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The previous owner left a bit of a headache with the dryer venting setup.

Context:

  • This is a gas dryer

  • The living room is behind the right hand side wall, so that's a no-go as far as drilling

  • The kitchen is behind the wall behind the door

  • The current setup is a potential fire hazard with lint getting built up. Too many changing angles, over 30 ft (9 m) of duct. No good.

Things I've ruled out:

  • I don't want to have an indoor venting box
  • I'd prefer to not drill any more holes, but if I have to I will
  • If I have to hire someone, my budget is around US$300-500. If there's a DIY solution that a very novice handyman like myself can do, that would be great!

What are my options here?

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  • 11
    An indoor vent isn’t even an option with a gas dryer. When gas burns, it creates deadly carbon monoxide and that for sure has to have an exhaust path out of your house unless you want to kill its occupants. – statueuphemism Sep 14 at 0:41
  • 8
    Wow, whoever put the washer hookups there without installing a dryer vent, was just negligent. Yes, that snake is not legal for a gas dryer vent. Those must vent direct. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Sep 14 at 1:56
  • 6
    That's not a chimney flute, @Programmer66, it's a chimney piccolo! – FreeMan Sep 14 at 15:14
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    Actually, it is a vent for heat, humidity and carbon dioxide. Under normal circumstances, all the gaseous combustion product should be CO2. CO2 is dangerous enough and must be vented to the outside. Carbon monoxide, CO, gets a lot of attention because it can get to a fatal situation far faster. But CO is only produced by incomplete/"messed up" combustion. Even if we knew that there would never be CO, you would still need to vent combustion product, CO2, to the outside. – manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact Sep 14 at 19:36
  • 6
    @manassehkatz-Moving2Codidact But if the dryer combustion is "eating its own exhaust", you will get incomplete combustion leading to CO. Dryers don't have feedback O2 sensors and mix control solenoids like cars do, they rely on assumptions about oxygen content in the air to remain stochiometric... – Harper - Reinstate Monica Sep 15 at 7:57
57

Move It!

As already noted by some others, moving the dryer to the wall where the vent ends is a great idea. The location for a gas dryer needs three things:

  • Vent - Absolutely perfect. While you're at it, since it will be a short distance, splurge on some rigid metal ductwork. For a short length it doesn't cost much, and it is much less vulnerable than the flexible stuff to (a) lint buildup and (b) punctures. Punctures are an annoyance with an electric dryer - the worst that happens is some hot, moist air in the room. But with a gas dryer they can be downright dangerous if carbon monoxide leaks into the room.

  • Electricity - You may or may not be able to turn that old NEMA 10-30 into a functional 120V receptacle, but right next to it is what appears to be a standard duplex GFCI receptacle.

  • Gas - You're in luck here too. Your water heater is in the closet.

Put the $ 300 - $ 500 toward a qualified plumber/gasfitter and you're all set. It actually shouldn't cost very much - basically splitting off the connection a short distance to provide a connection outside the closet for the dryer.

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  • 32
    And add a carbon monoxide detector in that space! – Bryan Hanson Sep 14 at 18:59
  • The only annoyance is that it appears the water tap is on the other wall, meaning you'll have to split the wash and dryer on different walls, or again tap into the water heater closet and run hot and cold lines out to the new washer location. – Arluin Sep 14 at 22:45
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    New problem ... the gas line from the water heater closet won't be enough to supply everything. Plumber suggested running a new line directly from the meter OR running a line along the wall and along the ceiling. – Albert Sep 14 at 23:26
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    In any case, despite the cost, running a gas line around the room is OK, unlike running the vent around the room, because the gas line (just like incoming water line) is under pressure so it can go up/down/sideways with no problem at all. – manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact Sep 14 at 23:53
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    That type of thing works for electric, not for gas. Plus most older water heaters (some of the newest are different) have a continuous pilot, so manual relight would be needed - not a good idea. – manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact Sep 15 at 20:33
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Electric. Heat pump based. Condensing. Dryer.

Duct disposed off, vent sealed for good.

  • Depending on where you are, it may be way cheaper (heat pumps are quite efficient) in terms of gas/electricity bills. It may be somewhat more expensive if the gas is less than 1/4 price of the electricity per btu or kWh
  • It requires no ducts. It doesn't vent anything.
  • It requires no plumbing. A drainpipe is optional and pretty easy to arrange near the washing machine.
  • It is better for fabrics.
  • Fire safety is a great deal better.
  • It emits less heat (less expenses for A/C).

This is important. If you live in a rather warm place, the extra load on A/C system may in fact dominate your expenses operating the dryer. Esp. with a duct that long that radiates most of the heat in the room.

  • It sucks no air from the room (better comfort and even less A/C load).
  • No special electric arrangement needed (most of these are way less than 1kW peak)
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  • 1
    Yes someone will buy that for the same price as a used electric one. the motor graphite brushes often make the motor go slowly, big name old ones can be found to fix for 30 dollars. – aliential Sep 15 at 14:39
15

Replace the unit

I would replace the unit to a condenser type dryer. They produce water instead and require no vent. Some units put the water directly to the drain or you can use a tray you have to empty regularly.

I dont think you can get gas condenser units, so energy costs may be higher depdending on your location.

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  • 3
    Gas condenser units would still require a vent to get rid of the carbon oxides produced by burning. There's no way you could condense those. – TooTea Sep 14 at 12:07
  • @TooTea yes that is what I assumed – Esben Skov Pedersen Sep 14 at 12:40
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    Don't use gas. Energy cost for a proper fully electric condenser/heat-pump should be lower than gas or dumb electric. – R.. GitHub STOP HELPING ICE Sep 14 at 14:57
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    Get a nuclear reactor to dry your clothes, spare no expense. No need for a vent. May need some space for short lived radionuclides but you can use the old dryer for that. – Stian Yttervik Sep 15 at 16:30
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    @Harper-ReinstateMonica A condenser-dryer is electrically powered. It has a refrigeration unit to condense the water from the recycling air that dries the clothes. The heat for evaporation is mainly the waste-heat from the refrigeration unit (the heat-pump). It is a closed-cycle device with no vents at all. Powering a dryer using propane seems like madness to me - unless you live in a field. – Oscar Bravo Sep 16 at 6:27
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Going back to electric and moving to the other wall is probably the easiest. Getting power on that other wall for the dryer, if not already there, will probably be much easier for you as opposed to moving the gas line.

Straight-walled pipe, running more or less the same path as that corrugated foill stuff,, would be easier to clean and have less resistance to flow. Just glue the joints up high so that it can be disassembled when necessary to run one of those vent cleaning attachments for a cordless drill.

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  • I hear you on the straight wall pipe, that would be much better if the vent must remain a hamster run... but that would also require you convert to electric. Can't vent a gas dryer on a circuitous route like that. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Sep 14 at 1:57
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    There are some places where showing that vent set-up to a licensed gas fitter would result in the dryer being disconnected and red-taggef.. – DJohnM Sep 14 at 2:15
4

Not being next to the washer would be inconvenient, but the simplest option would be to move your drier to the wall where it vents through.

Installing new plumbing on that wall would let you move the washer too, but would be somewhat more involved of a job.

I see what looks like an old NEMA 10-30 outlet on the left wall below the light switch. That probably was the power outlet the drier used before it was moved across the room. Probably too much to hope for, but there aren't unused plumbing connections for a washer on that wall are there?

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  • thanks for the response. Yep I have no problem with the slight inconvenience, only worry is extending the gas line to the other side of the wall. How problematic do you think that might be? Otherwise, that would be a pretty easy fix.. – Albert Sep 14 at 0:38
  • @Albert The gas doesn't need to get across the door if it's already at the water heater. If the water heater is electric, then nevermind... – Harper - Reinstate Monica Sep 14 at 1:58
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    The water heater does indeed appear to be gas based on the photos given – ThreePhaseEel Sep 14 at 3:10
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    I would guess that there is already plumbing for the washer in the wall with the NEMA outlet, as they generally install the washer plumbing and dryer outlet side-by-side on the same wall. It may have been boarded up when they were moved to the other wall, but it's likely still in there (especially likely given the proximity of the water heater). – Darrel Hoffman Sep 14 at 14:50
2

I would just replace all that cheap flex hose with rigid duct. A clean, square install will dramatically reduce buildup and airflow resistance. I've had several homes with similar setups and they worked just fine.

Use short sheet metal screws and foil tape at the joints. Use as few bends as possible while keeping things tidy. Five bends should do to bring it up the dryer wall, across to the beam, and down to the opening in the wall.

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  • You could probably get by with four: angle up (1) along the wall to just barely avoid the door, then cut diagonally (2) straight across near the water heater straight to the outside wall, drop down (3) and vent (4). – Doktor J Sep 15 at 5:24
  • Yes, but that would look hideous. I'm willing to make a small concession for some semblance of feng shui. :) – isherwood Sep 15 at 12:46
  • Well I figured it'd look no worse than the current abomination (flopping, dangling, snaking flex tubing)! – Doktor J Sep 15 at 16:38

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