A Dryer Transition Duct that Outperforms Rigid Aluminum (no kidding)

By
Home Inspector with Structure Tech Home Inspections

I've discovered a dryer transition duct that is far superior to anything else I've ever seen - it's called DryerFlex.  I found this product while writing a recent blog post on dryer transition ducts, and I actually mentioned it at the end of that post.   The DryerFlex dryer transition duct is a cross between foil and semi-rigid aluminum, but it outperforms both of those materials in every way possible.

The video below, made by the manufacturer of this product, does a good job of comparing this material to foil and semi-rigid dryer transition ducts.

At the end of the video, they say they're confident this product will be rapidly adopted and become the industry standard.

After testing this product myself, I believe it.

To start my testing, I used the same test methods that I used to test the other dryer transition ducts - I filled the duct with shredded paper, started it on fire, then used a wet/dry vac to fan the flames.  I also tested a rigid metal duct made from thin-gage aluminum, just for the heck of it.  Rigid metal is approved by code to use as a dryer duct - not a transition duct, but an actual duct.  I did this by connecting two two-foot pieces together.

Solid Aluminum Duct

As you can see in the photo below, the solid aluminum duct failed where the two pieces connected together, but only after I had burned through most of the paper in the duct.

Aluminum Duct Burn Test

DryerFlex Transition Duct

The results of my burn test with the DryerFlex duct were quite surprising... and unfortunately, I don't have any good photos to show you.  It was a very boring test, because I burned through all the paper and the DryerFlex duct never failed.  I couldn't believe it.  The photo below shows the DryerFlex material laying on the ground after the test.  I bent it up just to show that it was still capable of holding it's shape.

DryerFlex results after burn test

Because my testing method was subject to so much variability, I tried a more controlled burn test to compare different materials against the DryerFlex.  I held a torch 2" away from each duct and timed how long it took to burn a hole through the duct.

Torch burn test

As you can see, the DryerFlex material outperformed the rigid aluminum duct by nearly a factor of four.  That's some tough stuff.  Dryflex is a far better dryer transition duct than anything that's available at home improvement stores.  The price is right too - at $6.60 for a 4' section and $11.99 for an 8' section, it costs about the same as the other products.

My only complaint with this product is that it's not available  at home improvement stores.  You can only purchase this stuff directly from their web site, where you might pay more for shipping than you do for the actual product.  If the manufacturer ever gets to the point of selling this stuff in home improvement stores for a comparable price, there would be no reason to ever buy a different product.

Comments (29)

Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Reuben, why no mention of smooth wall galvanized pipe?

Sep 12, 2012 06:03 AM
Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

Reuben, I am so glad you shared this information.  I will pass it on to clients and homeowner friends.

Sep 12, 2012 08:59 AM
Chuck Mixon
The Keyes Company - Cutler Bay, FL
Cutler Bay Specialist, GRI, CDPE, BPOR

Wow very impressive , would not think that you could improve that much on an old design.

Sep 12, 2012 09:42 AM
Monique Keith
Ahwatukee, AZ
Ahwatukeenulls Favorite Realtor, Buyers Agent with

It's like high school science class all over again! I have had a small dryer firer in my vent before and it was scary. I would like a product like this for sure, but I'm not one to buy it online. I'll be watching for it in my local store. 

Sep 12, 2012 10:26 AM
Rosalie Evans
Meritus Group Real Estate - Sioux Falls, SD
The Evans Group, Sioux Falls, SD Homes For Sale

This looks like an awesome product! I am going to figure out who caries it in my area and switch mine out! Thanks for the review! 

Sep 12, 2012 01:02 PM
Sharon Alters
Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308 - Fleming Island, FL
Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL

Reuben, what a fantastic product! I definitely want to find out where we can buy some of this. Thanks for sharing!

Sharon

Sep 12, 2012 01:33 PM
Jennifer Fivelsdal
JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571 - Rhinebeck, NY
Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection

Reuben from the test you did, it sure seeem this should be industry standard.

Sep 12, 2012 02:33 PM
John J. Woods
Big Dog Press, LLC - Winder, GA
Going where no man has gone before - wouldn't you?

 

   Is this one of those 'celebrity endorsements'?

 

Sep 12, 2012 02:50 PM
Reuben Saltzman
Structure Tech Home Inspections - Minneapolis, MN
Delivering the Unbiased Truth.

Clint - thanks!  I would too.  They just need to start selling this stuff in stores.

Christine - those are the worst.  The plastic itself is actually flammable!

Jay - good stuff :)

Donald - once you see this stuff in person, you won't mistake it for anything else.  The foil ducts droop like a wet noodle, but DryerFlex holds it's shape just like semi-rigid metal.  I'll send you a burnt sample.

DryerFlex is rigid

Sep 12, 2012 08:43 PM
Reuben Saltzman
Structure Tech Home Inspections - Minneapolis, MN
Delivering the Unbiased Truth.

Charles - the rigid aluminum material was sold in the same section as the other dryer duct materials, so I figured this would be the most common material used.  I assumed the rigid aluminum would completely contain the fire, so I didn't even bother picking up any galvanized metal.  I will though.  I think we both already know how that's going to turn out... but I'll make sure.

Sharon - thanks.  

Chuck - me neither.  I couldn't believe this stuff.

Monique - exactly!  I really just want to be one of the Mythbusters.

Rosalie - for now, I think you can only buy the product online.  I'm hoping that will change soon.

Sep 12, 2012 08:47 PM
Reuben Saltzman
Structure Tech Home Inspections - Minneapolis, MN
Delivering the Unbiased Truth.

Frank & Sharon - for now, you'll have to go through the DryerFlex web site.

Jennifer - I completely agree. 

John - kinda.  The difference is that this is truly a great product, I'm not getting paid, and I'm not a celebrity! :-)

Sep 12, 2012 08:49 PM
Mary Elizabeth Allen
Lake Monticello, VA

I think it's great that you followed up your previous post with this one after doing the investigation! It's a one-two punch of information. And now I know that I have to go online to get the good stuff!

Sep 12, 2012 11:59 PM
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Reuben, that flex duct does look like the best stuff to use when you have a difficult transition---but it will most likely always be the "fuse" in the system :)

Sep 13, 2012 12:25 AM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

Very interesting findings, Reuben.  The flex duct looks really similar to what was used recently when I had a dryer installed.

Sep 13, 2012 02:18 AM
Steven Wessler
SpyGlass Inspection Services - Osage Beach, MO
CMI, CCMI

I went to the web site and the product has good features. I only question that the inside is still ribbed and could to a lesser degree catch lint.  Great feature.

Sep 13, 2012 03:04 AM
Reuben Saltzman
Structure Tech Home Inspections - Minneapolis, MN
Delivering the Unbiased Truth.

Mary - thanks!  I'll have to do one more with a good video of the burn test.

Charles - true, but like you say, I think this is by far the best choice.

Myrl - it does look very similar to the standard foil stuff.

Steven - true, it's not going to be as good as metal, but the other transition ducts are ribbed too.

Sep 13, 2012 11:32 AM
Chris Smith
Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage - New Tecumseth, ON
South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta

I have to find out how to get this product in Canada, thanks for the info Rueben.

Sep 14, 2012 05:10 AM
Gloria Valvasori, Accredited Senior Agent
BETTER HOMES AND GARDENS REAL ESTATE SIGNATURE SERVICE - Mississauga, ON
REAL Experience | REAL Commitment | REAL Results!

Reuben, this looks like a winner, and a great product.  I have never seen or heard of this Dryerflex product, but will scope it out and find out if it available here in Canada... and will see if the house inspector I use here knows about it and where to find it.

Great post, and thanks for sharing!

Sep 14, 2012 05:20 AM
William Feela
WHISPERING PINES REALTY - North Branch, MN
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

Interesting.  I am replacing some of my duct work for the dryer and I was wondering what was the best.  Thanks

 

Sep 14, 2012 10:35 AM
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience

Reuben:  Just caught your post re-blogged by Chris Smith.  Wanted to stop by and tell you thank you ... our home is approx. 10 yrs. old and I'm replacing the dryer vent hose just to make sure it's clean and working properly.  Will be looking for this new product and utilizing it as I do ... keep the good info and suggestions coming!

Gene

Sep 22, 2012 05:08 AM