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Installing Semi-Rigid Dryer Hose to Prevent Fire Hazard

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

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 dryer hose


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.

how to clean your dryer vent outside

 Does the vent stick open or have gaps in it?

lint gap vent

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.

detach dryer hose from vent

Or if you have the tension style clamp, pinch the clamp wings together to release the hose.

Installing Semi-Rigid Dryer Hose to Prevent Fire Hazard

Head back outside. Unscrew the mounting screws from around the dryer vent and lift the dryer vent off.

remove exterior vent cover

Slide the new vent into the hole and attach it to the house with the screws provided.

replace dryer vent

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.

dryer vent opens when air blows

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?!

before after dryer vent

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.

Installing Semi-Rigid Dryer Hose to Prevent Fire Hazard

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.

measure and trim dryer vent

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.

connect elbow to dryer vent

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.

crimp pipe flutes

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.

attach hose to vent

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.

attach elbow to 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.

connected semi rigid dryer Hose

Take care and stay safe! I care about you all a lot.

dryer vent safety


You might also like:

how to clean out your dryer ducts

How to Clean Out Your Dryer Ducts to Prevent Fires


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61 replies
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  1. Scott
    Scott says:

    Hi, thanks for posing this. We are remodeling the laundry room and I’m definitely considering doing this. I just have a question. Where did you get the collar in step 1 of replacing the vent? Did it come with the vent? I’m having trouble finding something like this. Thanks!

  2. Suz
    Suz says:

    Wanted to share another tip for keeping your dryer hose free from built up lint. Twice a year I disconnect the dryer from the hose and use my leaf blower to clean out all the internal duct work in my wall. We have a second floor laundry room, therefore the duct work is in the wall and comes out the roof. We put the blower (detach the extention) right on the metal opening and let it blow until nothing comes out the vent. I usually get on the roof to make sure the lint is coming out ( not recommended for ppl afraid of heights…. I am safe about this). Or watch the vent from the ground and if you see its snowing lint all over you know it’s working. I researched this online ( utube). Just wanted to share my preventive maintenance.

  3. missy
    missy says:

    Thanks for this tutorial..I am planning to make a trip today to pick up the things I need to replace ours. Do the semi-rigid ducts come in one size, what about the duct elbows? Just want to make sure before I go so I don’t have to make several trips…thank you.

  4. Scotty C.
    Scotty C. says:

    It’s a semi-rigid metal that is definitely harder to bend. It’s not super flexible like I’ve seen online. That’s what is crushed against the wall. Not sure if this link will work but here it is just to confirm: http://tinyurl.com/oks43qy

    If we’re talking about the kinds and bends rule for lint collection hazard, then I most certainly have that problem. The semi-rigid hose we have looks completely mangled. There are no straight parts to it. The dryer connection is at the very bottom of the dryer, and the wall connection is about a foot and a half above from the dryer connection. It’s not that much distance to cover, but we do experience a problem fitting that dryer into the closet. It is a flat back dryer too, which meets our closet dimensions. With the mangled hose, the door barely closes (but it does close).

    That 90 degree periscope vent looks like a really great idea. The only concern with that is it says it starts at 24″ and extends longer. Our wall-to-dryer distance is about 18″ (I can confirm that tonight after work). The dryer installation guy did recommend a “flex vent” which at the time I didn’t know what he meant, because we have the semi-rigid hose. Then I realized he’s probably talking about the foil/very flexible hose, which probably wouldn’t have the same issues we have now. What do you think? Should we toss the crushed hose and purchase a more flexible hose? We are renting this apartment so any changes to the apartment may not be kosher, like the Dryerbox idea: http://www.dryerbox.com/ which seems fantastic, by the way.

    Thanks for responding by the way! I was taking a shot in the dark since this thread was a good year ago. Definitely appreciate your help. Thanks again.

    • Brittany Bailey
      Brittany Bailey says:

      Scotty, can you talk to the homeowner/landlord? That dryer box does seem like a good idea. If it was my house, I’d definitely want the safest solution and be willing to have it installed. I believe the flex vent is the foil kind and that is flammable. Steer clear of that. The flex vent is the same diameter as the semi-rigid, so the same crushing problem would happen and make it even more likely to cause a fire.

  5. Scotty C.
    Scotty C. says:

    Hi there! Great advice on this page about dryer hose safety. I am curious about something, my spouse and I just moved into a new apartment last weekend and had Sears come in and install a washer and dryer into our cramped small closet. They are two side-by-side Whirlpools and they look great. The problem was that the aluminum hose that they installed for the dryer seemed like it was squished up against the wall when they pushed the dryer back. The dryer wouldn’t have fit into the closet if they didn’t crush the hose like they did. It looks pretty scary for someone with no dryer experience, but there are no holes created in the hose, it only looks crushed and I’m worried that it may be dangerous down the road. What do you think? How important is it that the hose was crushed? Hope you can help.


  6. Ron Frac
    Ron Frac says:

    Cleaned my dryer vent yesterday, Improved drying time to 40 minutes from 3 hours. Do this annually. I shortened the silver (plastic) vet hose and just tested it, It burns, Another job this week.
    My vent is through the roof with about 20′ of rigid metal pipe. There is a screen with a flap door on the vent and the screen gets clogged. vent flap works fine. Can I cut out the screen to prevent clogging?n Vent flap should keep birds etc. out. Also, there is a Deflecto solid metal adjustable tube that looks interesting. it allows getting dryer closed to the wall than elbows. Has anyone used it. It extend to 31″ and is oval. Thanks for the hints.

    • Anne
      Anne says:

      I bought one of those adjustable tubes but was disappointed to find out that it has lots of seams that aren’t riveted well, so there are many gaps for air leaks and for lint to get stuck in. I ended up taking it to the dump/recycling center.

  7. Amanda Michelle
    Amanda Michelle says:

    Great post! I searched for this on Google since we had the old plastic/foil kind and your awesome post came up. Great explanation of how to change it too. I went to Home Depot with your post bookmarked on my phone as I went shopping for the new vent hose. 🙂 Thanks!!

  8. JennyAnna
    JennyAnna says:

    I knew our dryer hose had been dented for a while, but never realized how easy it was to replace! Thank you for such helpful tutorials! My 5-year-old (future mechanical engineer) son and I worked together to replace our hose and we feel much safer! Thanks!

  9. Tina
    Tina says:

    After changing a broken belt on my dryer, I decided to change the vent hose from the foil type due it being worn out and also because I’ve read that they are a fire hazard. My issue is that my laundry room is in the basement and the vent hose needs to extend obviously from the dryer up to the ceiling where the vent pipe is, which means I need to extend the semi-rigid hose to nearly the full 8′ length. After trying to extend the hose to its full length, it actually ripped in the middle, so I can no longer use it (guess I don’t know my own strength!). What is the best way to extend it fully without destroying it? I bought another one and don’t want to ruin it as well. If need be, is there a way to splice the two together, securing with metal tape in order to make it long enough? Thanks for your advice.


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] is a fire hazard because it’s made of flammable plastic. Take a look at this blog post from Pretty Handy Girl which will explain why you want to replace a flexible hose with a semi-rigid one. I am not a DIYer […]

  2. […] Remove the flexible duct and replace it with the new semi-rigid. For more detailed directions you can follow my tutorial for installing semi-rigid dryer hose. […]

  3. […] quickly if they become clogged and get too hot. I saw this video from Pretty Handy Girl’s tutorial on swapping the ducts out and it convinced me to change mine. The good news is that the aluminum […]

  4. […] fixing the layout of my laundry room (a post you’ll see later this week!) and after reading Pretty Handy Girl’s article on dryer vents I went on a mission to change our vent pipe to one that was non-combustible. […]

  5. […] quickly if they become clogged and get too hot. I saw this video from Pretty Handy Girl’s tutorial on swapping the ducts out and it convinced me to change mine. The good news is that the aluminum […]

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