There we were, Harvey the electrician and I were happily making progress on the kitchen renovation. Harvey was just finishing up on the last row of outlets when his hand disappeared into the wall. “Ummm, Ms. Bailey, I think there’s something wrong with this stud.” I looked over to see him pulling wood shavings out of the hole he had cut for the outlet. “What the…..?” (I repressed my urge to curse.) Within five minutes of his discovery, we had pulled down the sheetrock around the suspicious stud and were glaring at a poor excuse for two framing members and the wall’s bottom plate.
The two studs were so brittle and destroyed that I was able to poke my entire finger through them. (Let’s see you do that to a solid 2×4, Mr. Houdini!)
Not good…not good at all. I had to make the unfortunate call to Pretty Handsome Guy to tell him the bad news. But, I broke it to him lightly, “Honey, what is the one home disaster we HAVEN’T had to deal with yet?” He guessed tornado (Shoot, forgot about that one.) “No, Termites! But, the good news is that there is no live infestation.” See, it always helps to temper the bad with some good news. 😉
The next few days were fraught with nail biting, lightly walking around that wall (for fear it might topple over), and multiple phone calls to the termite company, our building inspector and a structural engineer. To make this long story short, the structural engineer was the most helpful and advised us to fur out our walls to carry the wall load over the remaining perfectly good rim joist. If that sounds Greek to you — no worries — I really want to share with you what I’ve learned about TERMITES instead! Read more
It’s time to take on a little fix in your laundry room. This single upgrade can prevent your home from a house fire. Let me show you how installing semi-rigid dryer duct can prevent a fire hazard!
Installing Semi-Rigid Dryer Hose to Prevent Fire Hazard
Last year when I showed you how to clean out your dryer hose to prevent dryer fires, I didn’t realize that I still had a fire hazard living in our laundry room. Since then, I stumbled across a video that scared the bejeezus out of me. Matt from Great Lakes Home Performance created this video showing what happens to foil dryer hoses.
I knew that white plastic dryer hoses were bad and had previously replaced ours with the flexible foil hose. But, I felt duped when Matt showed what happens to those “foil” hoses. First, what I didn’t realize is that those shiny metal hoses aren’t foil! They are made of flammable plastic. Go ahead, run to your dryer right now and see what type of duct work you have — I’ll wait. If it is white or shiny foil, I’ll show you how to replace it with semi-rigid duct to keep you and your home safe from a dryer fire. This is an easy tutorial, you can definitely do this (if your exterior dryer vent is on the 2nd floor, you can keep the same vent and just replace the hose.)
(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)
- Semi-Rigid Transition Dryer Duct Kit
- 2 Adjustable Duct Elbows
- Tin Snips
- Drill or flat head screwdriver
- 4 Hose clamps (2 included with the kit above)
How to Replace the Dryer Vent Cover:
First, take a look at your dryer vent outside your house. Is it loaded with lint? If so, follow my tutorial for cleaning your own dryer vent.
Does the vent stick open or have gaps in it?
Were you nodding your head, yes? Well, if you like to keep your home rodent and bug-free, I highly recommend replacing the exterior vent at this time.
Detach the dryer duct (hose) from the wall inside your home first. Use the screwdriver to loosen the hose clamp.
Or if you have the tension style clamp, pinch the clamp wings together to release the hose.
Head back outside. Unscrew the mounting screws from around the dryer vent and lift the dryer vent off.
Slide the new vent into the hole and attach it to the house with the screws provided.
For additional draft and bug protection, caulk around the edge of the vent cover where it meets the house.
When the dryer is on and air is forced through the duct, the louvers will open.
When the dryer is off the louvers will close and prevent unwanted house guests (spider, mice, etc.) from taking up residence into your dryer.
Ahhhh, much better, right?!
Periodically check the vent to make sure the louvers close and there is no lint build-up.
How to Replace the Dryer Duct Hose:
Pull your dryer out from the wall. Now is a good time to vacuum behind it to clean up any lint that has accumulated back there.
Hold the adjustable elbow next to the vent duct where it enters your laundry room. If it is too long, trim it with the tin snips to the depth of the elbow.
1) Feed the collar over the vent duct to cover the hole in the wall (and seal out any drafts.) Attach the collar with screws. 2) Feed one hose clamp over the vent duct.
3) Slide one elbow over the vent duct. 4) Tighten the hose clamp with the screwdriver until the elbow is secured to the duct. Tug lightly to make sure it won’t inadvertently slip off.
If you are having trouble slipping the elbow into the duct, you can use pliers to cut the tabs on the crimped end to allow you to collapse the collar a little more.
Remove the semi-rigid duct from the packaging. Extend the hose only long enough to reach your dryer. If your distance is short (and the duct too long), you might need to trim excess duct with the tin snips.
How to Connect the New Dryer Duct:
1) Slide the hose clamp over the end of the elbow. 2) Slip the semi-rigid duct over the elbow.
3) Slide the hose clamp over the semi-rigid duct and elbow. 4) Tighten the hose clamp until the duct is secured to the elbow. Gently tug the semi-rigid duct to make sure your connection is tight.
Shimmy behind your dryer (this reminds me of the time I was pregnant and had hired a handyman to re-route our dryer hose to a closer location. Handsome Guy and the Handyman were both struggling with the short duct and couldn’t attach it. I really wanted to push them both aside and do it myself. Unfortunately, at that point in my pregnancy, my belly’s depth was equal to my width and there was no shimmying behind any dryer for me.)
1.) Slide the hose clamp over the dryer exhaust. 2) Attach the elbow to the dryer.
3) Tighten the hose clamp onto the dryer. 4) You’ve got this right? Tighten the hose clamp onto the semi-rigid duct and elbow.
BAM! You’re done! When you push your dryer back, make sure you aren’t crushing the ductwork. Are you happy you learned how to install a semi-rigid dryer duct to prevent a fire hazard? Don’t forget to clean out your dryer and the ductwork at least twice a year.
Take care and stay safe! I care about you all a lot.
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