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  1. #1
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    Oct 2009
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    Default remediating bad dryer vent

    The previous owner of our house lived here for 38 years, did all the work himself, and, as we are discovering (after a new electrical panel and several emergency plumber visits), did almost none of it correctly.

    Our home inspector pointed out a vinyl vent hose hooked up to the gas dryer, which we switched out for a metal one, but the vent hose hooks up to a 4" to 3" adapter, then to a 90 degree elbow, and then through the wall of the basement window well to a dinky vent with no backdraft stopper.

    I'm given to understand that this configuration is inefficient and possibly dangerous, and I'd like to change it, but as you can see in the photo, the vent is cemented into the exterior wall of the window well, and I'm having trouble picturing a good way to fix it without creating an entry point for rain into the basement and/or breaking the window that's also cemented into place right next to it.

    How would one go about reaming out and resealing the cement for a proper 4" duct and backdraft-preventing vent?
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    7,242

    Default Re: remediating bad dryer vent

    You could rent a coring machine to cut the larger hole or you could drill a series of smaller holes around the perimeter then carefully chisel out the debris. Once the new vent is installed, use hydraulic cement to fill in around it. Hydraulic cement expands a little bit as it cures, which should seal things up nicely.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    Smile Re: remediating bad dryer vent

    I would either use a better connection to a new 3" vent, perhaps by running smooth wall metal duct with as few turns as possible and replacing the existing 3" vent with a new one. This would be the least amount of foundation disruption and the smoothest airflow with the existing opening. Don't use screws in the duct as they will trap lint.

    Barring that, if you want or feel you have to use 4", I would pay someone to come and bore a 4" hole (perhaps over the existing one). A professional concrete person might do better at drilling a clean hole-which I would recommend because it will look better than a patch. It is such a small job they might tack it on at the start or end of a day. Regardless, use solid smooth walled duct with no screws and you can have much more substantial runs than with the flexible stuff.

    Good luck!

  4. #4
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    Oct 2009
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    Default Re: remediating bad dryer vent

    The existing foundation is cinder block, not concrete - the cement shown is a repair job only around that window. Does that make a difference?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: remediating bad dryer vent

    Quote Originally Posted by jackbird View Post
    The existing foundation is cinder block, not concrete - the cement shown is a repair job only around that window. Does that make a difference?
    Without knowing what was repaired or how it was done, it's hard to say.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  6. #6
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    Jul 2009
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    Default Re: remediating bad dryer vent

    Quote Originally Posted by Cougars1996 View Post
    I would either use a better connection to a new 3" vent, perhaps by running smooth wall metal duct with as few turns as possible and replacing the existing 3" vent with a new one. This would be the least amount of foundation disruption and the smoothest airflow with the existing opening. Don't use screws in the duct as they will trap lint.

    Barring that, if you want or feel you have to use 4", I would pay someone to come and bore a 4" hole (perhaps over the existing one). A professional concrete person might do better at drilling a clean hole-which I would recommend because it will look better than a patch. It is such a small job they might tack it on at the start or end of a day. Regardless, use solid smooth walled duct with no screws and you can have much more substantial runs than with the flexible stuff.

    Good luck!


    I agree, especially with the screws, if they were used in commercial work the inspector would have them taken out before the system was turned on, use rivets.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: remediating bad dryer vent

    Hmmm --- personally having the dryer vented right next to an opening window isn't the best location. I also think the ducting can be run better than it currently is in front of the window and elininating one 90.

    Can the ducting be located to the wall on the right?

    Since it's block it can be done fairly easy as Sprucey described by drill a series of holes and chisleing out the center of the opening.
    Oh and use a 4 inch exhaust.

    Side note --- hydraulic cement really doesn't expand --- it doesn't shrink like regular portland based cement..
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  8. #8
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    Default Re: remediating bad dryer vent

    Quote Originally Posted by canuk View Post
    Side note --- hydraulic cement really doesn't expand --- it doesn't shrink like regular portland based cement..
    You mean Tommy fibbed? I distinctly remember in an ATOH episode where they replaced a pipe through a concrete wall that he said it expanded slightly. At any rate, it would still be the correct material to use.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: remediating bad dryer vent

    Quote Originally Posted by A. Spruce View Post
    You mean Tommy fibbed? I distinctly remember in an ATOH episode where they replaced a pipe through a concrete wall that he said it expanded slightly. At any rate, it would still be the correct material to use.
    Contrary to popular belief --- Tommy is only human.

    And yes --- it would be a good material to use.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Iowa, Quad-Cities area
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    129

    Default Re: remediating bad dryer vent

    Are you sure that's not a 4" going thru the wall?

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