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Old 12-19-2011, 12:59 PM
 
121 posts, read 205,451 times
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Would anyone know where I can find information on building codes for dryer duct work. I have a condo where the dryer duct runs for nearly 32 feet before exiting the house. I opened it up today and there was tons of lint.

Funny thing is, there is a wall only about 4 feet from the dryer where the duct could be run out, but it would be on the front of the building. My guess is they wanted to keep all that to the rear, but a 32 run for dryer vent seems to be a lot.

Wanted to see if this is abiding by MA building regulation, if there is one.

Any info is greatly appreciated.
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Old 12-19-2011, 01:16 PM
Status: "Merry Christmas!" (set 8 hours ago)
 
Location: Massachusetts
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It would depend on the city or town.

We had the same problem where the duct wound upstairs to another floor and eventually all the lint started a fire. We had to have it fixed.

Also, don't leave the house if the dryer is going.
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Old 12-20-2011, 03:33 AM
 
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Do you think each town has information to this detail about building codes? Would this be something the town inspector would know?

Thank you!

Last edited by CaseyB; 12-20-2011 at 06:49 AM..
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Old 12-20-2011, 06:49 AM
Status: "Merry Christmas!" (set 8 hours ago)
 
Location: Massachusetts
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lukyelle View Post
Do you think each town has information to this detail about building codes? Would this be something the town inspector would know?

Thank you!

Yes. Check with the office of the Building Inspector.
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Old 12-20-2011, 07:22 AM
miu
 
Location: MA/NH
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It seems to me that there needs to be a lint trap installed in the beginning of the duct by the dryer. And the rest of the length of the duct needs to be cleaned out.
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Old 12-20-2011, 09:36 AM
 
Location: Needham, MA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaseyB View Post
Yes. Check with the office of the Building Inspector.
Absolutely! The building inspector's office is where you want to go for building codes.

Here's one thing to keep in mind though . . . if the duct was installed prior to a particular change in the building code then the owner of the building does not necessarily need to update. Most code changes are only put in force on a building when there is major work done to that area of the building.

An additional word of warning . . . if the duct is really old then it might be plastic. These ducts are a fire waiting to happen. You want your duct to be the shiny metal looking kind. Also, it's a good idea to have your drier duct cleaned periodically. It keeps down the fire risk and keeps your drier running more efficiently.
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Old 12-21-2011, 03:56 AM
 
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lukyelle,

I believe that 50 feet of "duct friction" is the recomended length. To explain, a 5 foot section of duct, is 5 feet of friction, however, an elbow, is also 5 feet. If you come out of the dryer with an elbow, come straight up with a 5 foot section, then elbow off, you now have 15 feet of friction. A bit confusing, but I am in the HVAC (heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) trade and few can actually answer that question. With 32 running feet, you may have as much as 100 feet of friction.

It is imperative that the longer of a duct run you have, the more critical it is to clean this every year. No screws in the connections.

Use duct tape, or clamps and the less flexible duct the better. I am going to look this up in ASHRAE when I get a chance and will check back. Hope this helped
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Old 12-21-2011, 10:09 AM
 
Location: JP, MA
116 posts, read 146,859 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Lanata View Post
lukyelle,

I believe that 50 feet of "duct friction" is the recomended length. To explain, a 5 foot section of duct, is 5 feet of friction, however, an elbow, is also 5 feet. If you come out of the dryer with an elbow, come straight up with a 5 foot section, then elbow off, you now have 15 feet of friction. A bit confusing, but I am in the HVAC (heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) trade and few can actually answer that question. With 32 running feet, you may have as much as 100 feet of friction.

It is imperative that the longer of a duct run you have, the more critical it is to clean this every year. No screws in the connections.

Use duct tape, or clamps and the less flexible duct the better. I am going to look this up in ASHRAE when I get a chance and will check back. Hope this helped
Bob - How do I clean my vent? It seems like it is fastened to the dryer and the long duct pretty good.
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Old 12-21-2011, 06:45 PM
 
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sm4269a,

Sight unseen, I am guessing that the duct starts from your dryer may have been just pushed in place, almost like press fit and in time, just set in place. Wiggle that free and careful not to break any internal parts. Take apart the duct as best you can, stick a shop vac, or even a broom stick to get the lint out. I also stick a shop vac as deep into the dryer (unplugged) as I can to get all lint out. Vacuum out around the lint trap as well.

When putting the duct back together, use either duct tape or clamps. Screws tend to catch lint inside the ductwork and will clog quickly. I prefer duct tape with a "fold over" on the last inch of tape so it can be grabbed quickly. I hope this helps as I have done a few in my time.
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Old 12-22-2011, 06:12 AM
 
121 posts, read 205,451 times
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Thank you so much for this information. I have four elbows in all and think I might be about 2' above the 50' totaling everything up.

Two of the elbows are very close together, positioned within just a few inches of each other...would that affect the 5' friction?

I wonder if I should call the town inspector on this.

My father helped me clean it out just like you have described - it had a good 1/2" of lint build up which was also somewhat gooey stuck to the duct. Maybe fabric softener? - we re-fastened the duct work with duct tape like you mention, so I can take it apart again to vacuum it out. He also changed the angle of the first part of the long run to angle slightly upward as he thought since heat wants to move upward, it'd be more efficient. The long run is angled slightly downward as it moves out of the end of the house.

It's funny...there is a window only about 7' away where it really should be venting.
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