Possible Clothes Dryer Problem with Some Cloister Homes

ClothesDryerUnitOur Cloister home is a “C” unit with a small laundry closet in the bathroom between the front bedroom and the kitchen. We noticed that our clothes dryer was not drying a load of clothes over one cycle. There was also an odor of varnish in the air when we used the dryer. We later discovered the problem came from the overheating blower motor inside the clothes dryer working too hard to move exhaust air through a long, dirty and lint-clogged duct.

The problems result from the layout of the dryer exhaust system using a 8 ft vertical duct pipe inside a wall with an additional 20 foot plastic flexible duct from the top of the vertical duct pipe to the exhaust hole in the roof and the narrow clearance between the back wall of the utility closet in the bathroom requiring that a flexible duct connector be twisted and coiled when the dryer is moved into the small space in the laundry closet.

Dryer Vent Connection to Roof

Dryer Vent Connection to Roof

Example of kinked hose

Example of twisted hose

Both of these combined to cause a drop in the exhaust air volume resulting in a buildup of lint inside the ducting, which, during freezing weather becomes damp because the humid dryer exhaust air condenses water inside the exposed duct hose in the freezing attic. We had the dryer exhaust vent system cleaned a few years ago but those people did not do a complete job and failed to thoroughly clean the flexible duct in the attic. This duct has been in the attic for over 25 years.

Old Plastic Hose

Example of Plastic Hose

Metalized Hose

Example of Metalized Hose

Today a technician removed the attic duct and inspected it on the ground. The plastic and wire coil ducting was so old that it was brittle and falling apart. We had it replaced with a new, fireproof, metalized duct hose. He then cleaned the rest of the duct system and our dryer is working beautifully. We didn’t realize that the dryer hook-up in our Cloister home would require so frequent cleaning.

Periodic inspection and thorough cleaning is now an important part of our regular home maintenance. From now on we plan to have our dryer exhaust duct thoroughly cleaned frequently making sure they clean all the ductwork from the dryer to the top of the roof vent cap.

The clothes dryer exhaust vents need to be regularly cleaned and condensed water can cause rapid lint clogging when the dryer is used during sub-freezing temperatures….When is the last time you had your dryer exhaust duct cleaned?

8 thoughts on “Possible Clothes Dryer Problem with Some Cloister Homes

  1. Pete, Thank You for giving words to my intuition! The next obvious step is to request you identify vendors or share your “private stock.” Shirley Green

    • Pete, I recently moved here from River Plantation, Section XI. Our dryers also vented through the roofs the way our condos were designed. Every year they had a man come through in the spring and we had the option to have ours cleaned for a cost of $25 and he would go from rooftop to rooftop cleaning the ducts. We did not have to have it done every year, but every 2-3 years we knew it was time as the dryer took longer to dry.

    • Thanks, again , Pete. Scarey but useful info. Did an electrician clean your vents or are there dryer vent specialists who also charge $85 to show up?

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