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Dryer Vent Cleaning w/o Moving Dryer?

LilyM Member Posts: 19

My gas dryer has gas inlet, water inlet, and vent outlet connection in the back. There’s a ~30” section of flexible duct before entering the wall. Pictures attached. 

The dryer is now signaling me to clean the vent. Because of water and gas connection, esp. the gas connection has 180 degree bend, I wonder if there is a way to clean the vent without moving the washer & dryer. The vent cover on the outside is easily accessible.

I searched on YouTube. The traditional way is to use drill + brush + shop vac. Another way is to use reverse skipper ball with compressed air. 

If accessing from the outside, can both methods reach and effectively clean the flexible section?


  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,458
    Not really... Your best bet -- assuming both the water and gas connections are flexible -- is going to be to pull it forward just enough to get down to where that flex duct connects to the wall, undo the hose clamp on that, and get your shopvac into the flex...

    How good a contortionist are you?
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • LilyM
    LilyM Member Posts: 19

    Actually I did contact one of my local duct cleaning companies and asked this question. 

    Unfortunately the person who answered is a young voice and seems to be only the scheduler role who might not have complete knowledge of the technical details. 

    She told me they haven’t heard of the reverse skipper ball method.  They use the traditional brush method. They don’t enter the house and they always clean from the outside and ask the owner to turn on the dryer while they clean. She said the brush will reach the flexible duct without a problem which I’m being very doubtful. 

    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,635
    edited October 2021
    Anything you use to clean is likely to break the flex duct which in most locations no longer legal.

    based on the pictures i would disconnect the flex in the basement you should be able to clean up into the dryer from their without moving the dryer. Most of the lint will be near the dryer and in the flex duct
  • Solid_Fuel_Man
    Solid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 2,646
    I remove my gas dryer every other year and do a through cleaning. I've found very little in the duct (hard steel).  I too have a short piece of flex duct which has only one 90 degree bent, just out the back of the dryer. I never find anything in there either....

    I do find a good bunch of Lint in the dryer itself. Which is a bit disconcerting. I always run a brush in from the outside while the dryer is running empty on the no heat setting. A good bit of lint collects in the vent with the flap in it on the outside wall though. 

    Just my experience. For what it's worth you can eliminate both of those 90 degree bends in the flax with hard 90s and just have a short straight run of flex between them. I use short rivets in deyer ductwork and aluminum duct tape over all joints. The rivets dont stick into the ductwork very far like self tapping screws do. So lint doesnt collect on them. 
    Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,754
    You can probably reach back there if you pull the washer out