Should I Vent the Washer and Dryer in the Basement?

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Many people are moving their laundry areas up. However, there are some homeowners in St. Louis, MO, whose washers and dryers are in the basement. If you’re among them, you have to make special venting arrangements so they won’t cause problems. Failure to do so means you’ll have to deal with an upsurge in indoor moisture and hazardous fumes. 

In this post, we’ll show you how to vent the washing machine and your dryer and share some considerations too. 

laundry in the basement

Venting the Washing Machine 

Every plumbing fixture, including your washing machine, needs proper venting to the outside. Poorly vented drains can be noisy, sluggish, and emit dangerous fumes. Properly venting the drains allows the P-trap to perform its job, and that’s to stop sewer gases from getting into your home. 

Some homeowners prefer to hook their washing machines with a convenient drain line. But the right way to vent the machine is installing a standpipe and connecting it to the P-trap, and finally, the drain. The upper part of the basement vent has to rise five feet above the overflow level. If your basement has unfinished walls, ask your plumber to help you install the standpipe in the laundry area. 

When venting the laundry drain, keep these in mind: 

  • Vent size (1.5-inch pipe) 
  • Vent location on the drain 
  • Distance between the vent and the washer 
  • Joining vents from other fixtures 
  • The gradient of horizontal vents 
  • Type of vent pipe material 

Venting the Dryer 

The dryer vent system moves streaming vapor from your clothing and the lint that accompanies it safely outside. Having your basement dryer properly vented ensures your device operates effectively at the same time reducing the risk of fire/water damage. The best way to vent it is to route it up and out. 

Running the dryer won’t raise the temperatures in the laundry room by any noticeable degree. You should only get worried if the laundry room gets hot when using it. The risk of basement dryer fires is just as real as the risk of mold growth from the elevated moisture levels. 

There’s a flexible hose that’s attached to your dryer’s back. One end connects to the outside vent. Some vents have a hose you can connect to the dryer’s hose. If you go out when your dryer is running and place your hand over the vent, you will feel hot air blowing out. 

If you run the dryer and the laundry room suddenly becomes hot and humid, stop using it and determine the cause. Check to see if the hose is properly attached to the back of the device. Use duct tape to hold the connection tightly if the hose keeps slipping off. Otherwise, hot, moist air from the dryer will blow into your room instead of going outside. 

Is the Dryer Vent Clogged? 

Lint from the dryer can build up over time and cause an obstruction. Keep an eye out for the following signs when trying to determine whether the dryer vent is clogged or not. 

  • Long dry times. Clothes take longer to dry up during a regular dry cycle. If the clothes feel damp after a dry cycle, time is up to have the dryer vent cleaned out. 
  • Burning smell. Do you notice a burnt odor from the dryer when it has a load going? The smell is from the dryer itself, not your imagination. It could be that your dryer vent is clogged, so it has to work extra hard to dry up the clothes, and this means overworking itself. 
  • Hot exterior. When your dryer has to work long and hard to dry your clothes, it will get hot during a cycle. Heat will keep building up if the moisture and heat have nowhere to go, eventually causing it to overheat and ignite a fire. 
  • Sizable Lint. Clean out the lint filter or tray before you start the next dry cycle. If you notice a considerable amount of line whenever you’re cleaning out the filter, your dryer vent could be clogged. Some of the lint may even accumulate on the outside. If your washer or dryer is contributing to excessive moisture and humidity in your basement, contact the experts at Foundation Repair Systems. We have skilled and knowledgeable technicians who can help you with basement moisture issues and moisture control. Schedule a free basement inspection and get a complimentary quote on repairs.

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