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Side Venting a Gas Dryer

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I gave Sears their props. I was happy with our purchase. (To get up to speed, and to see what I was dealing with, you may see my previous post Washer and Dryer Shopping :: Sizing Considerations.) Sure – we had to settle for the smaller capacity equipment. And yes, I do risk going with a scratch and dent dryer in a color that may not be matched in a few years. But for now – they looked great and we (read: the wife) was extremely happy.

adapter for side venting a gas dryer

Of course, we opted to pick up the new appliances ourselves. (Read: Saving of $65 for each appliance). A little cardboard, some ratchet straps, an appliance cart, and timely help from neighbors – no problem. I was well on my way to completing the kitchen to laundry room conversion. (As touched on in this post.)

Prepping the Dryer for Side Venting

Any time I make a major purchase, I try to get my hands on the installation instructions long before the fixture goes in. I didn’t really have that luxury this time. (I guess it is because the project manager on this job is really running things loosely.) But – shortly after we loaded in the dryer, I opened the included booklet.

I was surprised and taken aback to note in the instructions that with venting a gas dryer (the flavor with which I was working) could only be side-vented out of the right side. Electric models could go both ways. It was the gas inlet, here, that would interfere with attempting this in any other way. (And either way this would work out fantastically for me.)

knock out for side venting a gas dryer

I was aware going in and I had learned (not in any certain terms) that for side-venting on a dryer, some models could be configured using an off-the-shelf duct. In the case of our Frigidaire, a model-specific adapter would, however, be needed.

To order this, I pulled up Sears Parts Direct – $20 charged to my card and five or so business days later – I received it in the mail. I was surprised that this attachment was nothing more than shorter version of the heavy gauge steel duct already fitted to the unit. You see, it had a mounting clip welded to it.

Setting the Pedestal

gas inlet for dryer

To start, I removed the back panel of the pedestal. (I hope this doesn’t destabilize it as a platform.) My hope was to slide my gas stub up into the back of it. In reality, however, this really only gained me a fraction of an inch. I was hoping for more, but because of the gas inlet, and where it was placed on the dryer. My gas line later would butt the wall.

With this pedestal set in place, mounting hardware installed, and leveled as per instructions, I began work on the back of the dryer as sat in the center of the floor.

Configuring the Venting Outlet

I removed the back cover – and accessed the situation. I installed the new attachment. Fitted it with a full swivel duct 90, and added a 48 inch long, 4″ round steel extension to the elbow. The extension would bring the venting out of the side of the appliance.

removing back of dryer pedestal allows it to slip tight to wall

That’s not exactly the order of the events – at some point in there I had to address the knock-out in the side of the dryer. Similar to what I would do with some electrical applications – I whacked the head of an old screwdriver with a rubber mallet. I moved around the perimeter of it and in a matter of moments my path was cleared.

Holding my duct extension in place, I took a rough measurement. I had to shorten the extension that I purchased. As opposed to attempting this cut with a pair of aviator snips or with a hack saw, I set the assembled tube on my miter saw and whacked it off. I visited the rough edges with a fine file.

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I joined everything with foil tape – (love this stuff). Folded and torn, not cut – and replaced the back access panel on the dryer.

Close Connect

reconfiged gas dryer for side venting access panel removed

I knew I wanted to come out the side of the unit and right out the side the house. I purchased a close connect fitting, an offset aluminum assembly that slides back and forth from zero to six inches. Since I was right tight to the outside wall, I did think about bringing the flex vent straight into the unit.

Yes, I’ll admit, this thought did make me a little nervous. 1.) Because I am not certain if there any code limitations with this and 2.) Because coming straight in with the semi-rigid dryer vent sleeve left me no margin for error.

So. . . in the end, I did choose to use the offset. This would push me out from the wall a little, but in close quarters – I felt if I could also bring it forward a little, it would ease finishing of the connections.

Drilling the Dryer Vent’s Penetration to the Outside

I wasn’t overly exacting with my measurements. I moved the hole forward of the dryer outlet by about 4 (within the zero to six inch reach I mentioned above). Probing the location – I always probe before breaking out the hammer drill and hole saw. My choice for this is a 12 inch 5/16th bit (well, because it is the only long bit I have). I use my cordless drill to take this through to the outside of the house.

Down into the basement and out the basement door for a look. It couldn’t have centered much better than it did. On lap siding, I try to place the louver as such that it will rest on two courses – one for mounting at the top, and one for mounting at the bottom.

Next comes the 4 1/2 hole saw – yes 4 ½ for a little wiggle – the lowest setting on my drill. A new bit (though at $35 a pop) cut through my siding, sheathing and interior wall surfaces like butter. (And yes – I do start and work the hole from each side.)

Editor’s Note: Read our Review of the LENOX Tools’ T3 Hole Saws for more.

close quarter connect dryer vent adapter Installed not taped -- siding work remains

Insert Tab A into Slot B – Send Dryer Vent Outside

My hole complete, gas line connected at the back, and the close connect vent installed, I grab my wife and her muscles. We lifted the dryer up onto the pedestal – setting it inside the mounting brackets as diagrammed. I inserted the few machine screws provided with the mounting brackets. And we slid the dryer over and out. Here, I made the final gas connection. (I won’t go into this today – pipe dope and TWO wrenches.)

I eye balled my house hole, lining it up with the vent (fitted with a temporary flexible extension). It’s here that I was thankful for the close connect. It glided easily on itself – as I gently skidded the appliance backward and over. The additional space that was created for/by this connector would not only be needed for finishing the vent, but also allows me to reach to the back of the pedestal for adjustments to the leveling legs.

close quarter connect dryer vent installed

Because I have plans on replacing the section of siding where this vent now exits – I hold off on fitting the vent flap to the duct, and on taping the corners of my close connect assembly.

I will admit, this is the first time I have used this type of connector. I will let you know how it performs. The offset (as with a toilet offset) may have a tendency to capture things. And lint stuck in a dryer vent may not only hinder a dryer’s performance, but it may also be a real fire hazard.

Here’s my follow up to this post, including – Taping off the Close Connect Fitting, Weatherizing at the Penetration & Installing the Dryer Vent Cap.

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More Moxie (Related Links):

Sears Parts Direct: http://www.searspartsdirect.com/partsdirect/index.action