How to Connect an Adjustable Elbow to a Dryer


Conventional dryer vent pipes and fittings are 4 inches in diameter, which limits how close you can place your dryer to the wall. If you need to get it closer, you can use an adjustable elbow, sometimes called a periscope. It can save up to 4 inches of floor space. The inlet and outlet of a periscope typically face in opposite directions, and the main pipe, instead of being cylindrical, is flat. The pipe is composed of two pieces that slide relative to each other so you can adjust the periscope length.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • 2 metal pipe clamps
  • Screwdriver
  • Slide the dryer away from the wall and measure the length of the offset between the vent outlet and the wall inlet with a tape measure. The inlet can be offset in any direction -- it doesn't have to be above the dryer. Purchase a periscope long enough to span this distance.

  • Fit one end of the periscope around the dryer's exhaust vent. Wrap a metal pipe clamp around the pipe and tighten the clamp with a screwdriver. Extend the periscope to the appropriate length and adjust it so the outlet is aligned with the wall inlet.

  • Slide the dryer back against the wall after plugging it in and reconnecting the gas if necessary. As you slide the dryer, guide the periscope outlet onto the vent inlet. Once they are connected, and the dryer is in place, fit a clamp around the periscope outlet and tighten it with a screwdriver.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can buy a periscope with an inlet and outlet that face the same direction if you need to connect the dryer to an overhead vent.
  • Remove the periscope and clean it periodically. Because the body is narrow, it has more of a tendency to collect lint than 4-inch pipe.
  • Clean the vents whenever the dryer seems to be underperforming, and especially if you smell something burning when it's operating. Clogged vents are the primary cause of dryer fires.

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