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Question DetailsAsked on 9/20/2015

How do you clean the lint from a gas heated clothes dryer?

I THINK but am not sure that my clothes dryer is gas heated. Instructions from Angies List Q&A are advising to unplug the dryer and move it away from the wall so you can vacuum behind and under it where supposedly most of the lint is trapped. I'm afraid to move it if it's hooked up to a gas line. Suggestions?

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Voted Best Answer

If you stretch or can take a mirror and look down behind your dryer, if electric it will have a much larger diameter cord than a normal device like your washer (typically about 1/2 in diameter and almost always round), and instead of plugging into a normal wall outlet it goes into a much larger outlet - normally round, and with only one outlet point on the plate rather than the normal two. Also, only things going into the back pof the dryer will be the electric cord and the 3 or 4 inch metal exhaust ducting or plastic or foil-covered flex duct hose. (There may be a gas valve back there unused but with no flex tubing connecting to the dryer - looks something like this typically as stubbed out with no connection to it -


If you have a gas dryer, you will have a cord to (normally) an ordinary wall outlet - commonly the same one your washer connects to. Cord will probably look about the same as the one on the washer. You will still have the 3 or 4" metal or flex ducting at the bottom leading to the exhaust ducting. You will also, if a gas dryer, have a gasline connection from the gas shutoff valve above to the back of the dryer - may be smooth flex copper tubing, rarely rigid black iron pipe, usually with newer installations a gray or silver or if quite new a yellow corrugated flex tubing like this - (the exhaust ducting is disconnected from the dryer in this image as it is pulled part way out)

If electric, should be no harm in pulling the cord out of the plug unless the outlet is flimsy or poorly mounted so it wiggles andf might come loose - in which case you should have an electrician repair the outlet first. If gas, then you definitely have to be careful not to pull tjhe flex tubing too hard and kink or separate it, so many people want a pro to do that. And if very short they may not have left enough room to pull it out without disconnecting the gasline from the dryer.

In that case, an Appliance Repair - Large technician for about $50-100 typically for a service call can clean and inspect it for you.

Vacuuming if DIYI'ing it - obviously clean the lint screen, and also vacuum its slot, and after removing the duct from the back duct opening (duct may be press-fit or held on with a spring or screw-fastened hose clamp) vacuum the interior from the duct opening (be careful not to damage any sensor or fan showing there - so probably only going in a few inches) and also the reacheable portion of the exhaust ducting, under and around the dryer, and also have someone tilt it up (all this while unplugged from power of course) and vacuum in underneath in the lower part of the frame, being careful not to jab into wiring.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD

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