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I have a new house (Oct 2020, am first occupant) and a new LG dryer (bought it when I moved in). The duct runs to the outside a few feet away, where there's a screen and a flap (lift the flap and there's a screen covering the termination of the duct). Lint constantly accumulates on the inside of that screen and needs to be cleaned out; we find this out when the dryer registers an airflow error and stops drying effectively. I've cleaned the duct and screen three times and had it done professionally once, all in the 8 months we've lived here.

We had an LG support tech come look at the dryer and he just insists we need to clean it, and basically didn't believe us when we said we'd done that only a month before. He also suggested it was a problem with the duct, but I don't get that either: the duct's job is transport air to the outside; it's doing that effectively, but the screen is full of lint because the lint can't pass through it. It can't be the case that things are functioning right.

My theory is that something is wrong with the dryer that's causing lint not to get caught in the lint trap and instead get pumped in large quantities through the duct, which of course accumulate at the screen. Is that right? And if so, what are the troubleshoot steps?

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    Does the dryer's lint trap trap lint? Do you check the dryer's lint trap before use? Might be a bypass for dryer's trap that is open.
    – crip659
    Jul 3 at 13:15
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    Some lint always makes it past the lint filters. The answer provided by Jeff Wheeler is correct - don't have a second lint trap (screen) on the output of the vent.
    – Ecnerwal
    Jul 3 at 17:16
  • Are you drying your clothes for too long? Or are they materials that generate a lot of lint?
    – Criggie
    Jul 4 at 0:13
  • re: lint trap: we always check the lint trap. It seems like it's not trapping as much lint as our previous dryers did, but it's hard to say for sure. Certainly it's not crammed with the stuff on each run. And, well, yeah, we create a lot of lint with tons of kids' cotton clothing. Never had this issue before. Jul 4 at 1:41
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Remove the screen from the exterior end of the dryer vent. It is a danger, violates building code in most areas, and should never have been installed.

Dryer vents are meant to blow untrapped lint outside. That's why they need to be unscreened.

From 2015 IRC M1502.3 Duct termination (emphasis added):

Exhaust ducts shall terminate on the outside of the building. Exhaust duct terminations shall be in accordance with the dryer manufacturer’s installation instructions. If the manufacturer’s instructions do not specify a termination location, the exhaust duct shall terminate not less than 3 feet (914 mm) in any direction from openings into buildings. Exhaust duct terminations shall be equipped with a backdraft damper. Screens shall not be installed at the duct termination.

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    Blow ye lint, blow!
    – Willk
    Jul 3 at 19:21
  • 1
    Oh wow. Thanks! Jul 4 at 1:39
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    Whilst this is the sensible answer, it refers to (I believe) U.S. standards. I don't know how relevant that is to OP, who could be anywhere in the world, U.K. I suspect. Once again, location could be included, and may well have an impact on answers.
    – Tim
    Jul 4 at 7:41
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    @Tim Good point. I am in the US, though, and I double checked this answer against my state's specific regulations, and they match Jul 4 at 15:24
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    @Tim: A screen over the termination of a dryer vent is a fire hazard no matter where you live.
    – Vikki
    Jul 4 at 17:10
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While the accepted answer details safety/code issues with the venting (and don't forget to have the inside of the dryer serviced as well - if you trigger a fire or make the TCOs inside activate to prevent one then your warranty is voided), it is a symptom. The root cause of your problem is not the dryer.*

(*Check that your dryer doesn't have any sharp edges or other physical damage inside and that the basket properly matches with the door seal and the back wall if applicable. It should not wobble if you grab the fins and pull.)

Lint is the remains of clothing after washing. In other words, what you get out of your dryer is what is left of your clothes after washing.

If you have excess lint in your dryer it is because your wash is causing excessive damage to your clothes. You need to start using a less destructive detergent.

Cheap detergents are not your friend. (I personally recommend and use Woolite, but YRMV.)

Other factors to consider are:

  • Hard and improperly-balanced water systems.
  • Older washers are typically more violent with their loads. Modern HE top-load washers without a big agitator are the best bang for your buck.
  • Any extra sand/dirt/contaminant that gets into the wash with your clothing.

The extra expense of a better detergent easily offsets the cost of buying new clothes on a regular basis.

Source: I was a very highly-trained appliance repair technician before my health took a dive.

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    Thank you for this! Jul 4 at 15:26
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    "The extra expense of a better detergent easily offsets the cost of buying new clothes on a regular basis", LOL, children usually tear-up the clothing or just grow out of them, much faster than any wash/dry process.
    – jwdonahue
    Jul 4 at 20:29
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    @jwdonahue You'd be surprised, then. If you are getting a thick enough mat of lint to make a blanket with every load then your children need to step up their game...
    – Dúthomhas
    Jul 4 at 20:37
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    @Dúthomhas Lint are the result of damaged fibers. The drying process merely frees them from the cloth. You're making an assumption wrt to the quantity of the lint. It doesn't take much lint to clog a fine enough screen. I am just pointing out that your cost/benefits analysis probably doesn't hold here.
    – jwdonahue
    Jul 4 at 20:46
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    @Dúthomhas, ya, they said that for a very long time, then they finally removed the abrasive agitator and suddenly our cloths started lasting longer ;). I suspect chorine and other water treatments, plus mineral deposits in the clothes and water are the greatest cause of damaged to cotton fibers in the wash, but even that is relatively mild, compared to what a child can do their clothes on the average day.
    – jwdonahue
    Jul 5 at 5:52
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While being aware of the current answers, I'd like to provide a supplementary possibility that I experienced myself.

I bought an LG dryer 6 months ago. Immediately started having all the same symptoms where no matter how "clean" we would make the dryer vents and all ... the error codes would still pop up and the dryer wouldn't dry!

It turns out that the dryer wasn't receiving enough voltage from the outlet. A bad breaker switch at our main box was causing only ~100 volts of electricity from the outlet. We replaced the breaker to the dryer's outlet and the dryer worked just fine!

Tested the outlet w/ just your average voltmeter you can find at any hardware store. And the only thought I had to test the voltage was because we had already been doing a lot of electrical fixes on my house. (It's on the older side for american houses.)

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  • Thanks. In my case, the dryer is gas powered and the LG tech checked the airflow out of it explicitly, so I was able to rule out this kind of thing early. Jul 12 at 15:58
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    Ah, well hopefully my answers may help someone else searching with a similar issue!
    – CS Eliot
    Jul 13 at 16:05
  • Did removing the screen fix the issue entirely?
    – CS Eliot
    Jul 13 at 16:05
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    Seems to have done the trick, yes! Jul 21 at 19:45

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