How to Replace a Dryer Vent – Part 2

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How to Replace a Dryer Vent – remove the old vent, install and connect the unit. This project is continued from How to Replace a Dryer Vent – Part 1.

Remove the Old Dryer Vent

The hex-head wood screws are removed from the old dryer vent with a socket wrench.

Unfasten the Old Dryer Vent

Unfasten the Old Dryer Vent

The caulk lines are cut with a utility knife to release the vent plate:

Cut the Caulk Lines with Utility Knife

And pull off the old vent:

Remove the Dryer Vent from the Wall

Remove the Dryer Vent from the Wall

The 3-in-1 Caulk Tool was ideal for scraping the old caulk off the stucco wall and getting into the crevasses.

Scrape off the old Caulk

It’s important to remove all the old caulk so the new caulk will make a watertight bond to the wall. The 10 minutes of scraping is well worth extra effort.

Install the New Dryer Vent

The hole in the basement wall is plenty large enough for the deflect-o® 4″ Supurr Guard® Dryer Vent #GVHXW4:

Install the New Dryer Vent

Install the New Dryer Vent

The wood screws won’t punch through the cement stucco, so pilot holes are drilled to get the screws started. To mark the screw locations:

  1. Hold the new dryer vent against the wall.
  2. Center and level the dryer vent.
    The new vent face is slightly smaller than the old one, so I centered it taking care to avoid the old screw holes.
  3. Mark each screw hole against the wall.
    A felt tip marker or No. 2 pencil is too fat to fit through the holes in the vent plate, so I shaved down a No. 2 pencil with my pocket knife so it was skinny enough to reach through the screw holes to the wall.

Four pilot holes are drilled at each mark (red arrows) using a drill bit that is slightly smaller than shank of the wood screw. A masonry drill bit should be used, but since I didn’t have a small masonry bit on hand so I “sacrificed” a normal drill bit, which did OK. It’s only necessary to drill through the stucco and stop at the oriented strand board (OSB) wall sheathing.

Drill Pilot Holes for the Dryer Vent Screws

Drill Pilot Holes for the Dryer Vent Screws

Aside: I saved the plug from the hole I cut in the wall for the basement bathroom exhaust vent that’s also located on this exterior wall. The plug illustrates the stucco wall construction:

  • 1/2 inch oriented strand board (OSB) against the 2×4 studs (interior side)
  • tar paper weather proof barrier
  • metal lath to hold the stucco (notice the grid pattern on back of the stucco)
  • 1/2 inch layer of cement stucco
  • top coat of paint over the stucco

Exterior Wall Construction: Stucco, Tar Paper and OSB

The old and new screw holes are filled with GE Silicone II waterproof exterior silicone caulk to seal out rain water. There are two types of silicone caulk: paintable and non-paintable. I used the non-paintable white silicone caulk because the vent is white and I don’t plan to paint the vent. Non-paintable caulk dries to a tack free surface that won’t collect dust/dirt. Paintable caulk has a slightly tacky surface to bond with paint and will collect dust/dirt over time if left unpainted. Take care and read the label when buying caulk at the hardware store so you get the right type for your job.

Caulk the Dryer Vent Screw Holes

Caulk the Dryer Vent Screw Holes

The new dryer vent is fastened to the wall with Grip-Rite® PRIMEGUARD TEN 2 inch exterior wood screws. The wood screws pass through the cement stucco to the oriented strand board (OSB) wall sheathing. It’s the OSB sheathing that gives the screws holding power.

Mount the Dryer Vent with 2 inch Wood Screws

Mount the Dryer Vent with 2 inch Wood Screws

A bead of white silicone caulk is applied to the perimeter of the dryer vent to seal it to the wall.

Caulk the New Dryer Vent

Caulk the New Dryer Vent

The bird guard snaps on the vent hood to keep out birds and small pests. I’m a big fan of bird guards because a bird will build a nest inside an open vent if a given chance.

Dryer Vent with Bird Guard

Dryer Vent: Flexible Duct Connection

Back inside the basement, the white pipe collar is slipped over the dryer vent pipe and set against the wall behind the fiberglass insulation. The collar is a cosmetic trim piece to cover the hole in the wall. The fiberglass insulation held the collar against the OSB wall sheathing so I skipped the extra step of securing it with two small screws.

Notice the warm glow of sunlight diffusing inside the vent pipe.

Dryer Vent through the Exterior Wall

Dryer Vent through the Exterior Wall

The insulation is pressed back around the dryer vent pipe, then the flexible alumimun dryer duct is slipped about 6 inches over the vent pipe. This takes a little bit of wiggling to work the flexible duct over the vent pipe because it has to be exactly smooth and straight. I stopped at the face of the fiberglass insulation to leave room for sealing the joint with aluminum foil HVAC tape.

Connect Flexible Metal Duct to the Dryer Vent

Connect Flexible Metal Duct to the Dryer Vent

The flexible dryer duct is fastened and sealed to the vent pipe with two loops of aluminum foil HVAC tape. Smooth down the edges of the tape for an air tight seal. It is critical that HVAC metal foil tape is used here to withstand the temperature and maintain a solid bond. Do not use common duct tape because it will come loose and fail.

Sealing the Dryer Duct with Alumimun Foil HVAC Tape

Flexible metal dryer duct sealed to the new deflect-o dryer vent pipe with HVAC foil tape:

Dryer Vent Duct Sealed with HVAC Aluminum Tape

Dryer Vent Testing

Toss a load wet clothes in the dryer with an anti-static dryer sheet and turn it on. Check the ducting and new vent for leaks by:

  • Feel around the duct inside the basement to ensure there’s no air leaks.
  • Walk outside and verify the louvers on the dryer vent are open with a strong flow of warm air.

If the airflow is weak or your clothes are taking an unusually long time to dry, the dryer duct may need cleaning.

Cool Product: Dryerbox®

I plan to do some laundry room remodeling work and stumbled across the The Dryer Box® by In-O-Vate Technologies. I haven’t used this product yet, but it looks perfect to solve the kinked dryer hose problem. It’s simple to install and I’ll use the opportunity to clean out the dryer duct starting at the laundry room.

Take care,

Bob Jackson

Copyright © 2018 HandymanHowTo.com   Reproduction strictly prohibited.

11 Comments

  1. Mayank March 12, 2012 at 6:07 am - Reply

    Bob,

    Thanks for writing such a thorough, simple, and easy to follow guide on replacing a dryer vent.

    I have the same exact old 3 louvre vent which I plan to replace, but will also be cleaning out the dryer with an extendable vaccuum piece to fet all the lint out, just so I have a clean slate!

  2. tom January 20, 2014 at 1:09 am - Reply

    Why isn’t there a vapor barrier covering your insulation?

  3. Nhar March 15, 2015 at 11:08 pm - Reply

    So louvers do not open Vent was cleaned out Before new dryer installed. Old dryer would blow open louvers. I checked airflow from back of new dryer it is strong.

    • Bob Jackson March 16, 2015 at 9:58 pm - Reply

      The dryer vent flap should open easily, check that first in case it’s stuck.

      The most common problem is the semi-rigid dryer hose kinks/pinches closed blocking the airflow when you push the dryer in towards the wall. Other causes can be:
      * loose hose connection either at the dryer or the wall duct – check the hose band clamps
      * lint clogging the dryer duct to the outdoors – a thick mat of lint may have shaken loose

      If you believe the duct needs cleaning Google “dry duct cleaning” for companies in your area or you can try a do-it-yourself kit.

  4. ABE NATHAN January 20, 2017 at 2:56 pm - Reply

    Hello Bob,

    I just purchased a Speedi-Products EX-HPG 04 4-Inch Diameter Heavy Duty Galv Hood with Back Draft
    Flapper and 11-Inch Tailpipe. Unfortunately, it was necessary previously to cut off the original hood for accessing the pipe & ducts to execute the LintEater Dryer Vent Cleaning System.
    After meticulously chiseling away all bonding caulk and extricating the remaining metals, I removed the original-installed pipe via ladder from outside (the vent hole is cut into the rear patio siding, approx. 12 feet above the ground). The 12-inch pipe did not breach the hole alone; one of the 24-inch duct panels
    attached with HVAC foil tape came through. With flashlight in-hand, I can observe the disconnected piece. I have attempted to wrap HVAC foil tape around the outside of this 24-inch duct piece, place it
    blindly through the hole and attempt to connect and seal. No success.
    Unlike your “How To Replace A Dryer Vent – Part 1 & 2”, my dryer vent duct connecting system is
    enclosed in a completely finished ground floor of a three-floor town home.
    I own the deed to this house, and remain committed to personal-involved maintenance. Tho’ admittedly, I possess little hands-on expertise in performing ‘home improvement projects’.

    What are my options re: stated circumstance(s)?

    Very appreciative of your Website and service to others.

    • Bob Jackson January 20, 2017 at 5:50 pm - Reply

      To summarize the problem, the 4 inch flexible (or sheet metal) dryer vent duct is concealed between the 1st and 2nd floor joists and there’s not enough slack to pull it out of the wall to connect the vent hood & pipe. Correct?

      The problem with the Speedi-Products EX-HPG 04 4-Inch Diameter Hood is the hood is crimped and riveted to the duct pipe extension.

      Get the Deflect-o 4″ Gvhxw4 Supurr Guard Dryer Vent Hood that I used because the louvered hood dampers snap-in/out by flexing the plastic louvers in the center (like a bow).

      This way you can temporarily remove the two louvers, insert the hood and duct pipe into the wall, reach inside with some finesse (and cussing), pull the interior flex duct over the hood pipe, then seal it from the inside with metal foil HVAC tape. I suspect it’ll be easier to seal the joint with several short (3 or 4 inch) long pieces of HVAC tape because a single long section of tape will be unmanageable and get tangled.

      To grip and work the interior dryer duct over the hood pipe, try some low-tack painters tape. Wrap it sitcky-side out over your fingers so it sticks to the interior duct.

      • ABE NATHAN January 25, 2017 at 1:21 pm - Reply

        Thank you, Bob, for the prompt response. I’ve continued my attempts to reconnect the disconnected 24-inch ducts foremost at No success! To elaborate, the dryer duct system traverses approximately 15-ft. from the laundry room, across the library/study, to the outside and, all within the finished ceiling wall. When I extracted the remains of the old vent hood, while laboriously removing the pipe, I discovered it to be all one piece and same as connecting 24-inch ducts—one of which pulled away from the system and came out with the pipe.
        This is all original home-builder-installed (1998).

        I, then, used a flashlight to observe the interior ducts. They are Not fully guided/propped-up. Hence, the last open duct needing connection with the 24-inch piece I have in-hand is sagging some. Again, I am attempting to connect the two pieces first via this 5-inch hole. Obviously, there is contact, but no assurance of all-around connection and crucial sealing.

        I now take note from your “How to Replace a Bathroom Exhaust Fan and Ductwork – Part 7”,
        the usefulness of a ‘telescoping paint stick with hook’. Yet, still, given my highly-restricted visual window, I don’t know if this technique is appropriate or feasible? And, exactly What, How To?
        I have not yet tried to use a stick, but may be unable to fit connecting duct piece and stick into
        hole at same time!?

        Also, you refer to “the interior flex duct”. To be clear, these 24-inch pieces/panels that connect
        and form the 15-ft. duct system are Not the same type aluminum flex duct leading from the laundry
        wall cap to the dryer. Understood? It’s higher-quality and more rigid.

        Fyi, the outside wall hole currently is covered over with temporary material for easy removal and access. I hope this clarifies my circumstances. Please advise, if you will.

        • Bob Jackson January 26, 2017 at 9:44 am - Reply

          The dryer duct is arranged as follows:
          [exterior vent hood/pipe][wall][~16 inch gap][24 inch sections of sheet metal dryer duct, 15 ft total]

          Correct?

          The problem is connecting the vent hood duct extension to the first (left most) section of 24 inch sheet metal duct given the only access is the 5 inch diameter hole in the exterior wall.

          > the dryer duct system traverses approximately 15-ft. from the laundry room,
          > across the library/study, to the outside and, all within the finished ceiling wall.
          The problem is access to the dryer duct in the ceiling. You need get two hands on it to connect the vent hood pipe to the duct in the finished ceiling, which is impossible via the 5 inch hole in the exterior wall.

          Consider cutting an access hole in the library/study ceiling to get at the dryer duct. You can either install an access panel or repair the ceiling afterwards.

          The bauco architectural panels are really nice and useful for future maintenance access: https://www.handymanhowto.com/category/plumbing/plumbing-access-panels/

          I’ve installed inexpensive plastic access panels where appearance is less important for infrequent use with a shutoff valve (https://www.handymanhowto.com/prevent-outdoor-water-pipes-freezing-and-bursting/) and in stairwells for pulling electrical cable from the basement circuit breaker panel to the 2nd floor.

          Or you can permanently repair the ceiling on the assumption you’ll never need to get in there again: https://www.handymanhowto.com/how-to-repair-drywall-ceiling-water-damage-part-1/

          In all cases, I’d replace that last 24 inch section of sheet metal dryer duct with a length of flexible metal duct that’s long enough to pull out the exterior wall to attach the vent hood so you’ll never had this problem again. Slide the metal flex duct over the entire hood pipe extension to take up the slack and prevent kinks when it’s mounted against the wall.

          Thanks,
          Bob

  5. Ronnie June 12, 2017 at 8:41 pm - Reply

    I have a question…

    I recently bought a portable ac for the garage, I want to vent the exhaust outside, I bought a dryer exhaust vent with a 5 inch to 4 inch adapter to make it fit. I am cutting through drywall inside to Styrofoam backed stucco outside. I am worried that the exhaust will heat up the metal pipe through the wall. Could this be a fire hazard or am I ok…? Will the Styrofoam catch fire or melt…?

    Thanks…

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