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imhotep 02-11-2010 03:55 PM

Dryer vent leaking
I recently bought and moved into a bank-owned home that was vacant for about 12 months. A few days after moving in I noticed a fresh wet spot in the living room ceiling that was not there before. I investigated in the attic and found that the dryer vent tube is routed right over the wet area, and indeed the place where the vent tube hits the underside of the roof is directly above the duct junction box beneath which I found moisture.

FYI - I ran this thread in the HVAC forum already thinking it was duct condensation, but I have ruled that out via various experiments. It is not duct condesation.

So in the interest of solving what is now surely a leak, here are a few more photos:

It looks to me like dirty water has run down the outside of the dryer vent tube. You can see the streaks and residue pretty clearly in the photo.

Here's another clue I only just learned of today. My wife tells me the dryer is taking a really long time to dry clothes.

So, is the leak likely caused by a gap in the flashing or tar paper on the roof? Or, since there's an issue with clothes not getting dry, could the vent be blocked or clogged, then filling with water, and THEN running inside the attic somehow???

Thanks for your help.

Bob Mariani 02-12-2010 04:17 PM

The duct is clogged. It is possible that the lint is absorbing the moisture and then leaking it through the joints.

Gary in WA 02-12-2010 10:33 PM

Be safe, Gary

Grumpy 02-13-2010 04:46 PM

Most likely the dict or vent is clogged. You will probably have to climb on the roof and either clean out and or repalce the vent on the roof. You may consider a broan baffled bathroom style vent. I don't know what's up there now, but I see them full of lint all the time.

wiz561 12-28-2011 08:25 AM

Funny. I know this thread is old, but I was researching a very similar problem I'm having.

When I first moved into my house (new construction), I went up in the attic to check things out and nothing seemed out of hte ordinary. After a few months, the dryer stopped drying clothes, so we called a repair man in and he said the vent was clogged. Went up in the attic, and noticed insulation around the vent was soaking wet, and the insulation on the floor had some evidence of something dripping. The rafters i that area look like there was some sort of water or moisture.

I cleaned out the vents and put everything together. The dryer works fine, and the mystery leak may have stopped. It's been about 4 months and so far, no evidence of water or condensation.

Just wondering what your fix was. Also, the dryer vent pipe, was it just 'placed' up into the roof vent, or was it sealed up there by way of tape or a pipe clamp.


Windows on Wash 12-28-2011 11:59 AM

Dryer vents will have a bunch of warm moist air in them.

If they get clogged or are not insulated, you will get condensation in them and the more moisture they accumulate, the more quickly they clog. They should ideally be vented over the shortest distance and insulated or run through conditioned space to get out in a perfect world.

wiz561 12-28-2011 01:47 PM

....and the saga continues... :)

There was a part of the wall in the hall where the tape was showing through and a small, what looked like a rust stain. Since this is a new house, they came back and put a skim coat over it and sanded it out.

I just saw that on the other side of the wall, the same exact thing is happening. Since this is in the laundry room and where the exhaust pipe is, I cut a little "window" in the drywall last night to see what's going on.

My wife is home today, and she said that she saw a "stream of water" through the window I cut out last night. I scratched my head and told her grab the video camera and start taping. I haven't seen it yet, but hopefully she captured something.

I'm wondering if the dryer vent isn't taped and it may have come apart. The one section with the elbows wasn't taped, and just had insulation wrapped around it, which was soaked. I'm wondering if the roof vent is clogged, and the air is backing out through the untaped sections, and causing all the drips.

I called the builder today and he's suppose to come out and look at it tomorrow. I'm afraid that like everything else, he'll get there and it won't be happening.

Michael Thomas 12-28-2011 03:54 PM

Also, when the dryer vent is running through a unconditioned (unheated) space such as an attic, it's a good idea to insulate the exhaust duct to reduce condensation both within and on the exterior of the duct.

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