If your clothes dryer leaks, it can cause various problems, including water damage in your home, mildew, and mold.
This problem is more common than what you may think, and almost everyone that has a clothes dryer will experience it at some stage or another.
There are a number of things you can check when faced with a leaking dryer.
These problems can all cause water to drip from the external vent of the dryer, or condensation to form in the drum.
If you find water dripping from your dryer, it’s best to stop using it until the problem can be fixed.
This will avoid further damage to your home or dryer.
List Of Possible issues and solutions
Dryer Vent Blocked
To prevent a clothes dryer from overheating, hot air must be expelled from the drum so that a constant operating temperature can be maintained for clothes to dry.
Dryers typically release hot air that is in the drum through a vent collar.
The air then moved through ducting until it reaches an external vent that releases the air outdoors.
This hot air contains trace amounts of lint, as well as a significant amount of moisture.
These linger in the dryer’s exhaust system as long as the dryer is running and can form a mushy paste in the ducting.
If the exhaust vent is not cleaned from time to time, the paste will block airflow.
As this blockage becomes bigger, the dryer will leak the water that can’t be expelled and backs up into the dryer from the exhaust vent.
You should clean the dryer’s exhaust system thoroughly at least once per year, or if it starts leaking at any time.
Cleaning the dryer’s vent pipe with a brush will remove all the lint and paste that has accumulated, thereby improving the flow of hot air.
Vents Configured Incorrectly
Condensation can build up in vent ducting and venting will be compromised if the exhaust system of the dryer has not been configured properly.
The ducting of the exhaust system should be as horizontal and straight as possible, allowing the air inside it to disperse as efficiently as possible.
If the dryer’s ducting has many turns and bends in it, this will create more places where lint and moisture will collect, thus creating an obstruction.
Whenever the dryer’s exhaust system it blocked, you will see water leaking from the external vent, or condensation in the drum.
Ideally, a dryer’s vents should be routed through the roof, or outdoors.
Some dryer vents have been installed to exhaust to a garage or attic.
These types of installations can however cause several different types of problems.
It may be difficult to access the outlet of the vent pipe, resulting in it being tricky or even nearly impossible to check for problems.
Venting the hot air to an enclosed space could also result in moisture problems.
This can in turn lead to moisture accumulating in the structure, and also to mildew, mold, and dryer vent leaks.
The materials used for a dryer’s venting ducting has an effect on how effective the venting is, as certain materials can cause more moisture to be formed inside than others.
Ribbed ducting and plastic should be avoided, and metal, non-ribbed ducting should be used instead.
This type of ducting will decrease drying time, thereby reducing the chance of condensation being deposited inside the vent ducting on dryer.
Ribbed ducting can also trap moisture, which could lead to a buildup of water that then leaks out.
Dryer Vent Not Insulated properly
In colder climates condensation on a dryer vent pipe is often a problem.
In this case, the warm air that is blown from the dryer to the outside must be insulated from the cold temperature outside.
Not insulating the dryer vent pipe properly will result in the hot air being blown outside turning into water when it reaches the cold pipe outside.
This in turn leads to dripping water and condensation.
To fix this problem, the dryer’s vent pipe should be insulated along its whole length.
This will prevent condensation in the vent pipe by ensuring that the dryer’s hot air does not undergo any fluctuations in temperature.
Water Collection System Not Working
Some models of clothes dryers, like Miele, use a condensation water collection system that then pumps the water away.
These systems have a condenser and a small hole behind the condenser where water drains into and flows into a small container.
A motor with an impeller then pumps the water into the collection container.
If this system leaks, take out the condensate pump and clean all the hoses, using a bottle brush where possible.
Also check that the pump and level switch are working properly, and make sure the condensate tank does not have any cracks.
Make sure the machine is level and the condenser is clean.
Customers of this type of dryer also report that there is moisture on the metal back plate itself which runs down.
Check the seals on the back plate and replace the gaskets or reseal the plate if required.
Leaking can also be caused by a dryer vent pipe that is damaged. This would cause condensation or water being leaked in from the outdoors.
Damaged Flapper on Vent Pipe
Some dryer vent pipe installations have a flapper on the outside end of the vent pipe where hot air is expelled.
The flapper should only open when hot air coming from the dryer has to be vented and should stay securely shut when the dryer is not being used.
If the flapper does not close correctly, it may allow in frost, snow, or rainwater from the outside.
This can then cause water to leak near the dryer.
Check the operation of the flapper to make sure it closes and opens properly, and replace or fix it if it doesn’t.