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
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.)
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- 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.
You might also like:
How to Clean Out Your Dryer Ducts to Prevent Fires
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DIY Laundry Detergent & Miracle Stain Remover
In 2011 a fireproof flexable foil type dryer duct was put on the market.
Good to know, I haven’t found it yet but will have to be on the lookout.
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!
I’m assuming you are talking about the white square collar that fits over the vent coming into the house. If os, yes, it came with the exterior vent.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Scotty, I have two concerns. The first and most concerning is that you mention it is an aluminum hose. Is it the shiny foil type hose that is super flexible? Or is it semi-rigid metal that is harder to bend?
My second concern is that any kink or bend in the hose is another location that lint can build up and get caught. This is a fire hazard as well. I would definitely have Sears come back out and fix it. They might need to make some type of modification to the wall or install a product like this: http://www.improvementscatalog.com/imp/10013?cm_mmc=GooglePLA-_-Maintenance%2CDryerVentsandStorage-_-2014-_-110098&mr:trackingCode=60E3FEAF-AA35-DF11-9DA0-002219319097&mr:referralID=NA&mr:filter=98946355372&intlShippingCtx=US%7CUSD&code-macs=MP4XW091&mr:ad=43916408932&mr:device=c&mr:match=&SourceCode=MP4XW091&mr:adType=pla&mr:keyword=&redirect=y
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.
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.
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!!
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!
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.
Tina, absolutely. You’ll need a coupler (a small piece of rigid ductwork that you can then put a hose clamp on both pieces of the semi-rigid dryer ductwork that secure it over the coupler. The coupler is just like the metal ductwork that comes into your wall. Does that make sense? Here is the link to the part: http://www.lowes.com/pd_39734-85334-VTL0012_4294857922__?productId=3203203&Ns=p_product_price%7C0&pl=1¤tURL=%3FNs%3Dp_product_price%7C0&facetInfo=
That does make sense, and I’ll make another trip to Lowe’s to look for the coupler! Thanks so much!
I know this is a few years later, but I would replace the flexible duct with a length of rigid ductwork. You’ll have less friction because the airflow inside won’t be as turbulent (the motor will be able to move the hot air more easily), but more importantly you won’t have all of those ridges inside the ductwork where lint can get stuck and start to build up. That’s a pretty significant fire hazard.