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dryer duct cleaning is for the birds

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  • dryer duct cleaning is for the birds

    well it actually happened to me. after putting on damp clothes this morning i figured the dryer vent duct needed cleaning. i was out of the house for 3 days for a mini vacation. (2 year wedding anniversary)

    i brought in my 4'' blower i use to clean out dryer ducts. what i didn't expect to find was a birds nest and eggs there was 2 fresh eggs and even green grass in the vent. the vent exits the house 12' above the ground and has a sheet metal flapper door on it. not sure how the bird figured out how to get in, but it did. now i have to put metal mesh around the vent damper door.

    anyone else have similar issues?

    i guess it could have been worse. there are possums in the neighborhood the dogs get them everytime

    rick.
    phoebe it is

  • #2
    Be careful Rick I have seen a few dryer vent fires because of hardware cloth on the dryer vent termination. Besides that you will need to clean the hardware cloth on a regular basis and will lose 25% of your flow just due to the 1/4" mesh. You may want to try something like this:

    http://www.fakeowls.com/

    Mark
    "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

    I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

    Comment


    • #3
      By the way I left out that covering the end with mesh would also be a violation of the UMC.

      Mark
      "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

      I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

      Comment


      • #4
        Not tryin' to start another "mole" thread
        My old house had a dryer vent (PVC) that ran under the slab. Had toads, squirrels, etc that liked the shelter. I dumped a little Cayenne pepper into it and let the dryer blow it through the pipe. Didn't have any more critter problems.
        Just a thought
        Practicing at practical wood working

        Comment


        • #5
          bye bye birdies

          got out the extension ladder and was able to snag the bird nest. i think they were planning for a big family

          put a small peice of 1/2'' hardware cloth over the sheet metal. it's going to have to be a bird with carbide teeth to do that again

          the whole vent system is 4'' sheet metal vent with a small section of aluminum flex pipe to hook up the dryer. no plastic very little lint was in the pipe when i finally did blow it out. now the flapper opens all the way.

          i've been under many homes that the dryer vent was broken and the lint just collected under there. a word of caution. dryer lint is like gasoline
          if it catches fire, good luck trying to stop it.

          rick.
          phoebe it is

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: dryer duct cleaning is for the birds

            Hi all.
            This is a "design a better dryer vent, and have a better clean out idea" question.
            I'm a retired tinbender, and did residential appliance ventilation for years.
            You'd be terrified to hear about some of the dryer vents my colleagues and I had installed over the years.
            Of course, since one of you-- at least-- live in LA, maybe not, since it was in OC where they were all done.
            When my wife and I had our house built, I was fairly involved in just about every phase. One of the components that I wanted to make sure I never had any troubles with was my dryer vent, because of all the comments you guys have already made-- stories of fires, clean out, blockage, etc....
            After a few weeks of pondering it, I came up with what I'd believed to be a sound designed for a clean out box.
            The vent line from the dryer comes in horizontally, and is diverted up, and over a short, 2-3" divider wall, through a steeply angled (to maximize the area of exposure for easy cleaning) 1/2" hardware cloth "screen" and then down through the bottom, out to the rest of the rigid duct line off towards the standard code approved system. I even placed a locking cover on it, with weather seal to prevent blow by.
            And for those who have questions, please ask. The first answer is: Yes, the inspector approved it.
            After 7 years in the home, I was finally forced to go down to my crawl space, and spend an entire evening cleaning out the duct-- an 18 foot, 3 ell system.
            I.e.,

            S_ ___|\ End/outdoors
            | _/
            \______________/
            oh, poop. I tried using the keyboard to show a basic configuration, but each time I hit preview, it kills the design. Sorry.

            This is a computer keyboard version of my DV system. It starts at the left, and terminates on the right.
            Sadly, I had no say in the duct configuration. If I did, it would've been directed differently so that it would not have been terminated with two ells going up, in an ogee configuration.
            It's my belief now that the double ell is responsible for the backup.
            I guess it's pay back for the countless apartment DV systems I'd installed where we'd run 30 to 40' runs straight up, with 3" duct, because there was no way to go horizontal due to architectural/structural designs by So. Cal. residential engineers, and architects.
            At this point I need to come up with something to minimize my cleaning requirements. The clean out box has either failed, or the newer dryer is "leaking" more lint, or some combination of some hitherto unconceived of problems.
            Any ideas on how to deal with this would be greatly appreciated.
            I spent an entire evening last year cleaning out 18' of 4" duct. I had to disassemble the entire system to clean it out, and then use a painter's extender pole with a t-shirt wrapped around the end to force the built up lint out-- a good cubic foot's worth.
            I know, we've all done it, and grumble each and every time.
            However, since we all appear to be craftsmen/women, it's time to take advantage of the collective intelligence, and design a cleanout system that actually works to prevent all of this misery.
            I.e., necessity is the mother of invention, and my knees, backside, arms, shoulders, and neck are telling me that it's time to become inventive because they all need a break.
            Thanks.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: dryer duct cleaning is for the birds

              I loved the idea using the cayenne pepper.
              thepapabear<BR>When a bureaucrat has a hammer, everything begins to look like a nail.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: dryer duct cleaning is for the birds

                are you able to fish an 1/8'' wire/ aircraft cable through the duct system. you can keep it in the system and the have a pull line when needed. just make sure you have another double length of cable so you don't pull it out beyond reach. you could attach a wire type of flue brush inside to aide in cleaning.

                personally i use a high volume blower/ vac. and use this to blow out the systems.

                give it a shot. if it works, remember who gave you the idea

                rick.
                phoebe it is

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: dryer duct cleaning is for the birds

                  Try a good electric leaf blower connected in place of the dryer. That should blast things clean. A good KaPoof and the stuff blasts all over outside. Let it run a few minutes and have someone check outside for a big blast of air. (That's after the big poof and flying lint.) If you get very little air flow, take the blower outside and blast in reverse but be ready for loads of &*&^%$ to end up in the laundry room. Connecting your shop vac to the vent pipe can help.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: dryer duct cleaning is for the birds

                    Originally posted by Woussko View Post
                    Try a good electric leaf blower connected in place of the dryer. That should blast things clean. A good KaPoof and the stuff blasts all over outside. Let it run a few minutes and have someone check outside for a big blast of air. (That's after the big poof and flying lint.) If you get very little air flow, take the blower outside and blast in reverse but be ready for loads of &*&^%$ to end up in the laundry room. Connecting your shop vac to the vent pipe can help.
                    Or you could use some of your pantyhose.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: dryer duct cleaning is for the birds

                      Originally posted by drtyhands View Post
                      Or you could use some of your pantyhose.
                      An old pillow case will filter the lint better. I made up an adaptor to connect the hose form my shop vac to the vent line. I can blow and suck from both ends. I also take an electrician's tape and push it from the outside in and then tie a rag to it and pull. Soon out comes loads of caked on lint. It's a good idea to vac out the blower too. Once done the dryer dries nice and fast.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: dryer duct cleaning is for the birds

                        This was just last week when I bought a dryer duct cleaning kit at Lowes. It cost 37 and had fiberglass rods and 2 brushes and a u cutter for gutters. I was real skeptical on the results as it showed a before and after picture. It worked so well I couldn't believe it. I used the micro to inspect the duct and it worked great. Highly recommend it.
                        Buy cheap, buy twice.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: dryer duct cleaning is for the birds

                          Well, there's one thing for sure....
                          No one can say you guys aren't funny.
                          I for one would rather blast the whole thing to kingdom come, but then I'd had to pay to replace my house. Definitely NOT in my budget this year.
                          I'll consider the long wire idea.
                          The vacuum/blower idea would result in clogging-- there's a built-in screen on my clean-out box, 1/2 hardware cloth. And there is some kind of screen on the outside end. And sadly, I haven't bought a new more powerful shop-vac since 1987. I.e., it's only a 2 hp motor. And there's no way the wife would allow me to get one of the newer ones.
                          It does however give me an idea.
                          I could make a wye-- much like you guys use for clean-outs in waste/sewage lines, and have a vacuum connector, with a cap on it. That way I can come along once in a while, open the cap, and attach a vacuum that I'd leave down there for just this kind of thing.

                          Hey, is there any UMC/UBC that prevents the use of short pieces of ABS for making specialty fittings in a dryer vent line?

                          Of course, it'd have to be strategically placed to ensure it got everything.
                          Thanks guys.... Now I know how to handle this-- until the next problem arises.
                          Best.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: dryer duct cleaning is for the birds

                            anybody use the 4" thick wall pvc pipe to duct under the house?

                            use the aluminum piping to duct away from the dryer about 2' to under the house and then the pvc the rest of the way.

                            No ridges like in the expando aluminum piping and smooth surfaces to carry the lint ALL the way out

                            any problems w/ this?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: dryer duct cleaning is for the birds

                              Originally posted by surfsalterpath View Post
                              anybody use the 4" thick wall pvc pipe to duct under the house?

                              use the aluminum piping to duct away from the dryer about 2' to under the house and then the pvc the rest of the way.

                              No ridges like in the expando aluminum piping and smooth surfaces to carry the lint ALL the way out

                              any problems w/ this?
                              plastic can catch fire. it's not a legal approved material.

                              we use solid 4'' conductor pipe. basically single wall vent pipe in 10' lengths.

                              rick.
                              phoebe it is

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