I am looking to move the washer/dryer into the 1st floor walk in closet. Part of the process is putting in a dryer vent. I have seen some in wall vents for dyers and considering that as an option.

My main question is how do you vent it through the top? (see image for a reference). Is it ok to completely cut the double top plate in the section it needs to run? This is not a load bearing wall.

As an alternative, is it possible to run it straight down? In that case, would it be ok to go through the sole plate?

enter image description here

Bonus Questions - this is partially related to this

  1. Is it okay to have a dryer vent in the wall cavity? How difficult is it to clean something like I am describing? My worry is that I would have to climb into the attic, disconnect and clean it to the outside. It might be easier to clean if it went down and out, that way i could have an access panel or something to clean it in the basement.

  2. Can a dryer be vented through the roof? The other question answered this somewhat which was a 'yes'. But would having it go straight up to the roof be easier to clean? Could just go on the roof and clean it straight down or even get it from the inside?
    I ended up going below. It was a easier and straighter shot that trying to go up.

  • You won't need any access panels or attic adventures to clean the duct. Just disconnect the dryer and remove the vent cover on the outside of the house. Then you can snake a duct cleaning tool through it. Although you can vent it through the roof, I prefer venting through a wall because it's typically easier to inspect and clean the duct that way. Although, if going through the roof keeps the duct significantly shorter, it could be worth it.
    – mrog
    Commented Jun 27, 2018 at 18:13

1 Answer 1



M1502.2 Independent exhaust systems. Dryer exhaust systems shall be independent of all other systems and shall convey the moisture to the outdoors.

M1502.3 Duct termination. 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.

Answer. You can go up or down. It's not advised to cut thru both top plates. The sole plate penetration is prefered. A cleaning access panel is not needed as cleaning can be performed from termination or connection point providing its installed to code.

M1502.4.1 Material and size. Exhaust ducts shall have a smooth interior finish and be constructed of metal having a minimum thickness of 0.0157 inches (0.3950 mm) (No. 28 gage). The duct shall be 4 inches (102 mm) nominal in diameter.

M1502.4.2 Duct installation. Exhaust ducts shall be supported at intervals not to exceed 12 feet (3658 mm) and shall be secured in place. The insert end of the duct shall extend into the adjoining duct or fitting in the direction of airflow. Exhaust duct joints shall be sealed in accordance with Section M1601.4.1 and shall be mechanically fastened. Ducts shall not be joined with screws or similar fasteners that protrude more than 1/8 inch (3.2 mm) into the inside of the duct.

M1502.4.5.1 Specified length. The maximum length of the exhaust duct shall be 35 feet (10 668 mm) from the connection to the transition duct from the dryer to the outlet terminal.

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