Discovering unexpected water in your dryer can be quite concerning as it suggests that something might not be functioning correctly within the dryer. However, it’s worth noting that the issue may not always be severe and can be triggered by the high humidity levels in the environment.
However, the primary reason for water appearing in the dryer is, indeed, condensation. So, we are about to figure out how the condensation happens out of nowhere. Let’s do it!
Infiltration of Humid Air
When the outside weather is humid, the humid air can infiltrate through vents to the dryer. The incoming humid air then condenses to water on the cool surfaces inside the dryer and drum.
Mostly, the newer and tight-sealing modern dryers tend to be more susceptible to it during humid nights. This can also happen when the dryer is located in a highly humid room without proper ventilation, such as a basement, laundry room, etc.
Plus, you will see water in the dryer mostly when the dryer is not in use for long. However, an excellent and creative solution to this problem is that you can keep a moisture-keeping bag in the dryer.
These bags are designed to absorb and capture moisture from the air, preventing it from condensing inside the dryer. They are specifically designed to be safe for use in dryers and laundry appliances.
However, a cost-effective solution to this problem could be leaving the dryer door slightly open or ajar when you see water in the dryer quite often. This will create ventilation for better airflow within the dryer and reduce the chance of moisture condensing.
Dryer vents often have a damper installed to help prevent drafts, pests, and outside air from entering the dryer duct when the dryer is not in use. The damper only allows air and exhaust to exit the vent and prevents outdoor air, pests, and debris from entering the vent.
If the damper doesn’t open properly when the dryer is in use, it can result in poor ventilation and allow outside air to enter. This increases the risk of condensation.
In that case, check the condition of the damper on the outside of the home and ensure the damper functions properly. This means it opens fully and isn’t clogged by lints and other objects. However, even with good-quality dampers, some air leakage may occur. So, it’s essential to make sure they are working properly.
Vent System Blockage
A clogged or blocked vent prevents the hot air that dries the clothes from escaping to the outdoor environment. As a result, the dryer experiences extended drying cycles and ultimately leaves your clothes damp at the end of the cycle.
In case you don’t know, the presence of hot air in the dryer is a fundamental aspect of how the appliance functions. The dryer uses a blower wheel to pull surrounding air from the front and rear of the appliance. Then those airs are heated and circulated through the rotating cloths in the drum. The hotter the air, the more effective it is at removing moisture from the clothes.
Then the heated air used to remove moisture from the clothes is vented to the outside of the home through the exhaust vent. But when the exhaust vent is blocked, the hot air remains trapped. This trapped hot air condenses on a cooler surface and produces water because the moist air cannot be effectively replaced with fresh, dry air.
It is crucial to clean the venting system of your dryer once in a while. Each time you dry your clothes, they release a small amount of lint, which gradually accumulates within the vent. Occasionally, foreign objects such as small pieces of fabric or even bird nests, can find their way into the vent, causing blockages. This is why it is advisable to clean your dryer vent regularly, for instance, once or twice a year.
How to Clean the Vent
First, you must turn off the dryer by unplugging it from the power source. If it’s a gas dryer, turn off the gas supply as well. To clean the duct, you need to locate it first and disconnect it from the back of the dryer. For your convenience, you can slide the dryer away from the wall and detach the duct from the back of the dryer.
Next, vacuum out the lint from the dryer and the duct using a hose attachment. Consider removing the exterior vent cover and vacuuming from the outside. For longer vents, you’ll need a brush kit with extension rods to clean the interior walls of the vent thoroughly.
After cleaning, inspect the ducts for damage, reattach them, and run the dryer briefly to ensure everything’s in order. To prevent lint buildup, regularly clean the lint trap, and sweep and dust around the dryer. Keeping the dryer vent clean helps the hot air escape and improves energy efficiency and laundry performance.
One Dryer’s Moist Condenses in Another
Sometimes, you may find water inside the dryer where multiple dryers share the same vent pipe to release hot, moist air from the dryers. When hot air escapes from one dryer and then meets cooler surfaces within another dryer, it causes the moisture and hot air to condense and accumulate into water.
Now the hot, moist air comes into contact with a cooler surface when both dryers share the same vent pipe. This means one dryer’s hot air condenses inside another dryer. To prevent this from happening, you need to ensure that each dryer has its own separate vent pipe going directly to the outside instead of sharing a common one.
This does not let the air from one dryer enter different dryers, minimizing the risk of condensation. If a separate vent line seems off-putting, running both dryers simultaneously can also help because they will be blowing air outside at the same time, reducing the chance of condensation.
Improper Installation of Vent
The heated air that removes the moisture from clothes should be escaped to the environment through the venting pipe. However, there are standard guidelines about how an exhaust vent should be installed to meet the purpose of venting in the best way.
The length limit for a rigid exhaust vent which is the best type of vent, is 40 ft if the pipe is straight. However, each 90-degree bend at any point of the pipe subtracts 8 feet from the 40-foot limit because any bend in venting restricts the airflow for optimal operation.
If your venting system is installed incorrectly, it can lead to increased condensation. Greater lengths and bends also increase the chance of condensation, resulting in water accumulation.
Moreover, the recommended length limit for venting doesn’t count for vent pipes made with low-quality materials. Generally, the standard length limit gets lower when the material is not high quality like rigid or semi-rigid.
A Ventless Dryer
If the problem persists after trying all the methods of preventing water accumulation in the dryer, a ventless dryer could be an excellent alternative to the traditional dryers with the venting system.
There are two main types of ventless dryers: condenser and heat pump dryers. A condenser dryer is preferable in this case as a condenser dryer does everything similar to a vented dryer up until the expelling of moisture-laden air outside.
What it does instead is that it collects the hot air in a condensation compartment. In this designated compartment or chamber, the hot air that removes moisture from clothes condenses into water. This water is then collected in a reservoir or drained out through a plumbing connection.
Uninsulated vent normally doesn’t have a layer of insulation around the duct. This doesn’t help to maintain the temperature of the air inside the duct. As a result, the hot, moist air cools down quickly when it flows through the vent, especially in the colder season. Thus, the uninsulated dryer vents may cause moisture to condense inside the vent, accumulating water.
That’s why it is not recommended now to use uninsulated venting pipes, as there remains a higher risk of water accumulation and other moisture-related issues. Even the building code and regulations specify the insulated venting system. If your dryer’s exhaust vent is uninsulated, the moisture or water in the dryer may be the consequence of this.
Whether the cause is big or small, addressing the issue with the right knowledge and taking appropriate action is essential. In many cases, paying close attention to the venting duct can resolve the problem.
Unfortunately, people often neglect its cleaning, allowing lint to accumulate, which is a common source of damping issues. Additionally, it’s crucial to position the dryer in a well-ventilated area with a low humidity level. By following the best dryer-related guidelines, you can prevent these unexpected occurrences from happening.