I was doing my annual dryer maintenance, when I noticed that the main dryer vent line has fallen off. Looking to reconnect without putting a large hole in the floor.

In detail:

We have second story laundry with a 19' rigid dryer line to the outside. There is ~60° bend where the line was attached to another flanged rigid piece (about 1') which was mounted to the floor. From there there is a short Al flexible connection to the dryer (a 12" rigid pipe out of the back of the dryer).

When I disconnected the flexible portion, I noticed that the rigid piece in the floor opened up to the sub flooring as the line to the exterior had fallen off.

I was able to pull the piece in the floor out, and expanded the hole slightly to be able to manipulate the the exterior line. I put in a brace to hold it up (which was hard) but I really can't get a hand plus the rigid pipe in the hole.

There are joists about 6" apart limiting horizontal expansion of the hole, but I could continue to expand it vertically (not that I really want to cut through the subflooring).

Are there any tools, tricks, or special connectors that would make it easier to reconnect the line?

It was originally done during the construction of the house before the 2nd story flooring was put in.


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  • 1
    Can you post some photos of the situation? Sounds like a mess to me. Jul 3, 2016 at 3:58
  • I dunno if it's possible to buy a short length of tubing which is of smaller diameter at one end. Then you could jam that into the existing run under the flooring and attach the top end where it's easy to reach. Jul 3, 2016 at 12:03
  • @ThreePhaseEel Photos added. Let me know if there's a different angle that you'd like to see
    – Atl LED
    Jul 3, 2016 at 13:09
  • @CarlWitthoft I tried to see if I could get another piece of 4 inch pipe in there on the flanged side, but couldn't get it in. Now I'm going to try a 5 to 4 inch reducer and go on the outside and see if I can't get it tight enough
    – Atl LED
    Jul 3, 2016 at 17:21

1 Answer 1


Ah, how I hate people who build things designed to last forever, or rather to need the house ripped apart when they don't.

I'd try a loop of wire (galvanized steel or aluminum, whichever the duct is, so they don't corrode each other over time) wrapped around the pipe in the hole to allow you to pull on that while shoving the stub pipe into the elbow. Look down through the stub so you can see what you are doing. Attaching that wire to the stub would then hopefully keep the elbow from falling off again. You would need to seal the joint with duct seal since there's no way you can tape in there.

Alternatively, figure out where the access panel for this job should have been put, buy an access panel, cut a hole in the ceiling (below the pipe), and put the access panel there. Or do what too many folks do, and simply cut a hole in the drywall, convince yourself this will never happen again, and patch the hole in the drywall.

If you are having trouble mating the male and female bits, bend the male bits inward a bit more than stock.

  • Can you "pre-apply" duct seal? I think even expanding the hole horizontally will only let me puddy knife one side with the pipe in. I also had difficulty getting a 4" stub pipe in, but maybe with an Al support I will be able to use more force. Unfortunately directly under this is a door way.
    – Atl LED
    Jul 3, 2016 at 17:50
  • Smear it on the male end staying 1/4-1/2" from the end of the pipe.
    – Ecnerwal
    Jul 3, 2016 at 19:37

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