Installation of a Dryer Vent in a Tight Space

  • 01 of 06

    Dryer Vent Installation In Tight Spaces

    Dryer, hooked up
    A close-in dryer hook up will require an offset dryer vent. © 2014

    Hooking up the vent for a clothes dryer is challenging in the best of situations since the outlet is tight up against the back of the appliance. It becomes even more challenging when the space is very tight, such as when the dryer is located in a small closet.

    The dryer's vent connection is the same whether you have a gas or electric dryer, but for the purposes of this demonstration, we'll show you how to connect the gas line if you happen to have a gas dryer. You can skip this step if...MORE you have an electric dryer, where installing the dryer requires that you only plug in the cord to a special 240-volt wall outlet.  

    • Warning: Before working on any type of dryer, unplug the power cord from the wall and turn off the gas supply.

    When hooking up a dryer that has a wall vent in close proximity to the dryer discharge vent, you may require a special dryer vent connector called an offset dryer vent. These special vents use two opposing vent connections that slide on tracks to adjust the distance between the center of each vent and also allow rotational flexibility. The vents typically allow a range from center to center (0-inch offset) to 24- to 48-inch offsets, depending on the size and style of offset vent used.

    Materials and Tools You May Need

    • Yellow gas line thread-seal tape with PTFE (for gas dryer)

    • HVAC aluminum foil tape

    • Adjustable wrench

    • Offset dryer vent kit

    • 4.5" adjustable stainless steel band worm-gear hose clamp

    • Socket driver or flat blade screwdriver (to tighten band clamp)

    Continue to 2 of 6 below.
  • 02 of 06

    Connect a Gas Line for Gas Clothes Dryer

    Gas valve prep
    Wrap threads in a clockwise direction with special yellow gas line thread seal tape with PTFE. © 2014

    gas dryer has a special flexible gas line that delivers natural gas from the house gas pipe to the gas inlet fitting on the dryer. The threads these two components must be wrapped in a PTFE (plumber's tape).

    • Note: Instead of the white plumber's tape used on water plumbing connections, use a special gas line thread seal-tape with PTFE that comes in a yellow color. The yellow tape is manufactured especially for natural gas, propane, butane, water, oil, and chemical lines and is heavier...MORE than white plumber's tape.
    1. Make sure the gas valve is in the OFF position—the valve handle will be perpendicular to the gas line. 
    2. Unplug the dryer's power cord from the wall outlet. 
    3. Wrap each fitting with yellow PTFE tape, looping around the fitting two or three times in a clockwise direction.
    4. Once wrapped, attach one end of the gas line to the dryer inlet fitting and hand tighten.
    5. Place the other end of the flexible gas line over the gas supply line and hand -tighten it.
    6. Using an adjustable wrench, tighten each connection firmly until snug. Do not over-tighten.
    7. Test the gas connection by turning the gas valve to the ON position, so the handle is parallel to the gas line.
    8. Check for leaks by brushing on a soapy water solution onto the gas connections. If you see any bubbles, the connection is leaking and needs to be tightened. If you still cannot get a good seal without bubbles, call the gas company or a plumber for assistance.
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  • 03 of 06

    Preparing the Offset Dryer Vent

    The offset dryer vent
    The offset dryer vent allows for tight installations in close quarters and adjustable offset between the dryer exhaust and the wall exhaust vent connections. © 2014

    In our example where space is limited, we are using an adjustable offset dryer vent, also called a periscope dryer vent. Offset vents allow the dryer to be installed closer to the wall than a typical basement installation, using a 90 degree 4-inch duct elbow on dryer's discharge vent. Some models allow a 3-inch clearance from the dryer to the wall. It also allows the dryer to be connected to a fixed vent connection in the wall since it allows both an offset adjustment and a height adjustment...MORE in the vent connection duct.

    1. Measure the offset distance between the center of the dryer discharge vent and the center of the wall vent to which you need to connect.
    2. Purchase the appropriate sized offset dryer vent kit. It will allow anywhere from a 0-inch offset (direct straight through connection) to about a 48-inch offset. Buy the smallest sized kit that will work.
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  • 04 of 06

    Seal Gaps With Foil Duct Tape

    Sealing gaps
    Use foil tape to seal gaps in the offset duct and to hold the sliding duct in position. © 2014

    Remove the offset duct from the box and proceed as follows:

    1. Adjust the two vent connection holes to the correct spacing by sliding the two ends apart or closer together.
    2. Once set to correct location, affix in place by using HVAC aluminum foil tape to seal the open joints and lock the sliding duct into position. Do not use standard duct tape, which quickly dries out and fails to seal the joint. A tight seal is critical, because, with a gas dry, the vent exhausts not only lint and air, but also...MORE carries deadly carbon monoxide gases to the outdoors. 



    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06

    Connect the Offset Duct to the Wall Vent Duct Connection

    Attaching offset duct to the wall
    Attach appropriate end of offset duct to the wall connection duct. Attach using foil tape or a 4.5" diameter band clamp. © 2014

    Connect the appropriate end of the offset duct (typically the smaller diameter end) to the wall connection duct. There is not much space to work and you do not want the offset duct falling off once the dryer is being positioned in place, so attach it with aluminum foil duct tape by placing the offset duct at the approximate angle needed for the final connection to the dryer.

    If there is enough material for a good friction fit, you can use a 4.5-inch stainless steel band worm-gear hose clamp.


    Continue to 6 of 6 below.
  • 06 of 06

    Connect the Offset Duct to the Dryer

    Connect the Offset Duct to the Dryer
    Connect offset duct to the dryer's discharge vent using a 4.5" stainless steel band worm gear hose clamp. © 2014

    To make the final dryer connection, proceed as follows:

    1. Place a 4.5-inch stainless steel band worm gear hose clamp over the dryer's discharge vent.
    2. Move the dryer into position.
    3. As the dryer is moved into position, slide the offset dryer vent connection over the dryer's discharge vent.
    4. Ensure there is a good snug fit.
    5. Move the band clamp over the duct connectors and tighten, using a screwdriver or socket driver.
    6. Plug in the dryer and turn on the appliance.
    7. Check for proper operation and make...MORE sure the exhaust ducts remain connected.

    Follow dryer operation safety procedures, including cleaning the lint trap and dryer vent of lint build-up. Once every couple of years, have a qualified service person clean the interior of the dryer chassis to minimize the amount of lint accumulation. Keep the area around the dryer clean and free of clutter.