Frequently, particularly in older homes, it is necessary to get creative when trying to decide how to get a dryer vent to the exterior of the home. All dryer manufacturers have specifications on the maximum distance a dryer should be vented to minimize the risk of excess lint building up, which creates a fire hazard. Adhering to these specifications also maximizes the efficiency of the dryer, lowering the energy needed to operate the machine.
Occasionally, it makes the most sense to route the dryer vent through a glass block. This is something that can be accomplished with a little planning. Here we will discuss the steps needed to complete the project.
Step 1- Prepare the New Glass Block
Drilling a hold in a glass block can be tricky. Drilling a four-inch hole in a glass block can be almost impossible for the majority of people. The primary reason for this is the average do-it-yourselfer does not have a four-inch diamond core drill bit. This is what is needed to create the needed hole in the glass block.
However, many hardware stores can do this for you. If all else fails, contact a glass repair or replacement company, someone will be able to do it for you. You will need a four-inch hole cut on either side of the glass block. Once you have your block cut, you are ready to begin the installation.
Step 2 - Remove the Old Block
Carefully remove the glass block from the wall, where you want to locate the dryer vent pipe. You will need to be very careful with this part, as you do not want to damage the blocks around the one you are trying to replace. The best way to remove one block is to carefully chisel away at the mortar or epoxy that was used to secure it into place.
Sometimes, there are spacers in between blocks, so if you run into an obstruction in the removal of the mortar or epoxy, maneuver around it. Once you have removed enough, the block will get increasingly loose, and you should be able to carefully maneuver it out of place.
If you are not able to get enough of the mortar or epoxy out to get it out, you may need to break the block into smaller pieces. Glass blocks have a vacuum created in the middle, and they tend to break violently. Make sure you have eye protection, face mask, gloves, and long sleeves on if this is the route you go. Use a hammer and chisel to break the glass, then remove the smaller pieces.
Step 3 - Replace the Block
Install the cut block in place of the broken one using the same type of mortar or epoxy. Allow the mortar or epoxy to set up at least overnight.
Step 4 - Install the Dryer Pipe
Insert the dryer pipe through the glass block once the new mortar has set up. Use silicone caulk to seal the vent pipe around both sides of the glass.