According to a report by the National Fire Protection Association, 92% of home structure fires involve clothes dryers. For people trying to install a dryer vent in a tight space, this statistic can be incredibly concerning. This guide will help you avoid many potential fire hazards.
When hooking up a vent, you are going to want to pick slim or periscope vent ducts. Periscope vents are adjustable enough to fit into small spaces. Install the slim venting to the wall first and slide the dryer into place after you confirm a firm fit. Any gaps are sealable with foil tape.
Below, we will expand upon these steps in a more detailed guide. We will also go through some additional potential issues you should keep an eye out for in these cases.
Table of Contents
- A Step-by-Step Guide On Installing Dyers In Tight Spots
- Step One: Get The Right Equipment
- Step Two: Finding The Right Vent
- Step Three: Unhook Your Dryer From the Wall
- Step Four: Reinstall The Wall Side Of Your Periscope Vent
- Step Five: Install the Dryer Side Of Your Vent
- Step Six: Hook Everything Up And Apply Foil Tape
- Related Questions
- What If My Dryer Vent Hose Keeps Falling Off?
- How Do You Install A Space Saver Dryer Vent?
- How Much Space Do You Need Behind A Dryer?
- Can I Use A Magnetic Dryer Vent?
- Can I Use A Flexible Hose For My Dryer Vent?
A Step-by-Step Guide On Installing Dyers In Tight Spots
- Be sure you have the right equipment
- Find the proper vent for your tight space
- Be sure to unhook everything.
- Install the wall-side of your dryer vent first
- Install the dryer-side of your vent
- Hook everything back up
- Push the dryer against the wall
Step One: Get The Right Equipment
The first step to any dryer vent replacement is ensuring you have the right equipment.
- Slim dryer vent kit
- Dust mask
- Flathead screwdriver
- Adjustable wrench
- Yellow gas line tape (if you have a gas dryer)
- Foil tape
If you have seen my other guides, this would be the time I suggest safety gear. Thankfully, you probably only need a dust mask for what flies into the air. The only thing you need to be sure of is turning off the gas.
Step Two: Finding The Right Vent
The best hose for putting your dryer in a tight space is a periscope dryer vent. These are also known as offset vents.
Whatever you call them, they allow you to install your dryer closer to the wall. You do this with a 90-degree elbow directly on the discharge vent. These are also known as flat dryer vents.
Without this type of vent, you run the risk of placing kinks in your standard hose. Full vent kits with periscopes should come with additional clamps. If they don’t, you will need to measure out the width you need to purchase separate clamps.
If you are uncertain about the length you need for your dryer vent, you should buy an adjustable periscope vent. This purchase takes the guesswork out of finding the right sized vent for you.
Step Three: Unhook Your Dryer From the Wall
Remove the dryer and the old ventilation setup from the wall. This point is where you are most likely to need that dust mask.
Once you remove and unplug the dryer, take the opportunity to clean out areas behind the dryer and current ventilation. You should make this part of your regular cleaning schedule, as this is another way to prevent fires.
If you have a gas line, be sure that the gas is off before you remove it. There should be a shut-off valve on the pipe. Your adjustable wrench will be able to turn this off. The valve should not be facing the same direction if it is correct, meaning that it should be crosswise.
If you are uncertain about where this may be, contact a friend before proceeding.
Step Four: Reinstall The Wall Side Of Your Periscope Vent
At this point, you will want to install your periscope vent in such a way where it saves the most room. Think about the amount of space you have to move your dryer left and right.
There are a few different positions you can place it in. Think about how your dryer naturally rests back here to determine how you need to position your vent.
Use your clamp to ensure that your periscope vent fits snuggly on the disbursement pipe. Do not apply tape yet.
Step Five: Install the Dryer Side Of Your Vent
At this point, push the dryer in such a way where it is about where you want to be. Use the correct positioning of your periscope vent to find the best way you can save space.
If you need to, you can loosen the clamp connected to the wall to rotate the periscope vent. If you have already applied tape, you will need to strip it off.
Once the offset vent is in such a way where you feel comfortable, you can move onto the last step.
Step Six: Hook Everything Up And Apply Foil Tape
Your last step is to hook up the plugs and gas line (if you have one) to ensure that you can use your dryer again. This point is where you can use foil tape to fill in any potential gaps in your build.
If you need to undo any of your work, don’t be afraid to peel off the tape. While you cannot reuse it, foil tape is relatively inexpensive. It is much better to have strong tape in this instance, as you do not want your dryer hose to fall off.
What If My Dryer Vent Hose Keeps Falling Off?
If your dryer vent hose keeps falling off, it is likely from a lack of firmness on your clamp. Check your clamp t be sure it can be snug.
If your clamp cannot be snug regardless of the amount of force you apply, you may need to buy a new clamp or a new dryer vent kit.
While you may want to buy more tape, it is not for holding down a vent hose. Foil tape is typically only meant to fill in any potential gaps.
How Do You Install A Space Saver Dryer Vent?
Space saver dryer vents have pretty generic terminology, but they are typically the same thing as periscope dryer vents. As a result, many of the same steps listed above will help you out.
How Much Space Do You Need Behind A Dryer?
Typically, you need a minimum of six inches behind your washer and dryer as space. If this seems impossible, periscope dryer vents can help you make up that additional space.
Can I Use A Magnetic Dryer Vent?
Some magnetic dryer vents allow for 90 degree turns in their ventilation system. In a way, this combines the usefulness of magnetic vents with the space savings of periscope vents.
If you can find a magnetic dryer vent that meets your space-saving needs, be 100% certain that you seal all available gaps. Foil tape is useful in this situation.
Can I Use A Flexible Hose For My Dryer Vent?
Flexible hoses are great for saving a great deal of space. They can curve and meet the most dimensional requirements behind dryers. Many times, this type of hose is what you need for dryers that have the area to fit them.
But the risk you run with a flexible hose if the space is too tight is too significant. Kinks in these flexible hoses are high potential fire zones. Built-up dryer lint is a major issue in those house fires mentioned earlier.
Don’t ever feel like you need to force a flexible hose in the back. If you feel like it is too snug, you will want to pursue other options.