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How to Install a Clothes Dryer

by Kaye Morris

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Washer and dryer combo in a home laundry room

Things You Need:

  • Flexible exhaust tube
  • Duct tape
  • Screwdriver

When you purchase a large appliance like a new washer and dryer or when you move an existing dryer, paying for professional installation can add to the cost. Instead of spending the money for a professional installation, you might consider doing the job yourself and saving the cash. Installing large appliances is simple when you follow the proper safety instructions. Installation for gas and electric dryers differ somewhat, but you can install either one with a few tools by following these simple steps.

Installing a Clothes Dryer:

  1. Turn off the power to the installation area at the breaker box. This helps to avoid electric shock when wiring a gas or electric dryer. Bring a lamp with an extension cord from another room so that you have enough light to properly install the dryer.

  2. Turn off the gas at the shut-off valve. (If you have an electric dryer, skip to Step 5.) Only connect to a gas line that has a properly installed shut-off valve near your installation area. Move your gas dryer close to its final position.

  3. Connect the gas line.

    • Apply pipe-wrap tape or joint compound around the gas supply valve's threads. Pipe-wrap tape and joint compound is made specifically for gas connections to ensure an airtight seal.

    • Attach a stainless steel adapter to the supply pipe on the gas dryer (You may want to use a pipe elbow to avoid bending the flexible gas line too much).

    • Insert a flexible gas line into the adapter and connect the other end to your gas line. Tighten both connections with tape or compound to hold the gas line in place and make it airtight.

  4. Test the gas connection. Mix together a solution of one part dishwashing soap and one part water. Turn on the gas and check for leaks by applying a light coating of the solution to the connections. If you see bubbles, your connection has a leak and must be redone.

  5. Install your dryer exhaust tube. Place one end of a flexible dryer exhaust tube over the exhaust tube vent in the wall. (Always use a foil or metal tube. Do not use plastic dryer exhaust tubes, which can cause fires or deadly carbon monoxide leaks in your home.) Secure the tube in place with a metal bracket or duct tape. Attach the other end of the dryer exhaust tube to the exhaust vent on the back of the dryer. Use sheet metal screws to hold the tube in place. Wrap the tube with duct tape. If you do not have a flexible dryer exhaust tube, you must use an elbow at both the wall vent and dryer vent, and then connect a rigid metal dryer exhaust tube. Wrap the connecting joints with duct tape.

  6. Plug in the dryer and push it into final position. An electric dryer will have a large, three-prong 240-volt plug. A gas dryer uses a standard electrical plug.

  7. Level the dryer. Use a level to make adjustments to the dryer legs. When the dryer is level, it will vibrate less and prolong the life of your dryer's motor and other moving parts.

  8. Test the dryer. Run the dryer without clothes in it for about 15 minutes. Open the door and feel for heat. If you don't feel heat or if the dryer is otherwise not working properly, check your dryer's user manual for troubleshooting tips or call an appliance technician for help.

Dryer Installation Tip:

  1. Clean out your dryer exhaust tube at least every 6 months. Lint can accumulate in the tube, reducing your dryer's efficiency. Dryer lint is highly flammable and poses a fire hazard, especially with gas dryers.

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