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Need ideas on how to vent my dryer in a finished basement


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  • Need ideas on how to vent my dryer in a finished basement

    Long story short - my dryer is in the utility room of my finished basement. The room has drywall covering the walls & the ceiling.

    The dryer is vented, or rather was vented, with a (crappy) vinyl flexible line that ran from a hole in the bottom of the drywall next to the dryer up 12 feet in the air to a small metal elbow pipe which is connected to the outside vent.

    The drywall for the walls extends about 8 feet high to the ceiling of the room. It is then about another 4 feet up to get to the elbow pipe which is then connected to the outside vent in the front of the house. Actually I am not sure if the elbow piece is part of the outside vent or is connected to it. I am going to try to figure that out tomorrow.

    The problem is that the flexible line FELL DOWN. From my view this was a crap job done with ridiculously bad design in the first place then covered over with drywall so whoever bought the house (me) wouldn't know (don't get me started on how many similar things like this were done by this builder), and now I am stuck with trying to figure out how to fix this and want to do so with the least amount of pain (or expense) possible.

    I have about a 3'x4' acess panel into the drywall next to the dryer that gives access to the water shutoff valve otherwise I wouldn't even know what was going on back there. The drywall on that wall is about a foot from the front outer wall of the house (cinderblock in the basement). There are a lot of pipes back there running in various directions also seemingly complicating the picture.

    I can't see any way to fix this without having a big hole cut into the drywall, either the wall or the ceiling, then trying to squeeze through there and pull the vent line back up and somehow do a better job reattaching it (or replacing it with better piping, but still needing to tear through the drywall). Then somehow patch/fix the drywall afterwards.

    A friend of mine recommended trying to go from the OUTSIDE of the house through the existing vent, dropping a piece of rope down, tieing the rope to the dryer line/pipe at the bottom, pulling it up, and attaching it somehow while working from the OUTSIDE, and although I can see that working in theory as far as getting the dryer line back up top I don't see how the hell it could be attached to the outside vent or the existing elbow pipe up there FROM THE OUTSIDE.

    Unless - is it possible to buy some kind of outside dryer vent kit that lets you do this??? Attaching the hose up top on the outside, pushing that through the front of the house, then dropping that down???? Is that even possible??

    Obviously I have absolutely NO IDEA what I am talking about. I have no experience with anything like this whatsoever and I do not know what is possible/impossible. I'd greatly appreciate any advice. THANKS.

  • #2
    No easy solution

    The elbow is not part of the vent hood assembly but will be attached onto it.

    Sorry but I do not know of any easy way to do it. I will however suggest (VERY STRONGLY) that you get rid of any flexible ducting and use rigid metal only, especially where it is inside a wall or ceiling.

    LINK > Dryer Venting Information

    Flexible ducting is a major maintenance headache (see the image and link above) and vinyl ducting is a fire hazard and is no longer approved for dryer use at all! (It never was approved for use with a gas dryer.)

    Do the job once and do it right!


    Dan O.
    The Appliance Information Site



    • #3
      As Dan said I don't see ANY way to do it other than tearing out one stud space of drywall from the ceiling to the floor. 4 inch galvanized ducting with a galvanized elbow, screwed in three places around the ducting tube will assure a tight joint. That followed by a wrap or two of the best quality duct tape (gorilla tape) will complete the job. where the pipe comes back into the utility space use another elbow then use a flexible aluminum 4 inch duct to your dryer.


      • #4
        tear out one stud space of drywall from the ceiling to the floor.
        That might not be necessary but will depend on actual conditions. Rigid ducting is available in 2-4' lengths which could be inserted into a smaller hole and then assembled into a longer length inside. But that will depend on how accessible the rest of the routing is. Of course, the fewer joints the better.

        screwed in three places around the ducting tube
        NO screws should be used in the ducting, the seams taped only.

        Screws protruding into the duct will cause obstructions where lint can accumulate, eventually leading to a restriction. Those protuberances will also make the inevitable cleaning (which should be done several times a year) much more difficult.


        Dan O.
        The Appliance Information Site



        • #5
          Thanks for the suggestions!

          I need to try doing this without cutting through the drywall, that will be way too much work and expense. I've been to a local hardware store and have decided to try flexible aluminum tubing all the way, dropping it down from the outside. This is no worse than what was there already for 15 years, and is even a step up (getting rid of the vinyl tubing). If I can't do it this way (I am in the process of doing it now, thought I'd check in here first for other ideas) then I guess I will have no choice but to do it the really right way (tearing through the drywall, putting in rigid metal tubing etc).

          I really appreciate the advice here though.