Thread Number: 72410  /  Tag: Modern Dryers
Exhaust From Downstairs Dryer Entering My Dryer
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Post# 956896   9/10/2017 at 09:37 by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

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Yes, you read that correctly. There are four dryers upstairs in the pass-through hallway (one is mine) and four downstairs in their hallway. Moments ago I opened my SQ dryer and warm very moist air is entering through the back of the drum. The drum is wet. You can feel the air blowing in! The dryer directly below me is running.

What the hell is up with that?!  


We must be sharing a vent.  Haven't noticed this before, but I would imagine it is the first time I opened my dryer when the one below me was running.  All dryers are electric.

Post# 956897 , Reply# 1   9/10/2017 at 09:41 by appnut (TX)        

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Eugene, I had this problem with the one apartment I lived in after I got the F-Flo pair in May 1978.  I didn't worry about it.  It seemed to "dry" out as the moisture from the load disappeared.  Initially I was just as surprised as you are. 

Post# 956911 , Reply# 2   9/10/2017 at 10:23 by foraloysius (Groningen, the Netherlands)        

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All you need is a backdraft demper, that opens when you turn on the dryer and closes when your dryer is off and stays closed when your downstairs neighbour uses their dryer.

Post# 956932 , Reply# 3   9/10/2017 at 12:38 by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        

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It sounds like it has a shred exhaust as you and others mentioned, usually this is not legal, but who knows where you are or if you can get anything about it.

As Louis suggested a back draft damper can be added in your dryers exhaust, or you can just run loads whenever the downstairs neighbor does, LOL.

Post# 956950 , Reply# 4   9/10/2017 at 15:45 by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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yeah, I seen this once, and thought 'how odd' was like an oblong heating duct that ran down the whole apt complex, wide open at both ends, and the dryers duct was just slid into this plenum from each apartment....well it was an interesting setup to say the least....

as I have a few dryers that vent out through the eaves, no damper door.....these draft blockers help a lot......and probably best to keep them horizontal where possible.....there are a few styles to choose from....

some may argue, but don't know that I would want excess condensation inside my dryer, not to mention if they go overboard with scents....

hope this helps....


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Post# 956952 , Reply# 5   9/10/2017 at 16:02 by cuffs054 (GA)        

I would wonder if the vent system was plugging up. Does your dryer dryer slowly?

Post# 956953 , Reply# 6   9/10/2017 at 16:13 by brucelucenta (tulsa, oklahoma)        

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Ah yes, the joys of sharing a space with others.

Post# 956966 , Reply# 7   9/10/2017 at 18:21 by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

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Thanks for the comments and suggestions, everyone! I will look into getting a backdraft damper.

The dryer is slower than the Maytag was, but that's understandable if it has to push air for a long distance. A load of six dress shirts dried in 18 minutes this morning on high heat. A full load of heavy bath towels takes well over an hour, but the SQ top-load washer doesn't spin at 1400 as did the Maytag. I have no idea where the ducts exhaust to the outdoors. Will have to take a walk around outside.

The place was built in 1978 according to my landlord. Wonder if the ductwork has ever been cleaned out?

I'm with Martin on this one: I don't especially want all that moist exhaust from other dryers entering my dryer.

Post# 956971 , Reply# 8   9/10/2017 at 19:02 by mieletag (Cape Girardeau, Missouri)        

Just curious, but did Speed Queen change their airflow direction on the dryers? Only reason why I ask is because my mom's 2009 SQ electric drier has the air intake at the front by the door going to the intake of the blower. The rear just had the duct from the duct heater below that relied on infiltration through the dwelling to pull air across the duct heater, up the back duct, through the drum across the clothes, in the door, through the blower, then hopefully outside.

If this is still the airflow circuit, I would think that there is still convective heat coming up the back duct, or air is blowing in the front and hitting the back and bouncing back to the front.

Not trying to say it is not happening, I am just trying to wrap my head around it. Now if your building is under a negative pressure from other exhausting means, you may be getting air back in, and it may be moist from lint buildup in the ductwork. IDK, just trying to throw something out there. Let us know, I'm very curious to see what the problem is, and I hope it is easily resolved for you.

Post# 957085 , Reply# 9   9/11/2017 at 07:19 by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

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Air coming from inside front of dryer: I was a bit stunned by the phenomenon, so might have incorrectly assumed it was coming in through the screen on the back of the dryer drum. So you're saying it was probably coming up through the lint filter at the front of the drum?

I threw in six dress shirts, started it and went straight to the computer to file a report to the experts at AW.

For the curious: I didn't wash six dress shirts alone in my little water hog. The rest of the load sat in the washer until the shirts were dry. I hate to iron and therefore dry dress shirts separately from everything else to minimize wrinkling.

Post# 957087 , Reply# 10   9/11/2017 at 07:41 by MrAlex (London, UK)        

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Frigilux - Have you tried just to take them out of the washing machine, giving them a shake and hanging them buttoned on hangers? Usually leaves most of my shirts wrinkle free and maybe one or two that might need some light steaming or ironing :)

Post# 957090 , Reply# 11   9/11/2017 at 08:07 by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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yeah, if you think about it, the air from the other units is flowing in reverse direction of what your dryer would do normally...


I'm with Frig on this one......I may wash a load together, but some things get separated when dried.....

shirts go in for about 10 or so minutes, then pulled out and hung to finish drying...

may even toss in socks and underwear at the same time, their quick to dry in about another 15 minutes.....

then goes in the pants/jeans....3 or 4 pair per load gives best results....

noticed too, if your not using a Whirlpool/Kenmore with 'soft heat'....dry most everything on LOW, it will give the best minimal wrinkling results....

goes without saying, Towels can be dried on high....everyone has their own way of doing things, always looking for new ideas...

Post# 957097 , Reply# 12   9/11/2017 at 08:58 by foraloysius (Groningen, the Netherlands)        

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I do the same with poloshirts. I put them in the dryer for a while and then hang them up. Works wonderfully!

Post# 957195 , Reply# 13   9/12/2017 at 04:17 by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

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Dress Shirts-- I've tried a number of methods---either accidentally or on purpose---with these JCPenney shirts. I get the most wrinkle-free results drying them completely and hanging them up immediately. Have tried hanging them up straight from the washer as well as various stages of damp-drying, but complete drying seems to work best with this particular fabric.

Post# 957204 , Reply# 14   9/12/2017 at 05:41 by iej (Ireland)        

You should probably use a simple disk type back draught damper. They're usually light galvanised steel tube with a with a lightly spring loaded split disc in the middle, or sometimes a solid disk that opens by tilting.

If you use one with multiple louvres, it's likely to clog with lint. They're not really suitable for dryers or extractor hoods due to issues with debris. You usually want to avoid complex surfaces or mechanisms.

Also inspect the damper periodically to ensure its not clogged.

Post# 957313 , Reply# 15   9/13/2017 at 00:55 by MattL (Flushing, MI)        

Getting a bit off topic, but....


I have not put any of my button up shirts in the dryer for many many years.  Medium spin in my FL and then get hung to dry on hangers.  Takes me 1 or 2 minutes to do a quick press in the AM as I get ready to go to work.  Shirts seem to last much longer most are 2, 3 or 4 years old and show no signs of wear.

Post# 957350 , Reply# 16   9/13/2017 at 05:16 by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

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Matt--The Achilles' heels of the JCPenney Stafford dress shirts are the collar points. They're fairly stiff and the fabric begins to wear away at the points rather quickly. I can squeeze almost two years of wear from one before the missing fabric at the points grows to an intolerably noticeable size. The rest of the shirt shows almost no sign of wear. Have read numerous user reviews at JCP complaining of the same thing.

Post# 957373 , Reply# 17   9/13/2017 at 09:42 by iej (Ireland)        

I don't tumble dry shirts ever.

They just come straight out of the washing machine on a high spin (1600 rpm) and get hung on plastic clothes hangers on an open rack in my laundry room.
They are dry within a couple of hours and need very minimal (if any) ironing.

I find in general shirts and some t-shirts stay looking much better if they avoid the dryer.

Post# 957769 , Reply# 18   9/16/2017 at 14:05 by Imperial70 (******)        

For me: Dress polo and most T shirts never go in the dryer.

Post# 957792 , Reply# 19   9/16/2017 at 18:07 by mtn1584 (USA)        
Dress shirts continued......

I have to say I wash them on PP Cycle then usually hang them up to dry. That is when I am too lazy to take them to the Chinese Laundry on Main Street. The owner gives my shirts way more attention than I ever could and for ONLY 1.50 a shirt it's worth it to have him wash and iron them for me.
Frig, I wear a dress shirt every day to work.

Post# 957839 , Reply# 20   9/17/2017 at 04:31 by MrAlex (London, UK)        

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Thatís a great price! I have dry cleaning picked up and delivered so they charge more,, hence why I donít use it too often

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