Using a Dryer Vent Made out of PVC
Most homes use PVC, also knows as polyvinyl chloride pipes for their dryer vent because it is very durable, strong and easy to work with. This is a the choice for home plumbing and will seem also best to use for a typical dryer vent but most people do not know that this material is not really recommended for that specific use because of its ineffective quality as a dryer vent and also the dangers it can cause.
In the 1950s, when PVC pipes were first developed, people found this material to be very durable and the quality of it being resistant to bacteria has made it convenient for plumbing purposes. PVC comes in a variety of sizes measured in diameter and strengths referring to schedules. This is commonly used for commercial and residential cold water piping systems. It is not recommended for hot water because these PVC pipes can weaken causing it to warp when temperature of water reaches to 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
Risks and Dangers
The dangers of PVC pipe is that since it is very sensitive to high temperatures exhausted by the dryer, the vent’s pipe will eventually soften and possibly break. Since it is also prone to static buildup, lint will accumulate inside the pipe and could clog the exhaust causing the pipe to be less effective as a dryer vent. When the vents get clogged it is also very possible that the dryer itself can overheat and can increase the risk of fire. Lint also can burn if too much heat is accumulated and can ignite especially if you are drying something that contains oil and grease. So in essence, use of a PVC pipe as a dryer vent is a fire hazard.
Since PVC is not really safe for dryer vents, it is more recommended to use the flexible aluminum pipes for your dryer vents. Not only is less expensive it is easier to install plus worries about vent warping and dryer overheating can no longer be an issue.
Although a lot of building codes still allow PVC pipes for dryer vents, is best not to use this type of materials knowing the hazards it can cause. It is better off to use other dryer vents materials. It is still a fact that no matter what material you use that it can still cause possible fires due to clogging of vents, so always clean you vents regularly.
Always check for lint accumulation, loose screws, and other issues that may make your venting less efficient. Never use material that you are not familiar with or not sure if it is really used for dryer vents. Some people use materials not intended for this and end up jeopardizing the quality of the dryer. Not only will this be less efficient to dry clothes, but the longer it takes to dry clothes the longer the dryer has to run causing you to raise your electric bill.