HOW TO INSTALL A DRYER VENT

It’s been over 100 years since the first clothes dryers were invented. They initially used barrels but nowadays they are fully electronic. Modern dryers require a way to ventilate the dryer so the lint and moisture can exit. But, how do you install a dryer vent? The process takes five steps:

DUCT ROUTE

The first step is to determine the best route to have the duct go from the machine to the home’s exterior. You try to make this short and with minimal bends. This will ensure less possibility for excessive buildup and a potential fire hazard. We highly recommend making the distance no more than 15 feet, if possible.

PREPARING THE EXIT

Once you have the route, you need to create a hole within the home’s exterior to account for the piping. Do this hole carefully as you are impacting the integrity of the home. Creating a smaller, “practice” hole is a good idea to ensure you are heading in the right direction and there is no blockage.

PLACE THE CAP

With the hole in place, it’s time to secure the dryer vent cap to the exterior of the home. Once you’ve installed it, place calking around the opening to keep any other elements out.

CONNECT THE DRYER DUCT

With the route created and the cap installed, measure the length of the distance from the cap to the dryer. Cut the amount of ducting needed and attach the dryer vent duct to the dryer and cap.

TEST

With the vent installed and connected, you now need to run the dryer to test that it is all properly connected.

If you have questions about your dryer vents, contact the experts at The Irish Sweep.

THE TRUTH ABOUT THE INSTALLATION OF ARTIFICIAL GAS LOGS

The commitment to purchase a gas fireplace insert is expensive.  Mind you, you will receive true heat value for years to come once you make that monetary investment.  But some people feel they cannot bare that expense and want an alternative choice and many folks would like just to install a set of artificial gas logs.

The manufacturers of artificial gas log sets state clearly in their installation directions that a chimney must be suitable for wood burning.

In order for us to determine if your fireplace and chimney are safe for this use, we must clean and inspect the interior surfaces of your chimney with our remote vision system (a chimney camera).  With this tool, we can check the condition of the clay liners and their related mortar joints.  If the clay liners in the chimney are fractured or damaged in some way and if the mortar joints are missing or deteriorated the chimney is not suitable for wood burning and in turn not safe for use with a set of artificial gas logs.

If we discover any of these defects our typical recommendations are to line the chimney with stainless steel or recommend the installation of a gas burning or wood burning fireplace insert.

The codes, standards and installation directions clearly state that anytime there is a change in the fuel source in a fireplace and chimney, the chimney must be cleaned prior to the installation of any new product.

FLUE, WHAT IS IT?

FLUE:  Most people say to me, “Will you close the flue once you complete the cleaning process?”  What they are really asking me to do is to close the damper.

So what is the definition of the word flue?  The chimney Safety Institute of America defines this word as, “The passage in a chimney for conveying flue gases to the outside atmosphere.”

And Webster’s Dictionary defines this word as, “A channel or pipe in a chimney for carrying flame and smoke to the outer air.”

The inside of your chimney may contain one or more flues.  It depends upon the number of fireplaces or gas appliances are in the home.

WHAT ARE FACTORY BUILT FIREPLACE?

This is a fireplace and chimney system that was manufactured in a factory (as the name implies) out of metal.  It is a modular system of component parts that was brought to a job site and installed once the wood framing for the house was in place.  It has a firebox lined with refractory panels, with a damper at the top of the firebox and lengths of double or triple-walled

chimney place on top to form a complete fireplace and chimney system.  The chimney above the roofline may be enclosed by a wooden chase.

It has many slang names (which I refuse to use) but some of you may know this fireplace as a Z-Can, ZC, Zero Clearance fireplace (which is a misnomer) as clearances to combustibles are required.  I’ve heard some people refer to it as an insert, which is totally incorrect.

INSERTS, WHAT ARE THEY?

Inserts are either gas or wood burning, could be pellet but we see very few of these in the Bay Area.  They are a highly engineered metal box, fabricated in a factory and designed to be clean burning and they slide into the firebox of either a masonry or factory built fireplace.

The manufacturer of each of these inserts will specify the venting materials required for the insert, the clearances to combustibles and provide installation directions for each model they manufacture.  These appliances have all been tested and approved by some testing laboratory.

WHAT MAKES AN ARTIFICIAL GAS LOG SET

First of all, let me be clear, artificial gas log sets can only be installed in a fireplace that is suitable for wood burning.  The only way we can determine the fireplace is fire safe is to clean the chimney and then look at the interior surfaces with our remote vision camera system.

These sets come in various sizes and include ceramic logs of your choice with a burn pan, decorative silica sand, volcanic cinders, dual effect embers, a pedestal grate and damper stop.

A plumbing contactor is required to install a gas valve on the floor or wall near the fireplace and a gas supply line into the firebox.

Vent-free artificial gas log sets are illegal in the State of California.