One more reason why dryer vent maintenance is very important: I received a phone call this morning to inspect a dryer vent at an apartment complex that had caught on fire last night. The dryer vent was installed correctly but it had never been cleaned before.
The dryer then overheated because it had to work extra hard to dry the laundry. A small piece of lint inside the dryer vent line ignited and traveled upwards; which caused the lint filled vent line to ignite.
Fortunately the fire department was able to extinguish the fire before further damage to the building could be done. This fire could have been a horrible disaster if the fire had caught the unit on fire and then traveled to the other 7 units in the building. This could have all been avoided simply by getting the dryer vent exhaust line cleaned.
Dryer Vent Wizard of Middle Tennessee
Improperly Installed Dryer Vent
Improperly installed dryer vent lines are a significant fire hazard. Fire statistics and research list clothes dryers as a leading cause of home fires. Clothes dryer fires account for around 15,600 fires, 15 deaths, and 400 injuries annually. Failure to have you dryer vent professionally inspect and cleaned is the leading factor contributing to clothes dryer fires in residential buildings.
As you can see in the picture above the dryer vent line is improperly installed. The dryer vent line installed in the picture is made of a foil material which should never be installed. The issues associated with the foil material are: the inside diameter is only 3 inches and a dryer vent line is required to be 4 inches in diameter, the ridges collect lint and water, foil is un-cleanable, and it’s a know fire hazard. When removing the foil material I drained about two gallons of water out of the line where you see the foil sagging. You can see the darker area of plastic on the ground, which is where water had been leaking out of the foil dryer vent line into the crawl space.
The above dryer vent line was causing the dryer to run multiple cycles to dryer a load of laundry, the timer no longer worked correctly due to the dryer vent line being improperly installed. The dryer was wasting the home owner’s time, costing them more money due to the increase in their electric bill, caused from the dryer running longer to dryer their launder. After the foil material was removed and the new 4 inch ridged metal vent line was installed, (pictured below) the dryer timer started to work correctly. Also, the moisture that was leaking into the crawl space had been stopped, and the clothes now dry in one cycle.
Properly Installed Dryer Vent