dryer venting and washer pan

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by DanMc, Aug 3, 2012.

  1. DanMc

    DanMc Engineer

    Messages:
    27
    Location:
    Georgia
    Hello,

    I have two washer/dryer questions. My house is a two story house with an unfinished attic that has a pull down trapdoor/ladder. The laundry "room" is a closet on the 2nd floor. The washer sits in a plastic pan which I guess at one point may have served to prevent lots of water damage if the washer sprung a leak. The pan has a drain on it but the pan is also cracked severely so it couldn't do much. I am about to replace this 20 year old top loader with a fancy maytag 5400 series front loader that sits on a pedestal including a drawer. Even if the pan weren't broken, the drawer won't be able to open if I put this in a new pan.

    So the exact washer questions are:

    1) for a 2nd floor install, are these pans really desirable?

    2) if a pan is really desirable, are there metal ones which may be more durable?

    3) if a pan is really desirable, how should I elevate the washer slightly to make it so I can still open the drawer?

    This sucker is *heavy* and so I want the closet fully prepared for when some guys with stronger and younger backs than mine carry it up.

    The next question is about the dryer vent. Currently it comes out of the back wall of the closet several inches up from the floor. It then travels inside the wall up into the unfinished attic. From there it turns more or less 45 degrees and continues up to the roof but at a slope. It finally vents out of the roof with an approximate length of maybe 8-10 feet in the attic and 7 in the wall. This vent is a pain to clean because it is so long (15 or 17 feet) and because access is impossible at the output side (sorry, I don't climb on to a roof this high) and difficult on the input side (have to completely move the dryer out of the closet and climb over it to get behind due to small closet and small hallway. The other problem is the new dryer I want to put in is deeper and there won't be sufficient clearance behind the dryer to actually connect to the vent.

    So my exact dryer questions are:

    a) the dryer can convert to a side vent so I'm thinking move the existing vent up on the wall to about 5 or 6 feet from the floor instead of 1 foot from the floor. Then I can use some flexible dryer duct to come out of the side of the dryer and up to the vent which is now higher up on the wall. Is this a reasonable approach?

    b) Is there a reasonable way to make it easy to open up the duct in the attic for periodic cleaning?

    c) any special considerations given how long this run is? Everywhere else I have lived, the dryer to outside world length was more like 6 feet or less.

    d) how much mechanical support should the dryer vent in the attic have? One answer seems to be "more than I already have" since there essentially isn't any and it is coming apart.

    I can't just move the whole in-wall duct over to the closet side wall because the attic furnace unit is directly on top of that wall.

    Many thanks

    -Dan
  2. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Building codes today require a waterproof floor and a floor drain. You are probably grandfathered, but the potential damage from a WM on second floor is quite large. At a minimum, the pan should have a drain. Yes, you can get a metal one built, and elevate the washer a little.

    It sounds like your dryer vent is within specs ( you can find the specific specs in your installation manual) but regardless, the longer the run, the longer it will take to dry a load of jeans or towels. The energy costs add up week by week. You could consider a duct booster fan in the attic.
  3. DanMc

    DanMc Engineer

    Messages:
    27
    Location:
    Georgia
    ok. Something like 4 bricks, in each corner to elevate it? Any experience with driptite and longevity?


    I certainly have noticed that in this house it always takes longer on jeans and towels than other places I've lived. Of course I now live in the humid southeast but the duct is long. I don't honestly see that there is any way at all to shorten it so I'll look into the fan. Back in school when I had no money and wasn't sure I could afford the electric bill I did some homework and found my dryer was the #1 pig on my electric bill so I'm all for improving that.

    With the bends, I'm probably on the edge of the max length without a booster.

    Any brands to avoid? I'm planning on being in the house for a minimum of 11 more years.
  4. Chad Schloss

    Chad Schloss Member

    Messages:
    328
    Location:
    USA
    I got a pan from E.L. Mustee at home depot online that has a removable front threshold for sliding them in. made it easier. if you wanted it on a pedestal with a drawer that opens, i think you may have to elevate it to clear the front or you could keep off the front, but that limits how much water it would catch if it were to leak. it has a 2" drain on it. This is in my rental house and has been working great so far, the washer doesn't move around or squeak on it.

    http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc...d=washer drain pan&storeId=10051#.UBxuRaPAHvY

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 3, 2012
  5. Chad Schloss

    Chad Schloss Member

    Messages:
    328
    Location:
    USA
    if you want to recess the dryer, you can get a dryerbox. that's how I got mine in as flush as possible in the above closet. see http://www.dryerbox.com/
    I mounted mine differently than they show, but you can do whatever you want. I got the 425 box for the above install.

    For cleaning the vent behind the dryer, I think you could also use an in line lint catcher, recessed in the wall. that way you could remove the screen portion of the lint drap and clean the duct from there, without removing the dryer.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 3, 2012
  6. wondering

    wondering New Member

    Messages:
    105
    They also make periscope vents which are flatter for tight installs. Not sure if this would help you or not. You also ask about "brands". Are you talking about dryers? If so, they do make some models that will let you operate them with longer vent capabilities. Not sure which brands, but I do know GE used to make one. You might Google that?. Some newer dryers use 2 motors, one for tumbling and one for the blower. Maybe this is to help long vent installs. I believe the WPool Cabrio(not sure though) Kenmore Oasis and the GE Harmony have the 2 motor system. Just have to check to be sure.
  7. wallskev

    wallskev New Member

    Messages:
    72
    Location:
    North Carolina,USA
  8. DanMc

    DanMc Engineer

    Messages:
    27
    Location:
    Georgia
    For brands, I was talking about the booster. The exact washer and dryer are already somewhat set. We're in the process of merging two homes into one and the washer/dryer in my house are 20 years older than the washer/dryer in her house so it is pretty clear which set we want to keep. Modern, energy efficient, front loader with large capacity versus old, lower end, top loader. So... trying to make the space fit the units which will be here.
  9. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    FanTech..........
  10. DanMc

    DanMc Engineer

    Messages:
    27
    Location:
    Georgia
    booster fan ordered. Thanks for the tips there. Looks like the Killarney steel pan is what I'll use for the washer. Any thoughts about the dryer which has steam? I'm planning on using those auto-shutoff hoses so is a pan under the dryer as well just overkill? The steel pans aren't cheap but neither is water damage.

    Thanks
    -Dan
  11. Chad Schloss

    Chad Schloss Member

    Messages:
    328
    Location:
    USA
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