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by Glyn Sheridan
When you're ready for a new gas dryer, installing a new one is a simple process. However, because you're working with a gas line, you'll need to follow a few safety precautions before you remove the old gas dryer and install your new one. Before you start shopping for any new washer and dryer sets, be familiar with a few steps to help you safely install a new gas dryer in your laundry room.
Eliminate all ignition sources. Extinguish all candles, pilot lights and flames before you replace your gas dryer. Residual gas may enter the room after you disconnect the gas lines from a gas clothes dryer, so it is important to eliminate the possibility of accidental ignition.
Turn off the gas supply to the dryer. You can turn off the small supply valve on the dryer line or the main gas shutoff valve to your entire home, which is probably located on the outside of your house. The line from your gas dryer is flexible and short, usually less than a foot long. The other part of the gas dryer line is rigid and extends out from the wall, connecting to the main gas supply line. The shutoff valve is on the rigid line, not far from where the two lines connect. Twist the valve to the "off" position.
Disconnect the gas line. Disconnect the fittings that join the flexible and rigid gas lines. Use a crescent wrench to loosen the hexagonal fitting on the rigid pipe. Disconnect the dryer's exhaust tube from the back of your old gas dryer, as well.
Ventilate the room. Turn on a small fan to dissipate the residual gas that may enter the room when you disconnect the fittings. You may smell the odor of "rotten eggs," but it should not linger. After about five minutes, if you can still smell the odor, shut off your main exterior gas line if you haven't done so already. If the gas smell persists, call your local gas company or a contractor to determine if you have a gas leak in your home.
Move your new gas dryer into place. Slide the old dryer out and slide the new one into place, leaving sufficient room to connect the new gas line. The standard gas dryer line has a 3/8-inch fitting, but if you're connecting to an old gas line, you may need an adapter. If so, measure the size of the end of the old fitting and purchase a matching adapter.
Connect the dryer to the gas line. Use the gas pipe compound to coat the pipe threads. This will help ensure a tight seal. Attach the gas dryer's flex line to the rigid gas supply line. Use the crescent wrench to tighten the fittings until they are snug. Do not over-tighten the fittings.
Test the gas connection. Turn on the gas shutoff valve and spray the fittings with soapy water. If there is a leak, bubbles will appear around the fitting.
Connect the dryer's exhaust tube. Use clamps or duct tape to secure the flexible metal exhaust pipe into place on the back of your gas dryer. Slide your new natural gas dryer all the way back, taking care not to crimp the flex gas line or exhaust tube. Plug in the dryer's electrical cord.
Test your new gas dryer. Test your gas dryer by running it through a regular cycle. If it heats up quickly, your new gas dryer has been installed properly.
Do not use a plastic exhaust pipe on a gas dryer. Plastic tubes can melt or leak, causing fires or deadly carbon monoxide leaks.
Clear out your gas dryer's exhaust tube every six months. Lint can accumulate in the tube and become a fire hazard.