Dryer lint: possible fire hazard?


  #1  
Old 11-25-18, 07:35 AM
I
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: usa
Posts: 52
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Dryer lint: possible fire hazard?

Hi!

When emptying the dryer lint (the lint trap is on the top of the dryer), about 75% of it fell back down into the filter opening. It was a pretty good chuck of lint, unfortunately.

The dryer ran for about a minute or so before dummy me realized what had happened.

What are my options for removing at this point? I do assume this could be a fire hazard, right?
 
  #2  
Old 11-25-18, 07:53 AM
A
Member
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: U.S.A.
Posts: 2,120
Received 72 Votes on 65 Posts
Your assumption of fire hazard is 100% on; it's one of if not the leading causes of residential fires. You need to get all of it out with a brush and vacuum, and stick it in your memory bank to do it at least once a year. What kind of duct do you have? If vinyl, replace it. Best choice is rigid metal, with all of the joints taped with foil duct tape, not screws because they will catch lint and exaggerate the problem. Still needs to be checked and cleaned regularly, but much better solution than flex.
 
  #3  
Old 11-25-18, 08:00 AM
2
Member
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: USA near Boston, MA
Posts: 1,825
Received 232 Votes on 198 Posts
Post #11 in my recent thread Dryer stops early shows what I found when I removed the front panel of my dryer.

If you want to go that far look for a parts diagram or YouTube video that shows how to get at the ducting for your dryer model. Post the make and model number and others here will have suggestions.

For now you can do as pedro suggests. Access the ducting through the filter opening and also from the back of the dryer.
 
  #4  
Old 11-25-18, 08:32 AM
I
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: usa
Posts: 52
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thanks. I just took the back off and removed the lint vent. Nothing really there. It is a 2 month old dryer so I would expect that is normal. So am I right in assuming the large amount of lint has already been sucked down the external venting towards the outside of the house?
 
  #5  
Old 11-25-18, 08:40 AM
A
Member
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: U.S.A.
Posts: 2,120
Received 72 Votes on 65 Posts
I wouldn't assume anything at this point. As long as you're on it, stay on it, and see what you have downstream. Two months is a relatively short period of time, so is it possible that there was lint in already in the duct when you connected your new dryer? How far is it, as the duct runs, from the dryer to the outside vent? How many elbows? What material is the duct?
 
  #6  
Old 11-25-18, 08:45 AM
I
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: usa
Posts: 52
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
There is 1 elbow right at the dryer itself, then a straight run of about 12 feet to the outside. And unfortunately, the exit point is right underneath a wood porch/deck that is only about 1 feet tall. Why in the world would someone do that!!!??!!

The vent is vinyl.

What do you suggest at this point?
 
  #7  
Old 11-25-18, 09:06 AM
2
Member
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: USA near Boston, MA
Posts: 1,825
Received 232 Votes on 198 Posts
Remove the elbow at the dryer and shove a shop vac hose into the straight duct as far as you can (hopefully the 12 feet). Work the hose around and back-and-forth to loosen any lint that might be in there. There might also be lint caught at the outlet vent that the vac should suck out if you get that far.

The venting in a 1 foot crawl space below a wood structure will be a real problem in the future. I once did that in a 30 inch crawl space under a deck and ended up replacing four rotted joists after about ten years. My solution to the problem was to install the dryer vent in a 12 X 12 inch plastic storm drain box in the deck with the grate at the deck surface. Now the exhaust vapors rise up and away from the wood structure. A weep hole in the bottom of the box lets water drain out but I still have to clean lint out of the box a couple times a year.
 
Attached Images   
  #8  
Old 11-25-18, 09:31 AM
M
Member
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 4,234
Received 22 Votes on 17 Posts
You could also blow out the duct using a leaf blower. Most shop vacs don't have very long hoses. Also, you can get the hose snagged on a screw.
 
  #9  
Old 11-25-18, 11:38 AM
pugsl's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 9,029
Received 76 Votes on 69 Posts
I repaired dryers for many years. Lint is a main cause of dryers fires but I have taken dryers with 2 to 3 inches of lint i n them and no fire. Most were electric but one of the worst I took apart was gas and lint in it was burnt but no fire yet. The small amount of lint you dropped I don't think will be a y problem.Be sure to clean vent each year.
 
  #10  
Old 11-26-18, 09:11 AM
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: United States
Posts: 133
Received 5 Votes on 5 Posts
This is my first post. I'm glad to find these forums!

have used the leaf blower method on my mother's condo. I think the run is about 25'-30' factoring bends and all. I just ordered a brush with about 36' of rods.
We were new to the condo. The ductwork was full of lint. I think it caused us to prematurely replace her dryer because it wasn't drying properly.
The proper thing to do is put a dryer booster/blower in the duct line and do regular cleaning.
 

Last edited by Viriliter_Agite; 11-26-18 at 09:12 AM. Reason: intro
  #11  
Old 11-26-18, 10:23 AM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 69,518
Received 2,814 Votes on 2,546 Posts
Most applications have no room for any type of duct booster. The most important thing is to know how the line is run so cleaning can be addressed properly. Many condos have the vent line going down the wall, elbowed and run under the floor to outside or the line goes up and elbowed across the ceiling.

I have a shop vac with a hose and an adapter cap that fits the end of the vent. I put the vacuum inside. I go outside, remove the cap and send the brush in. All the lint gets sucked into the vacuum.

A vent with several elbows will need to be cleaned more often.
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: