outlet in a 2 gang box so I can push the dryer out of the door frame and hang my bifold doors back up. However, if I do that it will smash the ducting even more than it already is.

Here is how the ducting is currently set up
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And here's what it looks like with the dryer pulled out a bit
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This is how everything's been set up for the past 5 years and the dryer has always dried everything well, and there is always a steady stream of lint free, hot air coming out of the vent hood. But I had quite a few people on these forums warn me that I needed to fix this.

So I was wondering if anyone could give me any advice on how I might go about venting my dryer properly so I don't burn my house down. I just don't see how I could fit a piece of 4" aluminum ducting back there without running into the same issues I'm having now.

I was thinking about using one of those narrow rectangular ducts but the shortest one I can find is 24" and my dryer exhaust vent is only about 6" from the vent in the wall. Would it be possible to just cut this duct down to size or would a 6" rectangular duct somehow possibly burn my house down too?

I'm trying my best to avoid having to drill a new vent hole through my vinyl siding because I assume that would mean either having to buy a new piece of siding and somehow match the grain/paint color to 15 year old siding, or leaving the siding up and just get used to having 2 dryer vent caps sticking out of the same wall a few feet apart. Neither of those options sounds fun.

Thanks in advance for any advice you have

David
 
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Old 03-25-15, 04:33 AM
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Picture 4 shows a no no. Do not pinch vent!!! Is this a outside wall? Problem is insulation if is. What I have seen done and have done myself is to cut out drywall and make a use that 3 1/2 inches to put vent in there. Can be framed but behind dryer nobody sees it anyway. Do not use that plastic vent, flex medal is best but they have silver flex that can be used but it will crush easy. Easy for me to do but hard to explain.
 
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Old 03-25-15, 04:44 AM
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First thing that I would check, as Ray mentioned in your electrical post, is the option of side discharge, because it does look like you might have space for one. I can't say usually, as it's not my trade so I don't work on them regularly, but I have often seen dryers with knockouts on the side for this purpose. You may be able to see this by simply shining a light along the sides, toward the bottom rear. If not, I would check the owners manual or contact the manufacturer to see what it suggests as far as cutting one in. Then, some require an actual kit, but some only require changing what is there and incorporating a standard elbow. When using rigid, use foil tape, and do not use screws. As far as your vinyl siding, it is actually pretty easy to remove, so, if you got super lucky, may be able to swap it around and use what you have. Otherwise, may be able to swap the piece with the hole for a piece under the deck or something? If not that, check your local supply houses for a piece. And use one of the four sided duct boxes as an outside transition; not caulk.
 
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Old 03-25-15, 04:47 AM
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Post model # and will check for side vent option but on that model in picture I don't think it there. Look for a knock out on either side. I agree side vent would be best.
 
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Old 03-25-15, 06:26 AM
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Thanks for your replies. I found the installation instructions and owners manual on Whirlpools website-Model #LER6620PQ0. Unfortunately I don't see anything in either guide about side venting this model and off the top of my head I can't picture any place on the sides or back of the dryer that were meant to be knocked out but I'll double check when I get off work.

As far as using a vent like this
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any insight as to whether or not I could just take some tin snips and cut it down to size and then tape it up real good with metal tape? I do have about 10" in between the washer and dryer so I can scoot the dryer over a bit more so I wouldn't have to cut as much off the vent. If that's advisable it seems like the easiest route.

The dryer currently vents right through the back wall which is an exterior wall but I figured I could just dig a little hole in the insulation and shove the new ducting through it if that's the route I have to go. Then just pack some insulation around the new ducting and put up some new drywall.
 
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Old 03-25-15, 07:08 AM
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I prefer keeping everything round whenever possible, but sometimes that's not possible, so yes, shortening one of those seems reasonable. Once it's taped, you should be able to slide the dryer right into it.
 
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Old 03-25-15, 07:37 AM
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I could just take some tin snips and cut it down to size and then tape it up real good with metal tape?
Not my area but I believe those vents could go up also* not just to the side. Or run diagonally so so it comes out in the middle. Depending on what you have with the receptacle you might be able to move it above or in the middle just so it is easier to plug in.

*The pros can address if running that adapter up creates a condensate problem. I don't think it does. Just covering all bases.
 

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Old 03-25-15, 07:58 AM
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Good luck using that it is a PITA to install from behind.
Geo
 
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Old 03-25-15, 08:33 AM
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I've used a periscope and had to trim it exactly as you describe. Yes, it does reduce flow but with as short a run as you have (8" maybe?) I don't think that will be an issue. Mine was about 2-3ft and I had no problems.

When you first get it installed, you'll have to move the washer out, put the periscope on the wall duct, get it carefully aligned with the dryer, then tape the wall side so it doesn't move. Now, you are on the floor with your arm bent in 3 directions, someone else pushes the dryer back as you fit the connections together. If your dryer connection is slightly recessed into the cabinet (many are), you'll need to use a short length of the corrugated flex. Secure it to the dryer, then stretch it out, connect to the periscope, and push the dryer back compressing the flex.
 
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Old 03-25-15, 08:37 AM
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My solution: Take very accurate measurements of the dryer hole and the wall hole. Get an accyrate distance minus 1/2 or 3/4" from the wall to the right of the dryer. Make as much allowance as possible from the wall to the back of the dryer. Looking at your door frame, I don't see why you do not have at least 1.5" more forward. This tiny extra space can make a huge difference. Now, sketch your dryer vent, based on that rectangualr design you have presented. Make sure your holse sises and shapes are identical to the factory made design. Also, take the phoos you have posted here...you could make the sketches in plan as a sheet metal plan, but, not really necessecary. Now, take you problem with the photos and sketeches to a reputable heating and cooling plumbing contractor. Ask them for help in making a custom plenum for this exact situation. Quite often, in the company I worked for, the owner would take these projects on for very little cost to the home owner...as little as $50.00 They will make it basically out of scrap they have lying around and a good metal man can make it in half an hour, no sweat. Even if they charge you $100.00, it will be worth it. You will have a quality plenum, made exactly to your specification and your dryer will vent quite happily.

Advice: If the first sheet metal company turns you down, go to another. Don't let them say to you, "Sure we can make that, $500.00" All they are saying is they don't want to be bothered because they are quite busy. Offer to leave the drawing and if they find a quiet moment (they always do have these moments even in a busy shop) offer, "I'll pay $70.00 for this...call me if you want the deal." Owners know some pay for time is better than no pay for time and will take the job. Give them a week, then call and cancel it if they have you on ignore...move on to the next and so forth. I doubt you will have any trouble. Most companies take these small tasks on as a matter of good PR with the public, knowing, later if you have plumbing problems, you will call your pals who bailed you out of the little dryer issue. We had loyal customers for 20 years after helping with the smallest things.
 
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Old 03-25-15, 08:57 AM
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The vent you showed are almost impossible to install, Will have to take washer out and work from there.
 
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