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I have been living in a house in Southern California for 18 months and while crawling around under the far end of the house I found that there is about 2 inch deep lint over a 200 sq ft area where my gas clothes dryer vents into this crawl space. I would like to find a way to put in a lint trap rather than change the whole layout of the garage.

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    Totally unacceptable to vent a dryer into the crawl space under the house. This vent may or may not be the combustion gasses (there may be a separate vent flue for combustion gasses), but does contain lint and water. You don't want either in the crawl space. – Jim Stewart May 25 at 2:37
  • How do the details relate to the title of the Question, please? – Robbie Goodwin May 25 at 19:30
  • @Dave could you post a photo, for fun? This is the type of horror stories home inspectors like to tell. – Bryce May 27 at 20:07
  • OP, you accepted an answer which is by consensus a BAD IDEA. Would you reconsider? What did you ended up doing? – Peter M. - stands for Monica May 29 at 16:55
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To answer OP's question;

There could be a hole in the exhaust pipe that is allowing the lint etc. to leak out before reaching the exit end of the pipe. Repairing that with a tape appropriate for the conduit may solve your problem.

If the pipe simply terminates once it's in your crawl space, and you can access the exit end of the pipe, a length of Nylon Stockings closed at 1 end and a clamp appropriate for the pipe would solve the issue, noting you will have to remove this collector periodically to remove the collected lint.

Hthado.

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    99.999% that this installation doesn't meet code, and, even if it did when it was installed, it's still unsafe. Recommending just fixing the immediate problem (with a difficult to maintain solution), instead of making it to code & less likely to kill people doesn't help much. – FreeMan May 26 at 13:23
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    Adding a stocking "lint trap" turns a potential fire hazard into a definite fire hazard. Please never do that. – Khrrck May 26 at 17:02
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    No! Please follow the advice in @GeorgeAnderson's post – Cireo May 26 at 17:45
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    This should not be the accepted answer. – Reid May 26 at 17:52
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    This is a catastrophically bad idea. – J... May 26 at 19:19
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I don't like the "OMG" abbreviation and seldom use it, but in this case OMG! It would have been bad enough to vent an electric dryer into a crawl (lint, moisture, fire danger), but to vent a gas dryer into a crawl is unconscionable. Gas dryers vent carbon monoxide. It interferes with your body's ability to transport oxygen. If that seeps into the house it could create a myriad of problems, not the least of which is killing the occupants.

Get that thing vented properly, regardless of the cost. Risking your lives on this failed setup isn't worth it. And clean out the lint, it's a fire hazard.

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    Any combustion of hydrocarbons (e.g. gas, wood, etc.) will have CO2 and H2O as the primary products. Almost all hydrocarbon combustion will produce some amount of CO, due to incomplete combustion. It's possible to design a burner which produces dramatically lower amounts of CO, even to the point where it's considered safe for humans to breath the exhaust (usually done with a Platinum catalyst), but it's substantially more expensive and almost always will be a significant selling point for the product. In other words: if it's burning, assume there's CO and/or other noxious exhaust components. – Makyen May 25 at 13:49
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    @Dave Beats dying. – Mast May 25 at 14:44
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    It is worth noting that your dryer's installation is very much not to code -- meaning you may have legal recourse. (Venting into walls/ attic/ crawlspace can get a builder into serious trouble. ) – Dúthomhas May 25 at 16:59
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    It would probably be a lot cheaper and easier, and would save money every month too, to throw away the gas dryer and buy a condenser dryer which doesn't need a vent. – R.. GitHub STOP HELPING ICE May 25 at 17:01
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    @Dave I don't know about codes in your area but why can't you vent it out the side of the house? Extremely common here in New York – MonkeyZeus May 26 at 12:21
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As George Anderson's answer says, this is extremely unsafe and must be fixed. But don't try to fix it by making expensive modifications to your home. Gas and electric dryers are inefficient anyway, and it would make a lot of sense to replace the gas dryer with a heat pump dryer (which doesn't need a vent).

Heat pump dryers operate like a dehumidifier, using the heated dry air on one side to evaporate moisture from the load, and circulating the air to the cold-side coil to re-condense the moisture and expell it as liquid water, recycling the (very high!) energy content to re-heat the dried air and pass it back through the load.

In a comment since moved to chat, @stannius posted a useful link. While many heat pump dryers are small apartment-size units with low capacity, according to this article, "both Whirlpool and LG make full-size heat pump dryers". Some following further links and search suggested the price might be $1500-1800 - considerably more than a cheap gas or electric dryer - but the cost is likely to be a lot less than having the necessary modifications made to your home professionally, including properly fixing everything torn up in the process, especially if you can sell the old unit and recover some of its value.

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  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – BMitch May 27 at 18:02
  • @BMitch: That was probably appropriate, but there's a lot of useful info in the comments that should probably be incorporated into my answer now... – R.. GitHub STOP HELPING ICE May 27 at 19:39
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    Just saying, heat pump driers also result in damp clothes, take forever, and don't last as long as the older styles. – Bryce May 27 at 20:06
  • @Bryce: Probably belongs in the chat where a huge pile of such discussion was moved to. IME normal electric dryers also take forver (~2 hours or more) to get clothes really dry (assuming you don't use a heat setting so high it damages your clothes). – R.. GitHub STOP HELPING ICE May 27 at 20:34

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