Thread Number: 77447  /  Tag: Modern Dryers
Dryer vented outside thru the roof
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Post# 1014233   11/12/2018 at 16:14 (224 days old) by Seeitrun2006 (Clemmons, North Carolina, USA)        

I have a Whirlpool electric clothes dryer model WED4815EW1 purchased May 2018. In the home where my wife and I currently live the dryer vents about 20 feet to outside thru the crawl space. This set up works very well. We can dry an average size load in about 35-45 minutes depending on what's being dried.

We are getting ready to downsize into a 1.5 level town home. The dryer will vent thru the attic going thru the roof to the outside. The length from ground floor to the roof top will be about 20 feet. Will this affect how long it will takes my dryer to dry clothes?


Post# 1014238 , Reply# 1   11/12/2018 at 17:00 (224 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Yes, it probably will, but check the owner's manual.

launderess's profile picture
Most will say what the maximum vent run should be based in part on how much blowing power dryer has to move air out.

That being said for both commercial and domestic use there are dryer "booster fans" for such issues.

Post# 1014239 , Reply# 2   11/12/2018 at 17:22 (224 days old) by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

ea56's profile picture
I have a Maytag electric dryer purchased in Dec 2016 that is basically the twin to yours and we live in a two story townhouse and it is vented thru the attic to the roof. The run length is probably around 15 ft. or so and it has never been a problem with any dryer we’ve connected to it.

Just keep the filter clean after very load and regularly have the vent cleaned every year or two depending upon how often you use it and you’ll be fine. Most loads dry in about 35 mins on high, a large load of heavy items like towels of a heavy bedspread might take an hour, which isn’t unusual.


Post# 1014285 , Reply# 3   11/12/2018 at 20:20 (224 days old) by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Long Dryer Vents

combo52's profile picture

A 20 foot vent run going up through the roof beats a 20 foot run through a craw space any day.


Just be sure that any duct work passing through a cold attic etc is insulated on the outside of the pipe with proof insulation to reduce condensation inside the pipe that will lead to lint build-up.


Also be careful when going through a roof that the builder uses a roof cap designed for a clothes dryer, I see many roof caps connected to dryers that have some type of screen in them that cause all sorts of problems.


John L.

Post# 1014351 , Reply# 4   11/13/2018 at 14:00 (223 days old) by twintubdexter (Palm Springs)        

twintubdexter's profile picture

I've got one of those dryer vents that goes up to the roof. It's definitely not my favorite thing. Awhile back an object that I thought was a white hand towel but was actually something made of paper-like material got put in the clothes hamper. The washer (Atlantis) didn't have an issue with it and it remained intact, but it shredded and fluffed in the dryer and made a huge mess. The lint filter was clogged solid and I feel some of the stuff made it past the filter and into the dryer's tubing and into the vent. Ever since I've noticed the dryer takes much longer. With my "facocted-up" back it's difficult to pull the dryer apart as well as away from the wall and at least see what it looks back there. Add to this the new SQ dryer is in the garage so the Maytag is just going to be given away anyway.


I know the best thing to do is have the vent professionally cleaned since this place was built in 2000 but here where I live I know what will happen. Any company will insist that all the HVAC vents need cleaning and they often charge by the number of registers. This modest house has 18 (walk-in closets and outdoor bathroom included). I really just want the dryer vent cleaned. There's also the myth that desert residents are loaded so maintenance people charge and arm and a leg for services. This old man ain't part of the "loaded elite". Things would be simpler if the dryer vented through the wall. 

Post# 1014352 , Reply# 5   11/13/2018 at 14:07 (223 days old) by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

ea56's profile picture
let your fingers do the walking and start looking up companies that clean dryer vents. Tell them on the phone that you ONLY want the dryer vent cleaned, and will they honor that request? You should be able to find someone to do only the work that you require. As an inducement, let them know that if you are pleased with their work, you will eventually have them out to clean the other vents as well.


Post# 1014354 , Reply# 6   11/13/2018 at 14:54 (223 days old) by seeitrun2006 (Clemmons, North Carolina, USA)        

I've been looking at the TJERNLUND booster fan if I need to get one. 10 feet of the vent pipe will go thru unheated attic space. So I am going to wrap the vent pipe with insulation once we get moved in. I'm going to check the outside vent also. I think building code for North Carolina is to use a certain kind of outside vent. We looked at a house under construction and they had the correct vent on the roof.

Combo52 what is "proof insulation"?

About every couple of months I take my electric leaf blower and blow into the piping to the outside. A good amount of lint comes out of it.

Thanks for all the advice!!!!


Post# 1014387 , Reply# 7   11/13/2018 at 20:49 (223 days old) by countryford (Phoenix, AZ)        

countryford's profile picture

As far as cleaning the vent, I know Home Depot and Lowes sell a kit that will clean the vent. Here is a picture of one. You can add on to the length of them as well. I have one, just haven't used it yet.


  View Full Size
Post# 1014401 , Reply# 8   11/13/2018 at 22:01 (223 days old) by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        

combo52's profile picture

Hi David, I meant to say Fire Proof insulation,


John L.

Post# 1014402 , Reply# 9   11/13/2018 at 22:22 (223 days old) by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

askolover's profile picture

I got this kind of cleaner that attaches to a it works great!


Post# 1014405 , Reply# 10   11/13/2018 at 22:29 (223 days old) by Spinmon (st. charles mo )        

I dislike roof vents. We rented a townhouse that had approx 25 foot from dryer to roof. It was fairly clogged when we moved in as the drying times were 15-20 minutes longer than previous res. And the dryer got hot.

We paid $130 seven years ago to have tube cleaned since the landlord didn't respond to our requests to clean it. Drying times better,but…

We moved in our new house almost 2 years ago and the dryer vents out the wall next to the dryer at floor level (about 2 feet of tube). It's like ''open headers'' compared to the roof vent and the dryer works faster and cooler than ever.

Post# 1014416 , Reply# 11   11/14/2018 at 03:46 (222 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

dadoes's profile picture
My dryer exhaust is directly out an exterior wall.  Only enough flex-ducting to allow working room behind the machine, and I have it positioned such that the duct is compressed to the shortest possible length.  I can reach through the exterior exhaust hood and touch the blower wheel.

Post# 1014423 , Reply# 12   11/14/2018 at 07:16 (222 days old) by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Reply # 12 Straight Through The Wall

combo52's profile picture

Hi Glenn, that's the way a dryer vent should be, Our gas dryer out on the screened porch is installed this way, after 20+ years no need to ever think about cleaning it.


A lot of problems could be avoided with better planning when building a house, a dryer is best installed on an exterior wall. Going up through the roof or going all the way across the basement ceiling to the rear of a townhouse just to avoid having a little 4" vent hood on the front of a house is just plain stupid and dangerous.


John L.

Post# 1014548 , Reply# 13   11/15/2018 at 17:04 (221 days old) by GusHerb (Chicago/NWI)        

They piped the dryer vent up through the roof in my aunts new house. 16' run but at least it's a straight shot and insulated in the attic. I have yet to check the cap on the roof to make sure it doesn't have a screen on it. They could've just as easily vented it down through the basement and out the side of the house, which I would've preferred for ease of cleaning.

The builder that built the duplex a friend of mine lives in did the same thing, except the run in the attic is 4" flex duct and about 20' long. I warned him that vent is gonna plug real bad.

Post# 1014602 , Reply# 14   11/15/2018 at 20:11 (221 days old) by appnut (TX)        

appnut's profile picture

When I moved here almost 33 years ago, I wouldn't consider a house if the dryer wsasn't vented directly outside and up through the room was completely unacceptable. 

Post# 1014615 , Reply# 15   11/15/2018 at 21:41 (221 days old) by fan-of-fans (Florida)        

I was going to mention using a leaf blower. Someone on here did that and said it looked like snow outside from the lint!

Post# 1015210 , Reply# 16   11/20/2018 at 19:05 (216 days old) by Seeitrun2006 (Clemmons, North Carolina, USA)        
Leaf blower

I currently use the leaf blower on my dryer venting. And yes it covers the ground area with lint.

Post# 1015459 , Reply# 17   11/22/2018 at 20:32 (214 days old) by mark_wpduet (Lexington KY)        
Hey Appnut

mark_wpduet's profile picture
I have a dryer that vents through the roof. If I had it to do over again, I too would NOT move into a house where the dryer vents through the roof. I've dealt with this since 2004. The first few years, about every 3 months.....YES, THREE months, drying times would start going up. I had to get the leaf blower out....but that wasn't all............ Then, I had to go outside on a ladder to the edge of the roof, tie a brush to the end of a long poll and get some of the lint off the roof cap....the roof pitch is way too steep to get on the roof. I did it once and never again. The roof cap is at the very top of the roof.

A few years later, I read this post about a lady and her husband living in a condo did had the same issues. She said her husband had this idea to put a paint strainer in the piece that connected the back of the dryer through a wall. About every 3 weeks they would go back there and clean it out. At first I was discussing this with her thinking this is a fire hazard. She said they had on issues for years and it had kept their entire vent run CLEAN! She said it was a pain to get back there every three weeks but not nearly the pain as it was cleaning the entire vent run a few times per year.

So......about 2009 or 2010, I bought a paint strainer. It's easy for me to get behind my dryer so I put it into the piece that connects the back of dryer to the wall. Every 2 to 3 weeks, I get back there and take the paint strainer out and clean it with the vacuum and put it back. Dry times are fast, the dryer does not get hot, and it keeps the vent run clean. There's not even any lint in the piece that connects the dryer to the wall. It's totally clean. It takes me about 5 to 10 min's every 2 to 3 weeks to clean it. This is what I've been doing all these years and no build up. Now, I'm diligent about cleaning it and not letting it go too long or clean it more frequently if I dry something that causes LOTS of lint.. I'm the only one who does laundry here so it's no big deal. My dryer is electric and it's approaching 14 years old with no repairs. Knock on wood. It definitely would cause a block if not cleaned at least once per month.

The thing is - you shouldn't have to do this at all! Venting a clothes dryer through the roof is amazingly stupid!

Post# 1015587 , Reply# 18   11/23/2018 at 22:33 (213 days old) by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        

daveamkrayoguy's profile picture
Years ago when picking my sister up from school, there was a pair of General Electric (yes, NOT "GE"!) boxes that contained a washer & dryer, laying outside the door that I got her at, which obviously were for the home-ecomoics room that was in the center of the up-stairs and to my recollection had no windows, other than facing the hall--so no OUTSIDE widows, ad I don't think ay walls went directly to the outside...

I had graduated a couple years before seeing these boxes laying there coating the new appliances, but I believe there you have previously been a stackable Westinghouse pair (the two home economics rooms at my middle school each had) so I would wager there had to be a way to direct the dryer venting (at least for the full-sized dryer in the GE pair) through the roof...

I was surely back then as well as through the years curious if through-the-roof venting had been that incidentally-to-widely used, just in applications where there is just simply no outside wall nearby...

-- Dave

Post# 1015632 , Reply# 19   11/24/2018 at 10:49 (212 days old) by fan-of-fans (Florida)        

When we first moved in here, there was no dryer vent to the outside even though the laundry room is on an outside wall. There was instead a rectangular plastic bucket that had water in the bottom, with a lid in which the dryer vent tube connected to the middle, and had vent louvers to each side. The idea was the water was supposed to catch the lint and then the heated air came out the vents. I think it worked pretty well as long as you changed the water often enough. I imagine the room would get humid from the moisture in the vented air. Later we vented to the outside.

Although a good vent hood and damper is important with a side wall vent, as the plastic flaps tend to stick open and allow insects and even snakes to come inside.

A roof vent I suppose wouldn't need a damper but possibly to keep cool air from coming inside.

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