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Re: 2 yr old GE Electrictric with poorheat

I checked the vent line which runs up one floor and through the crawl attic before exiting the roof. I don't see alot of lint at the lower end but could it be clogged in only 2 years? Should I run the dryer disconnected from the vent line to see if the heat improves or is it too late? To check the element where do I take the unit apart, what do I look for. Is it an easy DIY job?

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Vent lines that run through an attic are the worst. I still don't understand why builders install them in homes like this. To answer your question, "Yes" it is possible for the vent line to be clogged in only 2 years. When the dryer is running, the vent line is a mixture of lint, hot air, and moisture from your clothes. Over a period of time with restricted air flow, the vent line interior can become moist from condensation and lint will begin to collect and stick. In a configuration such as yours, you also have gravity working against you. Typically, what happens is the lint collects, can't be pushed out, and will fall down inside the vent line in the wall. Most manufacturers recommend inspecting your ventilation at least once per YEAR. Two years is an awful long time to go without inspecting your vent lines. Not to mention this can become a fire hazard and/or a habitat for rodents (mice love dryer lint to build nests). I would recommend once in the fall and once in the spring. It doesn't take long for accumulations of lint to form and clog your exhaust.

"Yes", I would recommend trying to run your dryer with the exhaust hose removed to see if it works better. This is the easiest way to determine if you have an internal clog or external clog, or no clog at all. I would not run your dryer on a permanent basis like this, however, as it will heat up your home and add unecessary humidity as well.

As far as the element is concerned, if the dryer IS heating, I wouldn't recommend checking the element just yet. Heat usually indicates the element is actually turning on. Elements don't usually get weak, they simply burn out. If you had NO HEAT, then I would suggest checking the heating element.

Do the simple vent test that I suggested and let me know what you find. Then, we'll take it from there.

PS Rule of Thumb: The SHORTER and STRAIGHTER the dryer vent exhaust, the BETTER.

Posted on Sep 04, 2008

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