Tight fit dryer vent connection

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Old 12-21-16, 10:18 AM
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Tight fit dryer vent connection

My full size clothes dryer has vent opening at bottom in the middle. It is about 14 inches, center to center away horizontally from wall vent opening at same level which vents 15 feet straight outside with 4" PVC pipe. The laundry closet is shallow with only 6" space between back of dryer and wall to be able to close door. Having problems connecting dryer to wall vent. 6" behind doesn't allow two 90 degree bends. Have been using flexible aluminum foil duct but unsatisfactory. Dryer suddenly couldn't get clothes dry with 2 cycles after Orkin guy moved dryer to spray for bugs and smashed foil duct when pushing dryer back. I do not like aluminum foil flexible vent duct. Just doesn't fit and very hard to avoid ripping or squashing.

Been looking at tight fit aluminum connector ($25) but those fit 18 to 30 inches, too long for me. Some people are cutting them in the middle to shorten and then duct tape back together. I don't have reciprocating saw to cut one of these to make it shorter but these tight fight connectors would give me two 90 degree turns to get dryer connected to vent in 6 inches. However, would be almost impossible to make both connections since I only can move dryer straight out from wall and no way to reach from side of dryer. The PVC pipe is located in the bottom right corner of the closet.

Any suggestions on how to vent my dryer?
 
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Old 12-21-16, 10:33 AM
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This periscope states it is adjustable up to 18" so perhaps that will work for you. If it needs to be trimmed I would use metal snips not a recip saw.

https://www.amazon.com/Whirlpool-439.../dp/B001AAEG6S
 
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Old 12-21-16, 10:50 AM
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Yes, would work but how do I get back of dryer to connect? Not flexible. Can't reach either dryer outlet or wall vent behind dryer. I don't have 6 foot long arms to reach from top to behind dryer. Can't pull out dryer very far to connect both ends. Logistics suggestions please.
 
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Old 12-21-16, 10:58 AM
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I had one of these to get around a tight corner in an old house and they are pretty easy to trim with sheet metal shears.

One option is to remove the dryer, assuming side by side to provide more access to connections.

Another option would be to mount the periscope to the outlet pipe, then use a short piece of the expanding duct to give you a little more clearance to the wall then it will compress when installed.

These can be tough items to install!
 
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Old 12-21-16, 11:06 AM
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Putting on wall and then using a bit of flexible duct to give clearance betwwen dryer & wall for installation good idea. I might be able to do that. Just be sure the flexible part accoridans straight in and doesn't kink or twist when pushing dryer back. I checked my Whirlpool model number and it is listed for that item. I was thinking periscope meant vertical as in submarine.

Might be easier for me to install on back of dryer and then put flexible part to wall since wall opening is in lower right corner. Easier to control flexible part when pushing back dryer.
 
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Old 12-21-16, 11:34 AM
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That final connection, the dryer to the discharge line, is unfortunately one of those sometimes difficult tasks that most of us have to deal with, so at least take heart in the fact that you're not alone. On the plus side though, as long as neither side is damaged, i.e. kinked, bent, or whatever, they generally slide together easily. I've generally found that once they are close you can push the dryer back and use something as simple as a yard stick to gently work the connection on the last little bit. In your case, at least based on the picture I have in mind, I might consider going so far as taping an eye to the connection, so that I could fish it into place with a piece of stiff wire (like a straightened out coat hanger). I wouldn't screw an eye to it, because then you have something to collect lint, and I wouldn't use regular duct tape, due to possible fire hazard, but you could use the foil duct tape made for sealing joints in dryer duct. That way you could get things in, push the dryer back, and work the connection together from above.
 
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Old 12-21-16, 12:48 PM
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Putting just a couple of inches of flex on both ends might help too as it would allow the whole thing to angle a little bit so you could have the dryer pulled out a bit further while making the final connection.
 
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Old 12-21-16, 12:56 PM
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I connect with your flexible vent and cut 2 2 x 4's about 4 inches long. Put them between wall and dryer. dryer will not slide back and crush vent. Leave vent long enough to work behind it. Bricks work well also.
 
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Old 12-21-16, 01:04 PM
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Thanks for all ideas. Ordered periscoping rigid connector on Amazon. In mean time, I am going to clean out dryer vent system with linteater, shop vac and drill. Bought this house in August and so many things poorly maintained, I suspect the 15' pipe could have years of lint inside. Also replacing the vent ending outside to type with louvers instead of wire basket. Orkin guy said bugs are probably gaining entry via vent system. Large gap around pipe in closet needs to closed so will do this with special tape for dryers. The hole cut for dryer goes down through baseboard so not going to try installing new drywall or plate over it.
 
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Old 12-21-16, 01:48 PM
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Lint vent full

OMG. Look at my lint vent outside. I guess Orkin guy did me a big favor by squashing my foil dryer vent.
 
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Old 12-21-16, 02:29 PM
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That is why dryer vents should be cleaned each year. Vents like that keep repairmen in business.
 
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Old 12-21-16, 04:59 PM
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"Vents like that keep repairmen in business. "

Or, if left unchecked, the fire department, so clean it, but put it on your periodic maintenance schedule to recheck.
 
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Old 12-22-16, 11:09 AM
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All cleaned out

Used LintEater I bought at Lowes. Look at my dryer vent system now. Found big rock inside near the end of the lint. I am sure that had a lot to do with it getting so clogged up. My ShopVac was 3/4 full after I was finished. Next I am opening up dryer to vacuum out any lint INSIDE the cabinet.

It is very humid here in Mississippi so it probably keeps vent damp so lint can stick.
 
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Old 12-22-16, 11:46 AM
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While you're in there, not a bad idea to open the blower housing and clean that out as well. I usually find some change, a pen or two, a plastic frequent shopper card.... And the blower wheel gets coated with lint as well.
 
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Old 12-22-16, 09:07 PM
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Dryer AMAZING clean inside

I expected to find a lot of lint and other small stuff after opening up dryer. It was remarkably clean with minimal lint inside anywhere and no surprises in blower fan. This a 25-year-old WHIRLPOOL but has been lightly used as I have always been single and do maybe a load of laundry a week. I have always cleaned the lint screen after every load.

I did find some lint with the brush down the chute where lint screen goes in at the top. But not too bad for 25 years and I had a slight cut in the screen for the past couple years. So I bought an OEM replacement screen which arrives in a day and my periscope rigid dryer vent hookup is supposed to come Saturday. So everything seems A okay.

Have to see how hard it is to get that rigid vent piece installed (the original topic of this thread). I have this long gripper thing they gave me after total knee replacement. I now use it to get stuff off top kitchen shelves. That might make it easier to grip and guide the vent pieces together rather than a yard stick.
 

Last edited by femaleDIY; 12-22-16 at 09:35 PM.
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Old 12-23-16, 12:54 AM
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use two periscopes and dock together

I found a website that says simple to install periscope dryer vent. They said to install one periscope on dryer and second one on wall. Then just mate one periscope into the other and metal tape the joint. Makes for easy installation but....

How does this affect air flow? I found a lot of people saying these periscope fittings clog up quickly because not circular but rectangular. Also, mathematically you decrease the actual volume of air that can flow. The openings on the periscope can be rotated to be on opposite sides or on same side for easy mating in various configurations. The goal is to make the mating position as accessible as possible.

This website Information About Dryer Vents has a product that has a tight retainer so all you have to do is install periscope on wall and put an extender on back of dryer. Then all you do is push dryer back docking extender into retainer. No tape, bands or screws. Then just pull out dryer to undock for cleaning/maintenence. Does this look like it would really work and be that easy?
 
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Old 12-23-16, 02:09 AM
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Might be too late/after the fact but I switched from the crappy flexible duct to this

GE 8 ft. Semi-Rigid Dryer Duct-WX08X10075DS - The Home Depot

I have the same situation as you, no way to line up the back of the dryer and vent through the wall (just wasn't enough room for rigid ducting). This stuff is rather tough in that it doesn't crush very easily yet is flexible enough for me to make a couple of bends to allow me space behind the dryer prior to pushing it back. It makes pretty sharp 90 degree turns. Very willingly keeps its circular shape even with abuse. My dryer sits pretty much the exact diameter of it away from the wall. It stay pretty clean also. My dryer gets more lint build up on the internals vs this.
 
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Old 12-23-16, 07:33 AM
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Two close fit rotating elbows and semirigid section

Also saw some close fit 90 degree elbows. Put one on dryer outlet and the other on wall and connect them with big arc (rainbow) of semirigid tubing. Not sure if you squeeze it all into less than 5 inches. Flexible enough to pull dryer out quite a bit to install and then push back in. Also get smooth transition from elbow to elbow, maintaining circular airflow. The more I read the more things people are trying to solve venting dryer in tight closet.
 
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Old 12-23-16, 10:35 AM
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Periscope may not work for me

Looking closer at my setup and having second thoughts about trying periscope connection. The vent pipe that goes inside closet has a reducer on the end so it is only 3.5" in diameter, not 4". Don't think I can remove it (PVC cemented) and if I did, then pipe would not stick out of wall. Also, the pipe is very close to right wall and floor giving me very little space for anything that projects beyond the vent hole like the periscope. The baseboard is also interfering. I struggled to get clamp around aluminum foil flex tubing on that pipe. Can't even visualize how I could put on periscope. Also, large amount of cutaway space in drywall and base board around the vent pipe that needs to be closed up. What would be the best way to patch that?

I have added a photo so y'all can see what I am dealing with. Any suggestions welcomed.
 
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Old 12-23-16, 12:18 PM
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"Put one on dryer outlet and the other on wall and connect them with big arc (rainbow) of semirigid tubing. Flexible enough to pull dryer out quite a bit to install and then push back in. Also get smooth transition from elbow to elbow, maintaining circular airflow."

Exactly what I did, except I was satisfied with the 90 turn in the tubing.

Worked like charm and as you said I can pull the dryer in and out without issues of lining up anything. $10 and done
 
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Old 12-23-16, 12:40 PM
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Remove PVC reducer?

From what I have read, PVC is very poor choice for dryer venting. It cannot handle heat above 150 degrees and releases chlorine gas when melts. Also, lint buildup big problem from static electricity. I don't know how much of that 12' pipe is PVC but having it at wall for dryer venting is bad idea. The end of the pipe exiting the house is clearly aluminum so not sure where it becomes PVC. The DIY homeowner I bought this house from did many things totally wrong and many code violations (for example, hot water heater installed without pressure relief valve). I am constantly discovering new issues. Why anyone would put a PVC reducer to 3.5" for dryer vent hookup is beyond my comprehension.

I am beginning to think I need to replace pvc with rigid aluminum but how hard is that when pipe is in wall? It could be that the PVC reducer is actually joined to aluminum pipe so may only need to get reducer off and add aluminum extension out to closet wall to install dryer vent. But won't know until reducer is removed. Should i call pro to fix this?
 
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Old 12-23-16, 01:37 PM
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How long is that pipe and does it have any bends. A straight Pipe should not be hard to replace.
 
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Old 12-23-16, 01:44 PM
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12 foot straight pipe but inside wall between kitchen and bathroom. I think only the PVC is just the last 6 to 8 inches to dryer vent wall.
 
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Old 12-24-16, 01:32 AM
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Looking at your first picture it almost looks like the pvc functions as a sleeve for the rigid aluminum. Could this be accurate? If so maybe pull the old aluminum out and insert a new piece that is long enough. The pros will be able to tell you if that is possible (Diameter and length wise). You'll still have to open up the wall to cutoff the reducer.

To me this is definitely diyer as it's mostly exposing the problem and providing the correct fix which the pros here could assist. Doesn't look like a lot of technical know how or skills needed.
 
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Old 12-24-16, 08:45 AM
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possible the PVC is sleeve for aluminum

It is possible the PVC pipe is just a sleeve. I can't see beyond the reducer to see if aluminum is up to it. After XMAS I need to figure out how to gain access to cut off PVC reducer.

The wall it is in goes between kitchen and bathroom. Can't cut through bathroom side as the tub and shower surround is on that wall. The wall on kitchen side is behind refrigerator or possibly behind kichen cabinets between refrigerator and stove. I need to measure the depth of closet to estimate where the reducer is. There is likely a 2x4 stud along the bottom wall that could get in the way of cutting PVC reducer. I wouldn't want to get in there with electrical saw.

Once I cut off PVC reducer what do I put in its place to get rigid aluminum from there out to where dryer vent transition hose vent would attach? Use a 4x4 aluminum coupler?
 
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Old 12-24-16, 05:37 PM
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I've used something like this before.

Everbilt 4 in. x 2 ft. Aluminum Pipe-P4E20HD - The Home Depot

The crimped end should fit in the non crimped end of whatever aluminum pipe is in the wall. Again, I would see if it's was easy to pull the old one out and if so replace the entire run. It would allow you to seal the connection (both at joints and down the length) with tape to prevent leakage and possible reduce the number of connections. Lint gets every where. You'd also be able to fix any issue the previous owner might have created. If the pipe barely fits I might not do that as it could present issue with reinsertion.

You say its a 12' straight run but not sure what you mean that it goes between kitchen and bath in a wall. If its running inline with the wall I would think it would interfere with the studs so

I diagram or better pics might help.
 
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Old 12-24-16, 07:25 PM
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Floor Plan of laundry, kitchen and bathroom

I tried drawing this with SmartDraw to get dimensions at least close to what my bathroom/kitchen/laundry room looks like. The bathroom is behind the laundry closet and the back kitchen wall is shared by both bathroom and laundry closet. The red line is where the dry vent pipe runs from laundry room to outside house.

I don't know exactly where pipe is in relation to wall but I think the dryer vent pipe may be on "bathroom" side of kitchen/bathroom wall. I cannot picture having two load-bearing walls parallel to each other just to accommodate dryer vent pipe to outdoors. And clearly can't be literally inside wall because studs. So must be behind bathtub/shower surround against the wall shared by kitchen.

Hope this helps. How can I get access to pipe to cut off the PVC reducer without major tearout?
 
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Old 12-26-16, 01:36 AM
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About the only thing i could think of is opening the wall up where your first picture is and hopefully the stud bay allows you access to cut off the pvc. Since you have to repair the wall anyway make sure you open it up enough to determine that.
 
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Old 12-26-16, 07:10 AM
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Can you move the vent at all. I hope it is not jammed under tub. If the vent will slide you might be able to slide it out enough to fix. Can you remove outside cover and is it a straight shot from there or are there bends?
 
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Old 12-26-16, 08:16 AM
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Not sure what I might be missing, but, assuming a straight shot as your drawing shows, it looks relatively easy to determine if the metal duct runs full length of the PVC sleeve. If you haven't been able to see in far enough, you might try shining a light from the laundry room end and looking in from the discharge end. If too much light over your shoulder to work during the day, maybe try it after dark? Maybe slide a tape measure in so you can feel if there are any gaps in the metal? Going by your picture in post 19, it appears anyway that there is enough space to be able to tell exactly where the pipe is in relation to the framing.
 
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Old 01-01-17, 08:43 AM
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4" Metal Duct To Vent Dryer

Use rigid 4" dia. duct and secure to the back of the dryer with nylon tie-wraps. Leave 6"-8" clearance in the back and slide dryer back in place. Then connect the vertical duct to an existing flexible duct connection to the ceiling connection where it is to vent outside or up through a roof vent.

A dryer should never be placed in an enclosed closet. It has to be able to take in a large volume of ambient air. Also, a dryer duct should never be enclosed inside a wall or interior partition. For a washer / dryer utility area, the dryer connection can be the most formidable and the 3"-4" long x 4" diameter stub that manufacturers provide on the bottom is totally inadequate. This dryer- to- house venting connection problem is one the industry has not adequately accommodated customers very well in.
Note: If you're in a small apt. or have the dyer in a tight spot make sure you leave the door(s) open while the dryer is operating to allow proper air flow. Perhaps you have noticed a bathroom ceiling fan pick up speed when you open the door.
 
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Old 01-16-17, 08:54 AM
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How I will cut PVC reducer off dryer vent connection

Have researched how to cut PVC in tight space (can't use hacksaw, sawzall, because no perpendicular access). Three ways to cut PVC in place in tight spaces are:

1. PVC cable saw
2. Internal PVC wheel saw on end of drill
3. piece of nylon string (works great)

#1 and #3 require enough vertical space above the pipe to pull cable/string up and down on each side so would have to remove enough drywall above pipe.

#2 might be easiest. Just stick the wheel inside pipe and have drill rotate it cutting inside out. If the PVC pipe is lined with aluminum, then I need a wheel that cut but both aluminum and PVC.
 
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