Author Topic: Are vinyl dryer ducts fire hazards?  (Read 2680 times)

Offline appliancentn

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Are vinyl dryer ducts fire hazards?
« on: April 07, 2009, 08:05:45 PM »
I'm not sure where to post this, so I'll try here.
A friend of mine saw the vinyl dryer exhaust duct in my house today and nearly had a stroke. He said it's REALLY dangerous and a fire hazard. He is a home inspector. He said he only uses some sort of metal ductwork.
You guys have any thoughts??
Electric dryer.

Offline JWWebster

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Re: Are vinyl dryer ducts fire hazards?
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2009, 08:41:17 PM »
Vinyl has been outlawed because if it gets full of lint it is a potential fire hazard. Even the aluminum flex ducting is not recommended either. Rigid metal or rigid metal flex pipe is the only acceptable thing to use nowadays.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2009, 08:43:45 PM by JWWebster »
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Offline appliancentn

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Re: Are vinyl dryer ducts fire hazards?
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2009, 09:23:27 PM »
YIKES..so...do I take mine out and replace it? It's been here 13 years. we built the house.
I mean, is it THAT big of a risk?
They outlawed metal toys too and kids still poke their eyes out.
Prob not a good analogy but you get the point I hope.

Offline JWWebster

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Re: Are vinyl dryer ducts fire hazards?
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2009, 01:14:20 PM »
Well as long as you keep the vents clean and don't block or kink the flex, the safetys in the dryer should keep it safe enough. I personally think these fires are caused by folk who bypass the safetys in order to get the dryer going again.
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Offline Al Capone

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Re: Are vinyl dryer ducts fire hazards?
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2009, 01:25:31 PM »
Venting is cheap and it's something you should be able to replace yourself. Why take the chance? I would replace it.
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Offline theoldstoveguy

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Re: Are vinyl dryer ducts fire hazards?
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2009, 06:34:29 PM »
Most appliance manufacturers state on the dryer don not use flexible plastic venting or will void the warranty. Has been that way for 15 years, If I work on a dryer that has that venting and disconnect it I can't reinstall that vent as my insurance will not allow it.

Offline JWWebster

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Re: Are vinyl dryer ducts fire hazards?
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2009, 11:57:12 AM »
Old stove guy what about the flexable aluminum? Are you allowed to use that? I have heard that too is now outlawed.
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Offline theoldstoveguy

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Re: Are vinyl dryer ducts fire hazards?
« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2009, 07:01:19 PM »
From the dryer to the wall only.Also it must be rigid aluminum from there on out to outside. Contactors are using the stretch (crinkle style)semi-rigid under houses and that is OK by code here.(not as good as smooth wall) At least in Sonoma County CA.

Offline Lady Hawk

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Re: Are vinyl dryer ducts fire hazards?
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2009, 05:21:34 PM »
Vinyl has been outlawed because if it gets full of lint it is a potential fire hazard. Even the aluminum flex ducting is not recommended either. Rigid metal or rigid metal flex pipe is the only acceptable thing to use nowadays.

If they have been outlawed why do the stores still sell them?

Offline JWWebster

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Re: Are vinyl dryer ducts fire hazards?
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2009, 09:50:02 PM »
That is what I said too. It is these dang insurance underwriters that are raising all the fuss. The dryers have a 140 degree cycling stat and a 250 degree stat and a 300 degree stat and a 350 degree fuse. If all that fails and you have a ton of junk in the dryer and that vent pipe then YEPPERS you is gonna have adang house fire. The insurance companys are all like well if they overide all that stuff and use that plastic then it could be hazzardous. The same idiots posted a warning on cigarette packs. We made a rat smoke 50000 cigarettes and that made the dude die over time. WOW, OR we gave a rat 20,000 grams of artificial sweetener and that sucker croaked! Beware of sugarfree beer!
« Last Edit: April 11, 2009, 09:56:39 PM by JWWebster »
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Offline BrntToast

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Re: Are vinyl dryer ducts fire hazards?
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2009, 10:01:37 PM »
you can still purchase plastic vents because it can be used on exhaust fans

the hazard with plastic vent is if the lint does catch fire it melts and the flames are in the house within seconds, if a lint fire starts in metal venting it will probably burn out long before the venting fails and lets the flames in the house

i've inspected a handfull of dryers that caught fire over the years, every one i saw the cause was a bra wire that had gone into the element, all the sparks flying and red hot element pieces falling set the lint within the dryer on fire

there is no restriction on vinyl venting in my province, but even though it is not illegal here i warm customers if i have to disconnect plastic vent from the dryer i will NOT hook it back up, i dont want to be the last one that touched it, if it ever does set ablaze

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Offline Repair-man

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Re: Are vinyl dryer ducts fire hazards?
« Reply #11 on: April 24, 2009, 06:44:13 AM »
Actually, the thin foil duct is also not recommended for dryers either. The picture below shows what happens to foil venting:

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