What Type of Pipes Can Be Used for Dryer Vent? (Solved!)

You must refer to building codes to determine which material is best for pipes for your dryer vents. However, plumbing experts recommend metal ducts for dryer vents. Metal withstands heat quite well and does not require replacement soon.

You must also follow the manufacturer’s recommendation to determine which pipe is best for your dryer vent.

Here Are The Types Of Pipes You Can Use For The Dryer Vent

Pipes for dryer vents come in a variety of materials, which are typically flexible, four inches in diameter, and round. You will find retailers selling a variety of pipes for dryer vents, so you may think all are suitable for your application.

The fact is that building codes do not allow certain materials for the pipes for dryer vents. Vinyl duct, for instance, is not a popular choice.

Below are the types of pipes people commonly use in dryer vents.

1.     Rigid Metal

Metal is the most popular and recommended choice for the installation of dryer vents. You will find it in duct installations for concealment, where the duct has to run in areas like floors, walls, and portions of the house where it won’t be plainly visible.

The interior of metal pipes is usually very smooth, which you will find in galvanized steel and aluminum forms. The smooth interior also makes it possible for the air to flow without facing any friction. Moreover, the rigid metal pipe catches very little to no lint at all in the material.

Metal is a rigid material, which means the pipe cannot bend and requires elbow fittings for turning at 45 to 90 degrees.

2.     Slim Duct

These pipes are popular as periscope ducts in the market. They’re rigid yet telescoping aluminum pipes that work for transition ducting where spaces are tight. The highlights of this pipe type are the wide rectangular shape, with the exception of the two ends where it links with the vent outlet and dryer.

With the feature, you can push your dryer really close to the wall, saving up precious space too.

3.     Semi-Rigid Metal Pipes

You will mostly find this pipe in aluminum duct forms, which are flexible and quite like foil ducting. However, foil pipes are more flexible while this one maintains a degree of rigidity. Semi-rigid pipes are most suitable for transition ducting, and you must avoid concealing them on floors or walls.

You will also need clamps to install semi-rigid metal pipes.

4.     Aluminum Foil Pipes

These pipes are the most common for dryer vent ducts. They connect from the device to the main duct running till the exteriors. However, to use aluminum pipes for your dryer vent, you must refer to the local code and manufacturer’s instructions to ensure it is suitable for your project.

You must also not conceal these types of transition pipes inside wall cavities, walls, and such places. Make sure that the length of aluminum foil pipes you use is eight feet long.

5.     Vinyl or Plastic

Plastic pipes are more common in vinyl, and they are somewhat similar to aluminum foil pipes. The only difference is that vinyl or plastic pipes have a very thin plastic wall instead of metal foil. Many have been popularly used for dryer vent projects, but most building codes now prohibit these pipes from the project.

The ribbed interior or flexible plastic pipes gathers lint very quickly.

What Is Code For A Dryer Vent?

  • Choose no other material than metal for your appliance’ system, the duct inside the wall. It must have a finishing that is flawless and smooth. It is important to remember the difference between the transition duct and the code for the dryer vent. The former is a flexible and short duct running from the dryer into the wall. The dryer duct running into the wall and terminating outside must be of metal that is 0.0157 thick and #28 gauge.
  • The code requirement for the location of the vent states that there must be a gap of at least three feet from the hood’s outer portion to any openings present. These include HVAC intakes, doors, and windows. The fact is that the dryer tends to send out lint particles and plentiful moisture, which its exhaust will suck into your home through the door, HVAC inlet, or window. Inhaling these will be harmful to health and the HVAC equipment’s efficiency.
  • The IRC firmly states that the vent must be independent and not connected to a range of other vents.
  • One must only terminate the duct outside and not anywhere inside the house. No one must settle for an enclosed area, a wall cavity, soffit, or attic. Dryers are appliances that typically send out moisture by gallons, which can resultantly damage drywall, wood frames, and wood sheathes.
  • When installing a new vent for your dryer with drywall or open walls, you will require straps or other fasteners for securing it at intervals of twelve feet. You must let the female end of your dryer connect with the male end to prevent lint obstructions from forming in the airflow direction.
  • The code requirement for new construction is that if the total length of the duct is beyond thirty-five feet and approved by the manufacturer, you must put a label or permanent tag. Make sure to put it on the duct location are on display.
  • You must install protection plating on the frames if the duct has openings for screws or nails. The code has stipulated this requirement for installation of the dryer vent, specifying that one needs to install protection plating on their home’s frame if the gap falls short of ¼ inches between the frame and duct.
  • If you have installed the duct but not the dryer as yet, then you must cap and label it for future use.

Can You Use CPVC For Dryer Vent?

No, you must not use CPVC for your dryer vent, but only opt for rigid metal pipes.

The fact is that the plastic pipes are a fire hazard, catch lint very quickly and easily and also have very thin plastic walls. Moreover, the maximum operating temperatures of PVC are extremely low and will not be able to withstand the level of heat your dryer vent will emit.

The maximum operating temperature of CPVC pipes is around 140 degrees F, which is far less than the hot air that dryer vents emit. Eventually, the moisture and hot air running your PVC pipes will cause certain blockages and likely create static electricity too.

Can You Use ABS For Dryer Vent?

You will be fine using abs for the dryer vent. Dryers for residential clothes typically vent at a temperature of 54 degrees to 74 degrees centigrade, or 130 degrees F to 165 degrees F. As for the glass transition temperature that Wikipedia gives for ABS, meaning the melting point, it is around 221 degrees F or 105 degrees centigrade.

Can You Use Galvanized Pipe For Dryer Vent?

Most manufacturer recommendations for dryer vents specify rigid steel tubing for the projects. This means that you may use galvanized steel or aluminum for these applications.

Final Thoughts

There are several types of pipes that you can use for dryer vents, but the most recommended and popular choice is rigid metal. This material is able to withstand heat very well and does not gather lint very quickly or in great amounts.