I have constant lint buildup in the exhaust pipe. Why isn't the lint trap catching it?
No lint trap catches ALL the dryer lint. Some small particles of lint are always exhausted through the dryer exhaust along with warm moist air as your clothes dry. In a perfect world, this lint makes it all the way to the end of the dryer exhaust and exits your home. However, if you have any kinks, excessive bends, sags, or excessively long ducting runs, the can create choke points for lint to accumulate. This creates resistance and makes and condensation forms inside the dryer vent. With condensation, comes areas where lint can accumulate. Once the lint accumulates, it begins to collect moisture. As it collects enough moisture, it will act as a sponge and collect more lint until the dryer becomes completely clogged. Left in a clogged state, the dryer begins to overheat and dries less efficiently. You may notice longer dry times or an excessively hot dryer. Eventually the dryer heating circuits will fail. This can also become a fire hazard if the lint becomes so backed up that it begins to collect on, or near, the heating element.
If you have not checked the dryer ventilation any time recently, now may be a good time to do so. I recommend checking it about once per season to ensure it is not obstructed. Make sure you are also using the semi-rigid metal type ducting. It resists crushing, kinking, resists heat better, and resists rodent infestation.
NOTE: Mice are notorious for building nests inside dryers. Give them a warm place with bedding material and they will make it a home.
Make sure the exhaust vent is at least 12 inches off the ground. This will deter mice and others pests (like snakes or birds) from entering the dryer exhaust from the outside. If you place a cover on the vent, make sure it is of the louvered variety. Do not use screens. They will collect lint and clog easily.
An easy test to determine if you have an exhaust problem is to remove the dryer vent hose from the back of the dryer. Turn the dryer on and allow it to run. The air leaving the back of the dryer should be forceful and warm. If the air flow is weak, you need to check the dryer interior. If the air flow is normal, reattach hose and run the dryer again. This time, check the exhaust vent where it exits your home. Again, the air flow should be forceful and warm. If not, you have a clog somewhere in the ventilation ducting which will require cleaning.
NOTE: If you are using plactic ducting, get rid of it. It collapses easy, rips and mice will chew right through it.
In addtion, many home owners unknowingly will push the dryer against the wall and crush the hose behind it. This will also clog the vent and make the dryer inefficient. Leave about a 1 foot space behind the dryer for proper ventilation and ensure the vent hose does not get crushed. Semi-rigid hose will prevent this from happening.
If you have any questions, please let me know. I have seen this problem many times. Let me know what you find and if I can be of further assistance. I hope this helps you.
Nov 30, 2009 |