Dryer Vent Pipe Burned

Reply

  #1  
Old 10-28-05, 07:37 AM
mrdoitmyselfer
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Dryer Vent Pipe Burned

How does a dryer vent pipe burn? It was burned badly in two places and has to be replaced.

I pulled out the dryer and noticed a lot of lint around the back(vent pipe was loose from the dryer). I cleaned all the lent from inside the vent pipe and around the dryer. When I reconnected the pipe, power cord and turned on the dryer, I heard a click and then saw an "arc?" on one small piece of lint that remained after the dryer was on for a few seconds.

I am concerned that the problem is more than just lint. I have disconnected the power from the wall until I find a solution. Last year the same thing happened and an electrician said the power was ok in the wall but to keep the lint out from behind there....somehow the pipe came loose again.

I have read a lot on the internet and all I can find it information leading to lint as the cause of devestating fires. That seems like a logical conclusion, but if this is happening elsewhere...then i don't think lint is the cause.

Could the appliance have a short that is causing the vent pipe to arc? What else could cause this?
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 10-28-05, 08:53 AM
Member
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 973
I can't answer your specific concern as to what is arcing, but I can offer this advise...

With the dryer unplugged and a good shop vac at hand...
Pull the dryer out where you can get in behind it, take the back off, and vacuum out all the lint you can find. Pop the top of the dryer up (you'll probably have a screw or two at the lint filter to remove) and vacuum out all the lint you can find there. Open up any other parts of the dryer you can and suck out the lint. Try to figure out where the heating coils are...you REALLY want to get lint away from them. Also, the motor that turns the drum...if you can get to it, clean it up. Basically, tear the thing down as far as you dare and clean out all the lint you can find, no matter how unimportant an area you think it is in the dryer.


I just did this last night to our dryer. A few years ago, my brother in law was helping us move. He got mad at me for insisting upon vacuuming out the dryer before I installed it...I did it anyway (though not as thoughouly as I described above). He thought that was just stupid. A year later, his dryer caught on fire. I wonder if he still thinks I was stupid for insisting on vacuuming out ours?

This is a MUCH overlooked maintenance item for a home owner...and a common place for home fires to start.


The other thing I did last night was to replace the old flexible vent hose with a flexible aluminum dryer vent pipe...MUCH more rigid, and I believe it's gonna stay in place.
 
  #3  
Old 10-28-05, 10:37 AM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: WI/MN
Posts: 18,774
Flexible pipe collects more lint than the rigid does, too.
 
  #4  
Old 10-28-05, 11:47 AM
mrdoitmyselfer
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Tips

Thanks for the tips, we will clean the inside of the dryer. I am still wondering what is causing the arc.

Could the dryer generate enough static electricity to create the arc and thus catch the lint on fire? If that is possible, that could help explain so many dryer fires. Currently I can recreate the arc by just plugging in the dryer and turning it on for a few seconds.

After reading so much on-line information about lint buildup...no one seems to indicate what is causing the fire to "ignite". The arc certainly could start the fire. I think it is an assumption, from my on-line reading, that it is from the heat of the vent....from I saw the arc. I am trying to think outside the box as I want to find a solution so this does not happen again.
 
  #5  
Old 10-28-05, 12:33 PM
dougm's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: The Colony, Texas
Posts: 917
I'm a little lost... Where did the arc occure? Between the dryer vent and something else? Was the original dryer vent plastic or metal?

There shouldn't be any arcing anywhere on a dryer and dryers should NOT generate enough static electricity to be of any hazard. There is likely an electrical fault somewhere within the unit. It's critical that this be fixed. Please do not use the dryer again until it is.

Doug M.
 
  #6  
Old 10-28-05, 12:52 PM
mrdoitmyselfer
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
arching

At the wall, there is a metal vent pipe where you connect the flexible pipe from your dryer. The metal vent pipe is in the wall and goes around 20' outsdie the back of the house.

Behind the dryer the vent pipe sticks out about 5" from the wall. We have one of the aluminium flexible hoses/pipes that you connect to it from the dryer.

The arc I saw actually happened next to the sheetrock(on a piece of lint), on the installed vent pipe(not the hose that you connect to the vent pipe). It was a very small arc about 1/4" or smaller...never-the-less it was a arc.

The arc happened when I plugged back in the dryer and turned it on. After a few seconds, I saw the arc on the pipe...no electrical wires close by....

ODD?
 
  #7  
Old 10-28-05, 01:25 PM
dougm's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: The Colony, Texas
Posts: 917
The dryer likely has an electrical leak to ground - A fault that is allowing some of the metal parts to be energized. Aside from the obvious fire risk, under the right circumstances this could be an electrocution hazard. You should either find the source of the leak (common sources are the motor or heating element) and correct it, or call for service.

Doug M.
 
  #8  
Old 10-28-05, 02:13 PM
mrdoitmyselfer
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
This sounds like the problem...

I will call an appliance repair person (expert) and post back here what they say and/or do.

I would like to say that I am amazed by this forum. I just joined today because I have several issues going on with my house and did not know where to turn. I have received replies to all three of my posts in a matter a minutes. Two of the other problems I don't have solutions to yet...this one either, but at least I have some sense of direction of where to go to find a solution to this problem.

Does anyone know of a forum where you can recommend or find someone who did a good job repairing a problem? Many problems can be sovled with a simple repair, when you understand how to doi it...but it would be nice to find a place where someone or a company could be recommeded to fix a problem if I cannot do it on my own.
 
  #9  
Old 10-28-05, 02:56 PM
dougm's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: The Colony, Texas
Posts: 917
Often churches and local home owner associations keep databases of people who belong to their organization that provide services in the area. Some also have databases of providers that other members have used which include recommendations or ratings. If you are a member of either, check with them. If not, yellow pages and online directories will produce a list of providers and you can check with your local Better Business Bureau to help establish whether they have a good or bad reputation.

Doug M.
 
  #10  
Old 10-28-05, 03:07 PM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Hamilton County, Ohio
Posts: 4,296
Check with friends, neighbors first, then the yellow pages. Check firms out with the better business bureau.
We have a source in my corner of the world which lists various trades people by feedback from users. Check around - there may be something similar in Georgia.
 
  #11  
Old 10-31-05, 08:08 AM
mrdoitmyselfer
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Problem Found: Bad Grounding

We are getting a new dryer.

An appliance repar person said the dryer needs to be replaced. He thinks there might be a recall on the unit. He said there is a grounding problem with the unit. I wonder how many more of these units are out there?

It seems that lint was not the "cause" of the fire (and I use the term fire here loosely as the alumnimum vent pipe was seriously burned) but rather was there to serve a fuel from the arc.

I still wonder how many fires are reported to be caused by lint rather than from a spark? Lint may just be the fuel and the spark(from some source) is actually the culprit.

Thanks for this great venue to share information.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes