DRYER WARNING

NY cat man

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Michele had mentioned that the clothes were taking longer to dry than normal, so I took the back off and removed the exhaust duct. What I found was enough to scare the bejeebers out of me. The ports were almost completely blocked- mostly with cat hair- and there was more down by the fan motor. We always cleaned the lint screen after every load, but this wasn't readily visible. This could have been a real fire hazard if not caught in time.
The takeaway? If your dryer-ours is gas, but this would apply to electric as well- and seems to take more time than usual, check the vent or have someone do it for you.
 

neely

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Thanks, that's a great reminder since I've noticed our clothes have been taking longer to dry than usual too.
 

Tobermory

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Yikes. That is scary. We’ll check. And I’ve been worrying about ours because it’s 23 years old, well beyond what “they” say is the life expectancy of washers and dryers.
 

neely

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That is scary. We’ll check. And I’ve been worrying about ours because it’s 23 years old, well beyond what “they” say is the life expectancy of washers and dryers.
Ours is even older than that - they don't make them like they used to, do they? ;)
 

Tobermory

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Ours is even older than that - they don't make them like they used to, do they? ;)
They certainly don’t! Our are Sears Kenmore, and they’ve just quietly sat there and done their jobs for a long time...even though they’ve been moved seven times and have “lived” in four states! I dread having to research and buy new ones some day. :(
 

LTS3

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Yes, the dryer hose and vent builds up lint and whatnot over time and that creates a fire hazard. Many hoses can be simply disconnected and cleaned out. There are special long brush-like tools for that. Replacing the hose is another option. For more complicated dryer set ups, like a machine jammed into a tiny closet in a 3rd floor unit (like mine), you need a professional. The association had hired a service to clean out dryer vents and hoses in the past.
 
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NY cat man

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Where our build up was not in the hose-we don't use hose, but rather metal duct, and very short duct at that- but in the vent that carries the exhaust to the blower motor and then to the outlet at the back of the machine. If you were to pull out the lint filter, everything would seem to be fine. We even have one of those vacuum extensions that we use periodically, and still there was all that material present. The only way to be sure, short of doing as I did, would be to employ one of those inspection cameras that has a long flexible probe.
As a by the way, our machine is a Maytag, about 10 years old.
 

lizzie

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Michele had mentioned that the clothes were taking longer to dry than normal, so I took the back off and removed the exhaust duct. What I found was enough to scare the bejeebers out of me. The ports were almost completely blocked- mostly with cat hair- and there was more down by the fan motor. We always cleaned the lint screen after every load, but this wasn't readily visible. This could have been a real fire hazard if not caught in time.
The takeaway? If your dryer-ours is gas, but this would apply to electric as well- and seems to take more time than usual, check the vent or have someone do it for you.
There's a great little invention out there called a lint lizard.It attaches to the hose of your vacuum cleaner,and it's just a simple vinyl hose that you poke down where your lint filter goes (mine is at the top right for my dryer)and you would be amazed what it sucks out!I have mine hanging right by my dryer and I try and do it once a month.There may be some out there who are not as handy as you are(bless your heart!)and this might be helpful.I got mine years ago at WalMart,and to my knowledge they do not sell them anymore,but they may be available online.
 

MoochNNoodles

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We have a lint lizard and some brushes. DH also has a gadget that hooks to a power drill to clean out the vent tubing. I don't remember the last time we pulled the dryer out to clean out where the vent attaches. I will have to ask DH. I think the refrigerator is due for a vacuuming too.
 
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NY cat man

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There's a great little invention out there called a lint lizard.It attaches to the hose of your vacuum cleaner,and it's just a simple vinyl hose that you poke down where your lint filter goes (mine is at the top right for my dryer)and you would be amazed what it sucks out!I have mine hanging right by my dryer and I try and do it once a month.There may be some out there who are not as handy as you are(bless your heart!)and this might be helpful.I got mine years ago at WalMart,and to my knowledge they do not sell them anymore,but they may be available online.
We have one of those, but it wouldn't reach where the main build up was. If you look inside the dryer, there are holes where the warm air comes in, and others where it exits. There is about a 1 1/2" deep recess in the duct where it meets the back partition of the dryer, and it was there that the main mass was. I literally had to scrub with a wire brush to remove all of it.
 

maggiedemi

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Don't you have to unplug the dryer first? I am so scared of dryers now after reading on the news about people being killed after pulling one out and touching it.
 
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NY cat man

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Don't you have to unplug the dryer first? I am so scared of dryers now after reading on the news about people being killed after pulling one out and touching it.
Yes, always, even a gas one like ours that only use 120 volts instead of 220.
By the way, welcome back!
 

LTS3

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My Mom has a Lint Lizard. The tube comes coiled up in the box and it's impossible to straighten out the flimsy flexible tube enough to actually use it.

I have a long thin brush to poke around in the lint trap to remove lint.
 

MonaLyssa33

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When I was living in my apartment, my dad noticed a gaseous smell coming from the laundry room and investigated it. He's a retired pipefitter, so he's knowledgable in this kind of stuff. But he found that the exhaust port was more than likely blocked. I ended up emailing my landlord about it and they got it fixed.
 
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NY cat man

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UPDATE: Michele has been using the dryer today, and reports that the drying times have been reduced by almost half, and in some cases by over half. That should put a dent in our gas bill.
 

maggie101

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Michele had mentioned that the clothes were taking longer to dry than normal, so I took the back off and removed the exhaust duct. What I found was enough to scare the bejeebers out of me. The ports were almost completely blocked- mostly with cat hair- and there was more down by the fan motor. We always cleaned the lint screen after every load, but this wasn't readily visible. This could have been a real fire hazard if not caught in time.
The takeaway? If your dryer-ours is gas, but this would apply to electric as well- and seems to take more time than usual, check the vent or have someone do it for you.
I learned a trick. Put some clothes or baby blankets that get covered with fur in the dryer on air dry,no heat for 10 minutes with bounce added. Make sure the lint screen is clear first
 

Silver Crazy

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Dryers are the only household appliance that really scare the crap out of me.
My brother and I used to have a food machinery servicing business and as a favor to some of the hospitals we used to look after we would service their dryers.
Amount of times we pulled out lint and fluff that had been hot enough to smoulder was scary.
Cause of fires in a lot of launderettes and hospitals and nursing homes.
Mine and rest of my families get pulled apart and cleaned every summer.
 
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