The Classic Ameedican Dilemma: Where to Run the Dryer Vent?

Jerry wrote:

We added a fourth story to our house, which is attached on both sides. There is a bathroom there with a washer and a gas dryer. The contractor wants to vent it into a “wet box.” It’s some sort of venting kit. The architect says it should be vented up through the roof. The contractor says you can’t vent a gas dryer up. What’s the best way to vent this gas dryer?

When your contractor says, “you can’t vent a gas dryer up,” he’s implying that the venting requirements for a gas dryer are somehow different than those for an electric dryer. This is false. All dryers, gas or electric, have the same venting requirements, details of which are discussed in this post.

In general, all dryers should be vented completely outside the building but especially gas dryers because of the poisonous by-products of combustion, notably the silent killer, carbon monoxide.

When your contractor says that “you can’t vent a gas dryer up,” what he’s really saying is, “Aww, geeze, I don’t wanna get up on the roof and drill a hole for a stinking dryer vent. I just wanna finish the job and go to the next one because I’m running behind schedule.”

I’d love to hear your contractor’s tortured reasoning for saying, “you can’t vent a gas dryer up” just so I could watch him squirm while his nose grows about two feet long. There is no reason whatsoever that any dryer exhaust, gas or electric, can’t be vented straight up through the roof… provided it’s done correctly, which I’ll explain in minute.

First, let’s take a moment and meditate on why we should even bother to properly exhaust dryers. And let’s not just take my word for it, either. According to Whirlpool, a company that manufactures more dryers than anyone else on the planet, there are at least four compelling reasons to exhaust a dryer through a properly configured vent that removes the dryer exhaust completely from the building:

Why exhaust dryers?

And for gas dryers, we have the additional reason mentioned above: to keep from waking up and finding yourself dead.

As for venting a dryer through a roof, as your architect wisely suggested, this is a perfectly legitimate configuration and, as in your case, may be the only practical way to exhaust a dryer to the outside. Once again, we turn to the Appliantology scriptures on this subject. Please open your dryer venting hymnal to the Book of Whirlpool, song 10… no, 11 (it’s one bettah) and sing along with me:

Venting a dryer through the roof.

Now go sing your admonishments to your contractor for talking out of his derrière. And give your architect a kiss from me (if she’s cute) or a manly nod of the head (if he’s not).

To learn more about your dryer, or to order parts, click here.


2 thoughts on “The Classic Ameedican Dilemma: Where to Run the Dryer Vent?

  1. prangel

    Help! I just discovered the reason my dryer isn’t working efficiently…my contractor just stuck the hose in the wall! I don’t see any sign of a vent. Apparently for two years my dryer has been pumping exhaust lint and moisture straight into my walls. What can I do?

    1. Samurai Appliance Repair Man

      This is either criminal negligence or criminal stupidity on the part of your contractor. You may even have grounds for a lawsuit. All that moist dryer exhaust may have created a black mold problem behind the sheet rock. If this is the case, you’ll need to determine the extent of it and have the infected areas removed and replaced.

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