I have a single story brick house built in 1992 on a slab with the current dryer vent being a 3 inch pvc running thru the slab under a tiny room (garage accessible) that contains my 50 gallon gas hot water heater. Laundry room is internal to the house with one wall bordering the garage. Rough layout is shown below. Dryer (D), washer (W) and gas hot water heater (H).
Some general info :
- The gas hot water heater is elevated on a lumber-framed base about 1 or 1 1/2 ft above the slab.
- The hot water heater vents straight up thru the attic to the roof.
- The dryer is electric
- I have a 4in diameter flex dryer vent hose running from dryer down at an angle to the 3in pvc access point
- Washer and dryer are front-loading
- Current washer design (and the wife insisting the appliances open away from each other dictate their position (washer door cannot be reversed). This means dryer vents via 4in flexhose at an angle over behind the washer and down to the 3 inch pvc access point in the base of the wall and down into the slab.
- I realize the vent pipe diameter should be 4 inches, pipe should have minimal number of angles plus having it in the slab is not a good choice for several reasons (condensed moisture accumulation, etc...). Maybe 3in was ok back when the house was built but its not today (back-pressure due to pvc accumulating lint per the moisture in the pipe plus I'm pretty sure 3in is not code-compliant) and trying to translate from 4 to 3 is causing its own problems.
- The wall next to the dryer with the pvc slab access is about 6 feet from the exterior of the house.
- I have hardwood cabinets over the washer and dryer in the laundry room. Length from ground to bottom of the cabinets is 57 inches.
- Length from ground to top of the hot water heater is 75 inches.
Question - What is my best option for retiring the pvc/slab pipe and re-routing the dryer vent?
I want to go straight out the side of the house with a single 4in metal dryer vent pipe running underneath the hot water heater but is that ok (code-compliant, etc...)? I also thought about routing up thru the wall into the attic and over to one of the soffit vents. I'd rather not route thru the roof (or really to the soffit) because of the angles, having to vent straight up and having lint collect at the exit point or where it angles up if it is too heavy to make it out.
I didnt build the house, I would just appreciate options for fixing this mess. Thanks!
Edit - a photo of the top of the hot water heater for reference