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Our dryer exhausts through a 4" opening, but the wall exhaust we will connect to is 6". The previous owners left an elbow / reducer, but it's beat up and basically falls out of the 6" PVC exhaust. Should we put it back in and use foil tape as a seal? Or what would be the best way to connect it?

It's a very short distance between the dryer and wall exhaust, maybe one foot. Hopefully that helps.

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  • as you can see, they had some water build up on the ground because things weren't connected properly – dev_feed Jul 13 '17 at 18:05
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    A couple comments that do not answer your question but I need to say. If you can replace everything with metal then do it! PVC does not like high heat, and water can build up in the pipe, and the foil bendy things can trap lint and get very hot. Both are not allowed anymore in some locations any more. – treeNinja Jul 13 '17 at 19:11
  • @treeNinja thanks, yea i'd love to replace it with metal but it's not in the budget right now. would the semi rigid metal be a good replacement for the loose foil exhaust? i'm just not sure how it all should be attached at this point. – dev_feed Jul 13 '17 at 19:27
  • i stopped by the local hardware store on lunch and found a 6-4 reducer, but not sure that would be the best solution or even how to seal it off if I use it. – dev_feed Jul 13 '17 at 19:28
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    I would go with screw clamps over tape. Foil exhaust that is what I was looking for over foil bendy thing. – treeNinja Jul 13 '17 at 19:34
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+50

Is this PVC run straight? Also, since you have posted some pictures, please post some for how the "anti bird" vent cover is mounted and secured.

Here's my thoughts: While the previous occupant made this work, they were violating code, creating a situation that creates static electricity, and as you noted, water. You see water INSIDE the house where the vent was, but what about the wall outside where this PVC eventually meets the world? Water can be leaking in the interior walls and rotting away structure or making a nice home for carpenter ants. Not to mention the PVC (especially if there are any bends in it) is probably plugged or nearly plugged, and with an imperfect fit, harmful gasses can be present in the living space. This is not doom and gloom, but some thoughts for consideration towards "what to do".

On your question of cutting drywall; I would rather use a drywall saw and cut as needed to complete a proper run (with metal) then repair when the budget is right vs. ANY other option. Besides, you'll get a chance to see what other damage lurks in spaces unseen.

If the PVC run is straight, you can actually buy proper 4" run, and feed it through the existing PVC. While this can avoid cutting, clearly vacuum or clean out the run first, and still inspect BOTH ENDS for water damage.

If the PVC has an elbow in it, is this elbow accessible? You can always cut the PVC elbows out of the path and feed metal duct from both ends and join to an elbow when ready.

Lastly, since the run is 6" OD (outer diameter) or greater, you can probably cut sections out thoughtfully and the only immediate expense would be the ductwork *(this should be very cost effective) and perhaps a drywall saw *($7?).

Exercise some caution, secure breakers, use a studfinder/tap method, and only make the holes as large as you need. Repairing drywall afterwards can be an art but its not insurmountable and then at least you aren't wasting money on the wrong solution.

  • Yeah I guess the only real solution is to replace the PVC pipes. Thanks for all the tips on ways to make it work. Unfortunately there are plenty of bends, so the dry wall will have to come down. That's a great idea to run the new duct through the old PVC though. – dev_feed Jul 24 '17 at 15:52
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    If there really is 30' to the outside, AND the run has "many twists and turns" I would potentially cap it off at both ends, seal it with insulation and block it off to avoid critters from nesting in there. Then look at a more direct route. You can also invest the money in a ventless dryer, and while they are more expensive, it might be the best route for your situation – noybman Jul 25 '17 at 0:22
  • thanks, I didn't even know those existed but will definitely check it out – dev_feed Jul 25 '17 at 13:54
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You say the PVC run is only one foot long to the outside.

I would just remove it and buy a proper dryer vent with metal duct.

They are not that expensive and would be much easier (and maybe cheaper) than try to adapt to 6" PVC. Some even come with a short section of metal duct that you can attach your flex duct to.

Good luck!

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    That's not how I read what was written. "between dryer and wall exhaust" not "between inside and outside ends" - I read that as from the dryer output to the wall input (which would appear to run all the way through the adjoining bathroom, at least, per picture, unless the outer wall of the house is folded in just there.) Indeed, a comment states that it's "maybe 30 feet" long. – Ecnerwal Jul 23 '17 at 16:21
  • yeah, @Ecnerwal is correct, sorry for the wording. it's a good 30ft stretch to the outside exhaust and there are a few walls and elbows in the way.. – dev_feed Jul 24 '17 at 15:53

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