I'm redoing the wall of a utility room that, among other things, has the dryer vent embedded in the wall cavity with all kinds of stupid turns to go around the plumbing. Would it be a good idea to remove the vent from the wall and have it just out in the open to facilitate cleaning? Or is it okay to have it in the wall cavity?

  • 3
    Sharp turns cause reductions in airflow and can accumulate lint faster. Longer runs are also flow reducing.. It would be helpful to know how far your wall run is and how many 90 degree turns are used.
    – HerrBag
    Feb 13, 2014 at 23:52
  • I'm more wondering if there's anything inherently wrong with having the vent inside the wall, even if, say, it was a perfectly vertical 5-foot vent. Seems like it would be more difficult to clean or notice a problem if it were in the wall. And indeed, once I tore the drywall off, I found that the vent wasn't actually sealed up inside the wall cavity and had been depositing moist air right onto a stud.
    – iLikeDirt
    Feb 14, 2014 at 5:19

1 Answer 1


One of the leading causes of house fires is dirty or plugged clothes dryer vents. Dryer vents should not be installed in ways that make them difficult to clean and inspect. Any vent in a wall cavity should be made of solid metal, with all joints sealed with metallic tape. There should not be any tight turns and they also need to be sized properly to the distance run. Flexible or corrugated plastic ducts should never be used in enclosed areas. When possible, it is safer to have vents exposed, as short as possible, made with metal duct with a minimum of bends. Ducts should be inspected for excess lint and vermin debris regularly and cleaned on regular intervals, usually every 6 months or annually depending on your usage. Also, anytime you see that your dryer is taking longer than usual to complete a drying cycle, it is a good idea to check the venting for problems.

  • That's sounding like a "no" to me.
    – iLikeDirt
    Feb 14, 2014 at 20:56
  • I don't believe it is against IRC as long it is sized properly, but I personally would not have one that could not be accessed and cleaned. Feb 14, 2014 at 21:46
  • Yeah, I'm not really asking what the code says. I'm asking what's sanest.
    – iLikeDirt
    Feb 14, 2014 at 21:55
  • the safest way is to leave it exposed. that is my advise to you. Feb 14, 2014 at 22:02
  • 3
    ALL dryer ducting should be smooth walled solid metal ducting. Not flexible, Not corrugated, and Not plastic.
    – Tester101
    Feb 17, 2014 at 12:38

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