Clothes Dryer Takes Too Long! - February 25th 2003

Question from John -----

Dear Shell,

Four months ago I moved to a rental-condo unit. After a few weeks, I noticed that I had to use the dryer at least twice each time to get the clothes to dry. When I mentioned this to the management company, they sent a technician over who said that I should use 1/2 loads in the dryer (though I have always used less than 3/4ths) and that the coil was heating fine. He suggested that the problem could be with the vents or ducts. He checked them above the dryer leading to the ceiling and said that it was okay. The problem still persisted and now I have to use the dryer at least 3 times per load which is costing me time, money & energy. I mentioned this to the management company again, who said that they have spoken to the strata and they are planning to clean the ducts this spring. However no one else in the complex has this problem (at least not to my knowledge). Therefore my question is how can it be just my dryer that isn't doing what it is supposed to do or is there something else wrong?



Hi John,

This is an age-old problem in many condo strata units as no two dryer ducts are the same length. In some cases the dryer duct is the flexible plastic type that can get bunched up at the back of the dryer causing a backup of hot air into the drum area of your dryer.
This is not good for your dryer and can result in dryer and dryer duct fires. Insist that your strata-council is aware of the fire concerns and have the ducts cleaned as soon as possible.

There is a new dryer duct available at home Hardware and Building supply stores that connects the back of your dryer to the outlet port on the wall called the space saver dryer duct. These ducts add efficiency to the exhaust flow of warm moist air to the outdoors.

When your dryer vent ducts are cleaned, make sure they check for obstructions, collapsed ducting and for a build-up of water in any low spots in the ducting. Sometimes it is as simple as the length of the duct run is too long or there are too many bends or elbows. Hopefully a good cleaning will take care of it. A build up of lint from the dryer remains one of the leading causes of house fires.

Itís Just That Easy!