gas dryer hookup

Old 07-26-01, 12:53 PM
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There is currently a nonfunctioning electric dryer in my house. I am going to attempt to hookup a new dryer to a gas connection that is currently not being used. I just moved into this house so I don't know the gas connections current status. A friend suggested that I check to make sure there is gas coming into this pipe that comes out of the floor in the laundry area, which has a shut off valve and is capped.
First, how do I remove the cap as it seems stuck? Then, how do I check for gas? Then, if there is gas, is it safe for the average home owner to hook up their own gas dryer? The appliance salesperson suggested hiring a plumber to do the job, which would cost $85. Other people have said it is simple to do yourself. They suggested using plumber's tape on the threads, but I read in another forum that you do not recommend using tape but instead using oil. Also, I was told that plastic venting is not up to code, and that I should replace it with metal, or at least check it for leaks. Any suggestions and instructions are truly appreciated!
Old 07-28-01, 08:09 AM
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You can hook up a dryer yourself provided youve some basic tools.

First ,regarding the gas pipes current status. Follow the pipe downstairs and look for a shut off valve, its probably got one there somewhere. If not you may have to shut the gas off to the whole house. Not sure what a shut off looks like? Maybe a trip to your local hardware store or a handy friend can help. If the valve is shut off it will be at a 90 degree angle to the gas line. Get a small pipe wrench, remove the cap off the line where you want you dryer. Listen for gas as you remove it,replace immediately iff you do. If not take off the cap,get someone to open the shutoff as you listen for gas.I prefer a shutoff be by the appliance.When you determine the pipe size, you ought to add a shutoff right there.I used pipe thread sealer on my connections. Any reputable hardware store should be able to help you oce you determine the pipe size you have. Always use metal vent for venting the dryer.
Old 07-29-01, 08:01 AM
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Hello Persephone and Welcome to the Do It Yourself Web Site and my Gas Appliance forum.

If you have other gas appliances in the house that are currently working, the gas is on. Check your water heater and stove. If they are gas...the gas is "ON."

The shut off valve I think your referring should be installed on the pipe you see coming up thru the floor. There may be a brass cap on the tapered end of the valve. If so, this brass cap can be safely removed if the gas valve is turned off.

When removing any cap, either one on the valve or on any pipe your not positive the gas is turned off to, NEVER remove it fully. Turn it SLOWLY and LISTEN closely. If the line has gas in it, you'll hear it.

Pipe thread compound, oil or grease applied to the threads are easiest to use, work well for the do-it-yourself person. Pipe thread tape is fine, if you know how to intall it correctly and properly.

Persephone, what you heard about plastic vent pipe may be false depending on whom was the source of this myth. You didn't mention that but need not at this time.

Plastic dryer vent is fine to use as long as all of it is exposed and visable. Metal must be used behind finished walls.

Regards & Good Luck
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Old 07-29-01, 06:49 PM
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I disagree that plastic is ok, and so do some of the Manufacturers. See what Maytag says are several types of ducting materials available, listed below in order of preference:
Rigid metal (aluminum or galvanized steel) - strongly preferred
Flexible metal - acceptable
Flexible thin foil - unacceptable
Flexible plastic - unacceptable
Facts To Consider
Underwriters Laboratories Inc., an independent testing agency that helps set national safety standards, requires that dryer manufacturers "include explicit instructions specifying that only rigid or flexible metal duct should be used for exhausting, unless the appliance has been investigated for use with nonmetallic duct." Maytag and other major dryer manufacturers recommend against the use of plastic flexible duct.
Although plastic flexible duct (cheap and easy to install) might seem like just the thing for exhausting a dryer, it isn't. This type of exhaust duct, which resembles a plastic-covered slinky toy, is not recommended for several reasons.
Recommendations Prior to Venting Your Dryer
Read the manufacturer's installation instructions.
If at all possible, use 4-inch diameter rigid aluminum or rigid galvanized steel duct. Do not use smaller duct. If flexible metal duct must be used, use the type with a stiff sheet metal wall. Do not use flexible duct with a thin foil wall. Never use plastic flexible duct.
Do not exhaust the dryer into any wall, ceiling, crawl space or a concealed space of a building, gas vent or any other common duct or chimney.
Keep exhaust duct as straight and short as possible. Exhaust systems longer than the manufacturer's recommendations can extend drying times, affect appliance operation and may collect lint. These recommendations may vary somewhat for various dryer brands and should be checked when installing the dryer.
The exhaust hood on the outside of the house should have a swing out damper to prevent backdrafts and entry of wildlife. Never use an exhaust hood with a magnetic damper. The hood should have at least 12 inches of clearance between the bottom of the hood and the ground or other obstruction. The hood opening should point down. Never install a screen over the exhaust outlet.

Whirlpool says

Check your dryer''s exhaust duct. Is it clear of kinks or obstructions? The dryer is approved only for METAL exhaust duct that is 4 inches in diameter. Do not use an exhaust duct that is longer than what the installation instructions approve. (If dryer had been working well in that location, assume yes, the exhaust duct is O.K.)

GE says

Using the proper venting and making sure it is the proper length is very important to the operation of the dryer. GE recommends the use of solid metal vent pipe, 4" in diameter, for adequate operation. 4" flexible metal venting may be used, but will increase drying time somewhat. GE does not recommend the use flexible, white, plastic vent pipe. This type of vent pipe can collapse and restrict the air-flow, causing lint to build up inside the dryer. This build-up could cause the heaters to fail prematurely.

So I would say not to use plastic.


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