Installing a Clothes Dryer Vent. All Clothes Dryers need to be vented to allow the hot air and lint to leave the dryer. This is not a difficult installation.
Things You'll Need
- Dryer vent or dryer vent kit.
- Dryer hose
- screw driver
- power drill
- wood or masonry bit
- saws all, key hole saw or of skill saw.
- silicon chalking
- stud finder
How it Works: Look at the back of your clothes dryer. You will see a silver or white hose coming out the back of the dryer; it is usually attached with a metal hose clamp (it tightens or loosens with a flat headed screw driver) or plastic tie wrap. if you follow it to the wall you will see it fastened to the exhaust pipe of your vent. This pipe will be either aluminum or plastic PVC. The exhaust hose will also be attached to the exhaust pipe the same way. The exhaust pipe goes through the wall to the dryer vent which has a flap that allows the hot air out of the dryer to go through the wall and outside. The vent flap goes open when the dryer is running and closes when the air is no longer forced through it (dryer off).
Replacement: Buy a dryer vent that is similar to the dryer vent you are replacing. Also buy a new dryer hose and either zip ties or hose clamps to fasten the hose to the dryer and the vent.
First remove the dryer hoses from the clothes dryer. Go outside your house and look at your vent. If it is held in place with screws, remove them. Now see if the vent will pull out. If not you may need to pry it loose with a putty knife. Often and I recommend it, the vent pipe will be held in place with silicon chalking. Once removed, remove all the chalking before replacing.
Simply replace the vent, secure it in place with silicon chalking and screws if provided and you have a wooden wall facing. Silicon will hold it in place in stone or mortared walls. Go inside, place a hose clamp or zip tie over the loosely over the vent hose and slide the vent hose onto the vent pipe. Once fully in place, tighten down the hose clamp with a screw driver or tighten the zip tie. No repeat the same procedure on the vent pipe sticking out of the back of the clothes dryer.
New installation: If being place on a stud wall (wood, sheet rock and siding) locate a location on the inside wall and find a location between the studs. A stud finder can come in handy. Ensure that there is no electrical wires behind the wall where you want to put the vent.
Take the vent pipe and put it with the vent pipe against the wall and trace a circle with a pencil around the pipe. This will be where you need to cut out the sheet rock for your vent installation.
Next: Now take a half inch wood drill bit and drill a hole inside the circle. Use the half inch hole to start a key hole saw, skill saw or saws all to cut out a circle, staying carefully on the penciled circle. Remove the sheet rock and any insulation inside the wall. If the exterior wall is wood, take the same half inch wood bit and staying centered on the hole drill through the exterior siding of the exterior wall.
Now that a hole is drilled through the outside wall, use this as a guide to draw another hole. Take the vent and place the vent pipe on the exterior siding. Center the drilled hole and trace around the vent pipe like your did inside. Once again cut out the circle. When done check that your vent pipe fits from the exterior to the interior. Trim as necessary. Once it fits snugly silicon chalk around the pipe and place inside the hole. see illustration.
Finishing: Once in place, ensure that the vent is square and is placed flush with the wall. Secure with screws if provided and silicon around where it meets the wall.
Now go inside and secure the dryer hose to the vent pipe and dryer pipe as described in step 2.
Masonry or prick walls: I recommend for the beginner that you hire a professional. Improper installation can cause damage to your exterior wall face.
Tips & Warnings
- Take your time and do not force sheet rock, it can crack.
- Aluminum is generally more expensive than plastic but is longer lasting
- Silicon chalking helps eliminate drafts and your vent moving, use an exterior grade.
- Ensure your vent hose is not kinked or crushed to allow proper air flow.
- Ensure there are no electrical wires where you are going to cut your vent hole, cutting an electric line can kill you, or at least cost expensive electrical repairs. When in doubt don't drill!
- A smaller vent hole can be made bigger, cut small and widen as necessary, you want the vent pipe snug.
- Clean out or replace your vent hose to prevent a lint fire and make your vent work properly.
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