Dryer Duct


One of the things we noted during the inspection was the lack of a dryer duct.  There was a vent hood outside, which was in pretty sorry shape, but no duct down to where the dryer would actually sit in the basement.

So, today I started with replacing the existing vent hood.  The old one looked like it had been smashed with a hammer or something.  In fact, after I pulled it out of the wall, some of it snapped off in my hands.

I had to add a small extension to the pipe on the new vent hood, in order to get it far enough back to meet up with the hole in the basement ceiling where it would come down.  Then I pushed the vent hood and pipe in from the outside, until it was flush with the vinyl siding.  At one point I got hung up on something that just wouldn’t give.  I went back inside and and looked up in the hole, and saw that the new ducting was pushing on some electrical wiring.  Uh, sure glad it was the newer insulated stuff rather than old knob-and-tube.

I drove some screws through the vinyl siding and old wood siding to hold it in place, and then snapped on the guard to keep birds and squirrels and such out.


Today I continued installing the dryer duct.  The first step today was getting down from up above the basement ceiling, through the hole they left open, down below the ceiling level.  I put two 90° elbows together in an “S” shape, and set about trying to push the end of one into the duct coming from the vent hood outside.  I had a worm-drive clamp to hold them together once I got everything in place, since there certainly wasn’t room up there to wrap foil tape around like I was doing at other joints.  For that matter, I hardly had room to get my hands up through the hole around the duct pieces.  I wrestled with the thing for quite a while before finally getting it secure.

After that was complete, the next part was a lot easier.  I attached a horizontal run of ducting, just below the ceiling.  It basically stayed in place just from the friction fit and foil tape at the connection to the elbows, but I went ahead and put some metal strapping around and screwed that into the ceiling to hold it all more securely.

At this point I stopped for a while, deciding that I should wait until the dryer arrived to plan the final connection.  It was about time for the delivery guys to show up anyway, so I cleaned up a little to give them room to bring the washer and dryer down.

After they’d delivered the appliances, I resumed working on the dryer ducting.  I was glad that I had waited, as the exhaust port out of the dryer was much lower than I had expected.  After some experimenting and thinking, I also decided that an all-rigid duct connection straight to the dryer just wasn’t practical.  It would be nearly impossible to mate up the exhaust port on the dryer with a fixed duct attached to the wall.  I would have to use a section of flexible metal ducting.

First I put together another piece of rigid ducting to come down the wall from the elbow near the ceiling, and after fitting it into the elbow, taped the joint with foil tape.

The flexible ducting I had was longer than I needed, so I set about cutting it down shorter, and then reattaching the worm-drive clamp on the shortened end.  This turned out be much more tedious and time-consuming than I could have imagined.  In the long run, I asked myself why I didn’t just live with the extra length.

After getting the duct attached to the dryer, I spent some time making sure the washer and dryer were both level.  The basement floor is anything but, so I had to experiment with moving them around, and ended up shimming a couple corners.  I would have preferred to have the washer and dryer right next to each other, but this will do.