A big part of what I do on a daily basis is dryer vent repair and this is usually the result of someone else finding a potential problem. In the case of this dryer, a service technician had come out to the home because the dryers heating element had failed and the likely culprit was poor airflow through the dryer vent. Now there are many reasons a heating element can fail, and poor airflow is very high on that list. So the homeowner seeks out my help to figure out what the problem could be.
Airflow is everything to a dryer. Without it, your clothes will not dry, and things on the inside will begin to fail quite quickly. This home had suffered a dryer fire a few years back and this customer was not interested in living in a motel again so she gave me a call.
Upon initial inspection the ducting seemed just fine. Other than being put together with screws (a big no no) there was nothing that signaled a problem. But when I went looking for access to where the vent exits the home, well that is when things become interesting. It seems the dryer vent that went through the ceiling into the attic space and made an immediate 90 degree bend to another section of ducting, then to a flexible section that connected to the roof jack.
So to sort of break things down. The flexible ducting came lost at the roof jack, most likely because it was the wrong kind since it had a screen in place. This screen caught lint until it was completely blocked. Each time the dryer was used, the pressure hitting the blocked screen created tension on the tape (the wrong tape BTW) which then finally came loose. Then for some period of time, lint was blowing all around the attic creating a nice layer on everything.
The solution was quite simple. I removed the 90 degree bend, cut back some wood to allow for a better transition using a 45 degree bend, to a straight section of dryer vent, another 45 degree bend and then to the roof jack this time with the screen removed. It was one of those things that I often wonder why it wasn’t done this way from the beginning since it was actually easier to run the correct way then the wrong way. But then I tend to ask too many questions.