Are Indoor Dryer Vent Buckets Hazardous?
A dryer vent must effectively remove lint, heat, and moisture from your home. For this reason, outdoor venting is always preferable. However, not all homes have this option, particularly apartments and basement rental homes. These homes typically use indoor dryer venting mechanisms such as a dryer vent bucket. Indoor dryer vent buckets are not ideal because of safety reasons, and they may be fire hazards as well.
Indoor dryer vent buckets contain water in a bucket, to which the dryer vent is attached. As the dryer is operating, the lint, moisture, and heat are vented into the bucket. As the lint accumulates, it can constitute a fire hazard. If the dryer vent is blocked, the dryer operates at higher temperatures. The heat emanated to the vent bucket may be too hot. The lint, which is highly inflammable, can catch fire. The fire can quickly spread to other combustible materials and can lead to disaster.
Another risk factor is the constant presence of moisture, by way of water in the vent bucket. Over time, the moisture from the dryer and the water together can cause problems such as mold and mildew in your home. The exhaust from a gas dryer contains carbon monoxide, which is why gas dryers vented indoors present the added danger of carbon monoxide poisoning.
If you do use a dryer vent bucket, check the system after each use and only run the dryer when you are home.