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A short vinyl hose can save your house from fire


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#1 Orpheus

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 07:10 PM

Believe it or not, dryer lint is the single leading cause of home fires, according to Consumer Reports --16,000/year.

That's a little hard to grasp in a nation with ~40 million smokers, and ~35 million households with kids, but 16,000 out of 80 million year-round occupied homes (1/5000 per year) is pretty high, so I guess it depends on your definition of a home fire.

Consumer Reports tested a infomercial product called the Lint Lizard and found it worked pretty well. [videos of infomercial and testing]

As many of you know, I'm no great fan of Consumer Reports. Their testing may be good, but they needlessly conceal the actual data behind their own proprietary rating system, which ticks me off. Further, I often find their recommendations/rankings mystifying,in light of their own test results and I find that their ratings don't agree terribly  well with well, 'actual consumer reports' or my own rankings.

In this case, though I'd have to say that the Lint Lizard doesn't seem to be a particular ripoff at $10.99 & 6.99 s/h (compared to many infomercial prices and S/H scams), I find Consumer Reports seriously remiss for not mentioning that you can get 10-ft of identical clear vinyl hose for about $10.99 (or less) at almost any discount hardware store -- exactly 3x the length of the Lint Lizard's 40 inches, and a far more suitable length for most home dryer ducts. They also didn't suggest trimming the Lizard's sharp point

But how would you mate a hardware store vinyl hose to your vacuum? thread it through a snug hole in a piece of cardboard. The vacuum cleaner's own suction will hold the adapter in place. I've done this for many purposes.

But the real take-home is: however you do it, clean out your dryer ducts once a year -- or at least once in a while!

#2 Darkside_1

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Posted 14 August 2015 - 10:24 AM

Personally, you shouldn't use the vinyl dryer duct line but instead use the flexible metal hose and use the foil tape to seal the joints.

Duct tape should never be used for sealing ventilation heat ducts or dryer venting as that kind of tape is not designed for that use.  The adhesive and the tape itself will deteriorate and come lose from the surface.  Foil tape is temperature rated for that kind of use.

I live in a condo high-rise and every 3 years, I get a visit by a professional team contracted to my building that cleans out my dryer line and the booster fans, in line lint trap, and the bathroom fan exhaust.  This service is mandated by our provincial fire code for high rise residential apartment / condos.  These guys do an excellent job and at the end of each job, they put a dated sticker outlining when the next maintenance will take place.

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#3 Orpheus

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Posted 17 August 2015 - 01:04 PM

I very much agree about not using the common plastic ducting (with a spiral metal wire reinforcer), but it remains the most common type in stand-alone dwellings, and is very often the ONLY type carried by the install crews from major hardware or appliance chains.

Among its many drawbacks is that, it traps condensation and sags (esp in the winter). The sag makes it trap condensation more efficiently, and sag more. Ultimately, I've seen plastic exhaust pipes fill sufficiently (or completely) with water which makes the dryer, one of the most energy consuming devices in most houses almost completely ineffective. This can happen in a matter of weeks: 1 pint of water weighs 1 pound (1 liter weighs 1 kg) and it only takes several pints (or a few liters) to completely fill a low-hanging section of exhaust pipe. Now consider how much heavier a  load of wet laundry is than a load of dry laundry -- that's how much water vapor travels through the pipe during every load. If only 1-10% is trapped in a sagging pipe, it'll soon impede the flow.


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