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darsunt 11-09-2011 06:27 PM

installing dryer in old water heater closet?
We're thinking about installing a dryer in an old water heater closet. There is gas there and electricity. Two possible problems though:
1) The vent is straight up. I've never seen a dryer vent go straight up, is this a problem?
2) The main house gas line runs inside the closet along the back floor. So the dryer and the heat and vibration from the dryer would be very close. Would this be a problem?


hardwareman 11-09-2011 06:35 PM

dryers get vented up and out the roof all the time, not the best setup but it does work.
if you gas lines are black pipe and secured properly it should not be an issue.

Gary in WA 11-09-2011 10:24 PM

As per code, the dryer ducting must be 4" smooth-walled metal, with no screws. If it's an older gas water heater duct, it may be 3" with screws at the joints to catch the lint and restrict the air-flow necessitating longer run times and creating a fire hazard....
the cap on the roof may not have a self-closing door, one made specifically for dryers.


1910NE 11-10-2011 06:57 AM

If I remember correctly, there must also be an allowance made for make up air (only an issue if there will be a solid door on the closet, in use.)

hardwareman 11-10-2011 07:36 PM

maybe I misunderstood your setup, if you are in fact wanting to use an old gas water heaters vent pipe I would highly recommend against it. Change it to 4".

darsunt 11-10-2011 11:54 PM

It is not a vent pipe. The water heater closet is outside in the patio,its more like a shed, it has its own roof, so its really just a vent cap, very short. Too short to clog up, I think.

Gary in WA 11-11-2011 12:50 AM

1. Domestic Clothes Dryer Ducts. (IMC 504.6) “Exhaust ducts for domestic clothes dryers shall be constructed of metal and shall have a smooth interior finish. The exhaust duct shall be a minimal nominal size of 4 inches in diameter. The entire exhaust system shall be supported and secured in place. The male end of the duct at overlapped duct joints shall extend in the direction of airflow.

Run new ducting inside it with a self-closing door, here, remember page 2:


darsunt 11-11-2011 11:36 AM

Then that will be my next diy. Since it is just a outside utility closet, if my first time roof vent cap leaks, it won't cause much damage!

Gary in WA 11-11-2011 04:08 PM

Change it soon. Screws protruding inside ducting will trap moist lint. A chase with a cap will trap lint. Anything other than smooth-wall pipe will trap lint.Insulate the pipe in unconditioned areas, attics, etc. to prevent condensation when the hot moist air contacts the colder pipe walls. A self-closing flapper door, type "A" will give 50% more opening area (less back-flow):

Don't be a dryer fire statistic because of not meeting minimum safety code, if the closet catches the house on fire and your H.O. Insurance carrier will not honor the claim due to an unsafe/not to code installation. What you are proposing sounds very unsafe for your family/pets. Ask your local Fire Marshall his/her veiw on the installation.


darsunt 11-11-2011 08:16 PM

Haven't installed it yet. Am still exploring options.
The dryer originally was suppoed to go in the kitchen. The dryer vent from there goes up inside the walls to the ceiling, then another 10 feet through the ceiling joists to the outside. The original owner had sealed up the outer end with expanding foam, so I had assumed the vent piping was damaged/clogged beyond repair. That is why I am exploring the old water heater closet option.

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