It’s Complicated



Maybe it’s too complicated, even, to convey in a story. Where to begin?

I’m behind on laundry. Fortunately, it’s been a little chilly, so I don’t look totally out of place when I pull from my fall and winter wardrobe. I have a load of darks in the washing machine, and a big basket full of whites and colors to be washed. I don’t, at this time, have a dryer. As rain has been in the forecast, I haven’t wanted to put clothes on the line.

I do have a clothes dryer; I just can’t use it until I get it vented. When this house was first built, the dryer sat inside the south wall of the house, and was directly vented to the outside. When I did some remodeling about twenty years ago, it was moved to an inside wall. The venting ran up inside the wall, across the floor of the attic space that runs beside the upstairs rooms in my story-and-a-half house, and out through the soffit.

Some time ago, I realized the dryer wasn’t venting properly. Loads were taking too long to dry. On investigating, I found that the vent in the wall was completely clogged with dryer lint. The attic space had been filled with cellulose insulation (blown-in insulation) a while ago when the house was winterized, so I could no longer access the venting system to see what was causing the problem. I pulled out the dryer lint and as much of the vent pipe as I could from the hole behind the dryer. Then, I patched the hole.

Then, I got one of those indoor venting systems that use a lidded bucket filled with water to collect the lint. Aunt Katie recommended it. She used one, and said it did a fine job.

Well, it never did a fine job for me. I found there was a constant layer of fine dust over all surfaces in that area of the house. Even in the winter, when there should be no dust coming in. Also, the clips that hold the lid on were made of plastic, and broke easily. I’ve gone through three of them in the last few years. Too cheap to buy yet another one, I have been making do with the latest one, long past what would be reasonable.

After putting clothes in the dryer, I would fill the bottom – bucket section – of the vent with water to the indicator line. I would then spend an ungodly amount of time trying to fit the top part on correctly. Since it had a broken clip, I had to hold it in place while I started the dryer (an acrobatic feat!). Then, to keep the lid in place, I had to fit the dog’s nyla-bone into one of the vent holes, and balance it there just right to hold the lid on. And, the issue of dust prevailed.

When Aunt Katie died, my sister mentioned that the space under her old refrigerator was clogged with dryer lint, due to that venting system. I took that as proof positive that the dust in my house was caused by my interior dryer vent. Something had to be done!

The dryer can’t be moved. Closets now line the south wall of my laundry room, and the electrical connection is no longer there. It sounded much too expensive and labor-intensive to try to vent up through the wall again…not to mention the fire hazard when it doesn’t work properly.

On, I found a better vent. That’s the name of it, actually: “Better Vent” It was certainly more expensive, but worth it if it works. It has a two-filter system enclosed in a rectangular box, that hangs on the wall. No bucket of water. The clips that release the door to clean the filters appear to be sturdy and seem to function easily and properly.

Now, to hook it up. That has had me stymied for a week! First, I needed to buy two hose clamps in the four-inch size. Then, I needed to find my screwdriver. Next, I bought a rigid right-angle to attach to the dryer, as the booklet said that was necessary. The instructions also said to be sure not to make more than two right angle turns with the dryer vent hose.

Above and behind the dryer would be ideal, I thought, once I’d determined that I could reach it to clean the filters. Not enough space there, though, between the top of the dryer and the cupboard that hangs above it. That means it has to go on the wall beside the dryer, in the narrow space available there, enough to the front so that I can open the door to clean the vents. That is perfectly possible, if I move a picture that hangs there. And if I don’t count right angle turns to get there.

I’ve now been at this for a week. I have the next two days off. If I put everything else on hold, and give this project my full attention, I ought to be back in the laundry business soon. I hope.

Why does every little thing seem so complicated?!?

About cindyricksgers

I am an artist. I live on an island in northern Lake Michigan, USA. I have two grown daughters, four strong, smart and handsome grandsons and one beautiful, intelligent and charming granddaughter. I live with two spoiled dogs. I love walking in the woods around my home, reading, writing and playing in my studio.

3 responses »

    • As a woman who works in a hardware store, that was my first thought, too! Unfortunately, the need to remove the lid to get rid of the lint and add water, plus the constant whirl of hear and dryer lint caused even the best duct tape to fail. Not that the dog’s nyla-bone was a perfect solution…Thanks for reading, Kirby, and for your comments!

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