Maintenance DIY: Dryer Troubleshooting

February 22, 2022 |

Updated March 4, 2022

2 minutes

Q. Our residents are complaining that the laundry room dryer is not drying clothes in a timely manner. We checked the dryer and there is plenty of heat being generated. What do you think the issue is?

A, You are describing a classic clogged dryer exhaust hose or line. In a laundry room scenario, there are sometimes long exhaust tubes where lint will accumulate over the years. This will make the dryer’s exhaust very difficult to work efficiently. Luckily, this is an easy fix:  

  1. Purchase a dryer duct cleaning kit from a home improvement store. Most kits are good to clean about 12 feet of ductwork and extra lengths of rods are sometimes available if your ducts are longer. 
  2. If your dryer is easily accessible, pull it away from the wall and remove the flexible tube from the dryer. Clean out all the lint that has accumulated just inside the dryer exhaust port. This is a good time to replace the flexible tube between the dryer and the wall or hard exhaust tube.
  3. Connect the brush that came with the vent cleaning kit with the first section of cleaning rod (the cleaning kit comes with several cleaning rods and brush).
  4. Connect the first section of the cleaning rod to a drill motor set on low. Push the brush into the exhaust tube in the wall or along the floor. Use the drill motor to turn the brush in a clockwise rotation (if the dryer is difficult to access, start the cleaning from the far end of the exhaust tube and work your way to the dryer). Pro Tip: If the dryer is connected to the tube and you are starting the cleaning from the outside going in, turn on the dryer on “air dry.” The air pressure will help push the lint out the tube as you clean the tube with the brush.
  5. Continuing with the clockwise rotation, pull the brush out and clean off the accumulated lint. Attach a second rod to the first one. Again, only turn the drill motor in a clockwise rotation. If you reverse the rotation, the rods could come loose in the exhaust tube.
  6. Keep adding rods until the brush comes out the other side or end of the exhaust tube. Extra rods can be purchased, or you can attack the exhaust tube from both ends if you don’t have enough rods. 
  7. Reconnect the dryer flex hose to the exhaust tube. Turn the dryer on “air dry” and allow the force of the air to push out any remaining lint and dust.
  8. The dryer vent tube should be cleaned once a year. A clogged tube is both a fire hazard and waste of expensive power.