Be Safe, Not Sorry! Check for Trapped Lint in Your Dryer Hose!

I’ve noticed over a period of time that my dryer takes longer and longer to dry a load of clothes. I check the filter, clean it out every day so that wasn’t the problem. My washing machine still seemed to be spinning the clothes out quite thoroughly.

Then I noticed that lint was collecting around the edge of my dryer door, and there was a little layer of it on the floor under the dryer. I mentioned this to my husband, but I don’t think I even made blimp on his radar. He mumbled something about having one of our sons come over and help him check it out some time, and that was the end of that.

I decided to time how long it was taking to dry a load of clothes finally. It timed at 3 hours and 40 minutes. I thought, ‘This is ridiculous!’ Now I mentioned to my husband the length of time it was taking to dry a load of clothes, and asked him what that would do to the electric bill. All he said was that it didn’t make sense, because obviously the dryer was getting hot. He didn’t have a clue what the problem might be, and again he mentioned having one of our sons come over and take a look at it with him, and that was the end of that for a while.

Then I started noticing a burned smell when I would turn on the dryer. Quite frankly, now I was worrying that the dryer might catch on fire at some point when I was least prepared to deal with it. I wasn’t sure I hadn’t reached the point where it wasn’t even safe to be using it.

So last Tuesday evening after supper, I mentioned to my son, Luke, how long it was taking to dry a load of clothes. Luke was ready to take a look at it but my husband told him, “You don’t have to do that now.”

Instead of waiting to see where this conversation would end, I walked over to the dryer and started trying to pull it out from the wall myself. Fortunately for me, Luke jumped right in to help me. He was able to get behind it and pull that silver vent hose off the back of the dryer. When he did, he found a huge ball of lint in it the size of a muskmelon. I thought, ‘No wonder it hasn’t been working right,’ but it got worse.

Luke reached up into the hose and started pulling more lint out of the hose. He pulled it out for five minutes, almost a foot and a half of solidly packed lint, some of it sopping wet, before he ran out of the gunk and came to clean hose.

We concurred that the dryer had been pushed too far back against the wall, had gotten a kink in it, and then the lint started collecting in the kink. We had lived in the house for three years, and had never pulled the dryer out to check that the dryer was still venting properly.

I’m lucky I didn’t have a fire. Some of the lint was dry enough it would have burned. If your dryer isn’t working at peak efficiency, the first place to check is that silver vent hose in the back, a task you can probably do yourself without having to call a repairman, without winding up with an expensive bill.

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