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How To Replace a Dryer Vent

The dryer vent is an important piece of your clothes dryer’s proper operation. It is the plastic or light metal hood-like terminus on the outside of your home.

It directs warm, moist air and lint to the outside. The dryer vent hood consists of a hood, a mount flange, a sleeve connection for the dryer vent pipe, a plastic trim ring, and a flapper that seals the dryer vent system from the entrance of pests, birds, leaves, and other intruders when the dryer is not running. Because the dryer vent is on the outside of your home, it is exposed to the weather, which will cause deterioration over time. Bumping the plastic or light metal vent hood will also damage it. Replacement is generally not difficult.

Removal

  1. Gain access to the old dryer vent by unplugging the dryer and moving it out away from the wall.
  2. If your dryer is gas-operated, turn off the gas cock behind the appliance and disconnect the flexible gas connector.
  3. Loosen the clamp on the dryer pipe near where it passes out through the wall.
  4. Outside, use a razor knife to cut away the caulking, if there is any, around the mount flange of the dryer vent.
  5. Remove the screws in the mount flange that hold the vent to the outside wall.
  6. Twist and gently pull the dryer vent sleeve out of the dryer pipe.
  7. Inspect the dryer pipe for lint build-up and damage.
  8. Gently clean any lint build-up out of the vent pipe. A shop vacuum works well for this.
  9. Replace the dryer vent pipe, if necessary. Be sure to use metal vent pipe for a gas dryer.

Replacing a dryer vent is generally easy

Replacing a dryer vent is generally easy

Installation

  1. Slide the new dryer vent hood through the hole in the outside wall.
  2. Orient the new dryer vent hood so it points down toward the ground.
  3. Fasten the mount flange to the wall with screws. Use plated or galvanized screws so they will not rust.
  4. Run a bead of a good quality acrylic latex caulk with silicone around the joint where the mount flange meets the siding.
  5. Inside, slip the dryer vent trim ring around the vent sleeve and fasten the trim ring to the wall.
  6. Carefully push the dryer vent pipe over the vent hood sleeve connection.
  7. Reinstall the vent pipe clamp and carefully snug it up.
  8. If you disconnected a gas line to move your dryer, reconnect it now. Turn on the gas cock and test the connections with a soapy water solution. If bubbles are present, the joint is leaking. Retighten it.
  9. Move the dryer back into position and plug it in.

Tips

  1. When you slide your dryer out, protect the floor so the feet of the appliance do not damage it.
  2. Your new dryer vent hood may be a slightly larger outside diameter than the old one. If so, you may need to enlarge the hole in the outside wall. Simply cut a little material away with a sabresaw or sawzall and long wood-cutting blade.
  3. Be careful to check every accessible gas connection behind the dryer when you reinstall it, not just the one you took apart. Spray or brush a heavy solution of dish detergent and water on each connection. Then watch and wait to see if any bubbles appear. When you are done, wipe up all the test solution so it does not rust the connections.
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