Seven Ways To Kill Your Dryer

Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Premier Properties

In reading Jay's blog this morning, I thought it was very important to share.  It is amazing to think that all these photos are from the same house -- one dryer venting system (if that is what you want call it!)

Original content by Jay Markanich 3380-000723

One of the most dangerous appliances in the house is the dryer.  Not maintained, or incorrectly vented, it can burn the house down!  And they do, tens of thousands of times a year in this country.

Can I introduce you to seven ways to kill your dryer?

In home inspector classes, we learn a lot of mumbo jumbo (sometimes it's jumbo mumbo).  Actually it is usually pretty good information!

As regards dryers we learn things like:  a dryer vent should extend no more than 25' vertically or horizontally from a dryer.  And for every 90 degree turn, 5' should be reduced from that 25'.  And 3' should be reduced for each 45 degree turn.  So, if a dryer vent has two 90 degree turns, its vent should not extend more than 15'.


To properly understand today's post, you have to be familiar with Paul Simon's song, "Fifty Ways To Leave Your Lover."  It's best to sing along as you read this post.  And I paraphrase:

I said it's really not my habit to intrude
Furthermore I hope my meaning won't be lost or misconstrued
So I repeat myself, at the risk of being crude
There are at least seven ways to kill your dryer, seven ways to kill your dryer...


Just slip out the back, Jack





And make a new plan, Stan





No need to be coy, Roy





                                                               Just get yourself free!


Hop on the bus, Gus,
don't need to discuss much
Just drop off the key, to me, and get yourself free

Just drop off the key, to me, and get yourself free...


Yes, these photos are all from the same dryer at one house!  Including the photo on the left!!  I told my client the dryer would only be tested for one minute, because I wanted to obey the first two rules of home inspections:

Rule #1 - Don't burn the house down, and
Rule #2 - Pay real close attention to Rule #1.

She agreed!  Thank goodness...

Now, if we employ vent footage less turns rule of thumb on this dryer, let's see.  The vent tubing is 26 or 27' or so.  There are six 90s and one 45 turn, plus the mess behind the dryer, um, calculating -- this dryer vent should terminate 6 feet INSIDE the dryer!  Yep, that's it!

Give or take...

My recommendation:  the dryer vent is crucially important to the safe functioning of the dryer.  It really is true.  Look around, especially at the exterior opening, and make sure things look safe.  If they do not, maybe the seller has some 'splainin' to do...

Oh, and don't put a grill over the dryer vent!



Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia

Comments (2)

Dan Hopper
Dan Hopper - Gold Way RE - Westminster, CO
Denver Broker / Real Estate Advocate

Good posting, Jay.  It's a reminder to all of us listing a property to sell.  If things seem strange to your eyes, make a strong recommendation to the seller to obtain a home inspection prior to placing the home on the market!  Get some professionals to review the mechanicals, roof, and electrical panel, if they appear they need attention.  Better to have these issues known upfront prior to a buyer discovering them.

Aug 07, 2011 02:09 AM
Kathy Sheehan
Bay Equity, LLC 770-634-4021 - Atlanta, GA
Senior Loan Officer

Thanks for sharing,I didn't see this post. This is good information to have for clients as well as for personal use.  I think I will go check my dryer.

Aug 07, 2011 02:31 AM