Dryer Vent Code Violations
We’ve seen all kinds of different set ups and scenarios during the time we’ve been in the dryer vent cleaning and maintenance business. You’d be surprised at exactly how many times we encounter code violations that pose a potential fire hazard. Even some of the most skilled and successful general contractors will cut corners and let seemingly little steps and protocols slip by.
This sometimes happens knowingly and sometimes unknowingly, but whether the contractor deliberately side stepped an important residential code requirement or not, the hazardous results are still a reality. Building codes have been put in place, throughout the years, simply by trial and error.
Virtually every code that made it to the books is as a result of more than one negative situation/outcome whether that be a house catching on fire or any other tragic event. Needless to say, when you look at it this way, you can see why adhering to these codes is very important. You don’t want to play the numbers game when it comes to the safety of your household!
So what are the most common code violations when it comes to your dryer ventilation system?We’ve listed a few below and have included the best solutions to each problem:
The Dryer Vent System is Too Long- International Residential Code limits the length of a dryer venting system to 25 feet not including the flexible transition hose behind your dryer. When your dryer duct extends past this limit it decreases airflow pressure at the termination point and over time, lent will easily clog the vent and completely restrict the airflow which is a perfect recipe for a fire and increased clothes drying time causing great wear and tear on your dryer and raising your energy bills.
Solution- There are three ways to fix this problem. You can simply have a booster fan installed to boost the airflow up to a maximum of 130 feet (depending on the level of horsepower). You can have the vent rerouted and either eliminate unnecessary bends (each 90 degree bend is equivalent to 5 feet and each 45 degree bend accounts for 2.5 feet), or reroute the vent through a closer termination point that falls within 25 feet.
The Dryer Vent Does Not Safely Terminate Outside Of the Home- Dryer duct must exhaust on the exterior of the home at least 3 feet from any openings (i.e. doors and windows). Many times dryer duct work can become detached in the crawl space underneath the home and pose many hazards such as airflow restrictions and provide easy access for rodents that can crawl up into your dryer (not a good end result).
The most common cause of dryer vent disconnections is the use of duct tape to connect sections of the duct work together. Duct tape should NEVER be used to install/repair dryer vents. Duct tape does not hold up against the high temperatures passing through the steel pipes and over time will dry up, start to crack and fall off causing the venting to disconnect.
Sometimes the dryer exhaust was simply installed incorrectly and terminates inside a garage or attic.
Solution- Sometimes simply finding the detached duct work and reattaching with code compliant UL listed metal tape is all that is needed. Other times, you may need to hire someone to reroute the venting or install it correctly. For more information on the services we offer and to get a quote click here.
Hazardous Dryer Vent Duct Work Has Been Installed- Every now and then, we will get a call from a customer needing dryer vent cleaning done and when we show up we encounter one or more types of hazardous duct work that has been installed. The most common thing we see is over 8 feet of flexible transition hosing used in the crawl space instead of standard UL listed galvanized steel piping. Sometimes it’s plastic transition hosing and rarely do we see PVC piping being used as the dryer venting system. Plastic duct work is a huge fire hazard and should NEVER be used as a dryer vent for obvious reasons.
Solution- Have a professional remove all hazardous duct work and correctly install standard UL (Underwriters Laboratory) listed galvanized steel piping to meet all code requirements. If you simply have a plastic transition hose venting through an outside wall you can easily replace it by purchasing an aluminum flex hose (4 inches in diameter) from your local hardware store as long as you don’t exceed 8 feet in length.Sometimes the most simple fire hazards are not easily detected as a home owner and may seem insignificant, but these 3 common code violations are the biggest hazards to the safety of your home and should be corrected as soon as possible.
If you currently have any of these 3 violations in your home, reach out to your local service provider or contact us today for more information on how we can help. We service Nashville Tennessee and all surrounding cities with top quality dryer vent maintenance backed by extensive training and experience!