Seth Cohen (sethcohen) wrote,
Seth Cohen

An almost working kludge

Anyone know off the top of their head if there's an LJ group for home improvements?

Several nights ago I noticed that the heat & lint output of our dryer was significantly increased. It was easy to see that the dryer exhaust conduit had come loose from the vent, and more importantly, the conduit was completely filled with lint. We have been delinting our clothes more than we'd like; clearly, the backed-up conduit was at fault.

So, I went tonight to Home Despot & bought a dryer exhaust kit and some extra conduit (I'd noted that the length of space from dryer to outside vent was 9 feet, and all the conduits there were 8 feet or less.) I also bought another attachment, which I'll describe later.

Our washer & dryer are a top/bottom arrangement. The exhaust for the dryer is on top, and the air vent to the outside port is in the floor. The reason for this violation of the law of thermodynamics has to do with the fact that our w/d units are on the top floor of our house, and the exterior exhaust port presumably needs to be accessible from the outside on the first floor. Thus, the conduit runs between the floors. I had no trouble removing the old conduit, and it was gross inside. Good time to take it out. Anyone noticed that lint is flammable?

Now, the closet where the units are is just slightly larger than the units themselves. The units are sitting on a plastic platter, which is presumably there to either make the units easier to slide within the closet, or to hold a very small amount of water should the washer overflow. (beats me which is true) This platter, of course, was blocking my access to the exhaust vent.

After removing the closet door so I could reach inside, I applied good old American know-how (a hammer) to the corner of the platter that overlapped the exhaust vent. In the process, I bent the vent slightly. None of the plastic fittings mated with the exhaust port properly (I don't think this is my fault, but what do I know?), but the conduit itself seemed to match closely enough. I put it on & left it alone.

When I moved the units back, however, the conduit came off the vent slightly. Not very much, but enough to create a noticible crack. I threw a wash in the dryer and let it run. It wasn't producing as much heat inside the house as the dryer had the one time I had to run it without the conduit, but clearly there are cracks large enough in this apparatus to be letting significant heat loose inside our home. I don't want to run this thing too much if it's going to turn things broiling inside.

So...any suggestions on what to do? If there's some kind of clamp or gasket that will mate with the interior exhaust port and not be moved by the platter when I move the washer & dryer back, that'd be good. Or, if there's simply some form of nonflammable insulation I can stuff in the cracks, I wouldn't mind that either. The possibility also exists that the conduit from the inside exhaust vent to the ouside port is filled with lint...does a person exist to snake that if that turns out to be the case? I certainly don't have that kind of equipment.

The other thing I did was I bought a vent that *allows* one to let the waste heat exhaust inside the house (for energy efficiency/heating in winter). That thing works just fine, but the conduit mating at this vent is also imperfect, and there's waste heat escaping there as well. I don't want to lose this thing; it'll be really spiffy in November, but right now the secondary waste heat loss from this thing will jack our electric bill even higher than it is. (We've had a couple of weeks of plus 100F [40C] heat.)

Urg. Thoughts?
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