Tricks Of The Trade: Putting A Sock In It!

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By James C. Elledge, IFMA Fellow, CFM, FMA, RPA, RIAQM
Published in the November 2010 issue of Today’s Facility Manager

Q Will putting a sock on the dryer outlet (the one that blows to the outside and collects lint) hinder commercial dryer operation? A resident has complained about the lint, so he suggested this fix. However, another resident thinks this forces her to put more money in the machine in order to dry her clothes completely. Is this true?

Board Member
Lakeside Condo
Reno, NV

A The short answer to your questions is yes. Adding more back pressure and resistance to the dryer vent (even in the form of an innocent sock) will lengthen the drying time, even for commercial grade machines.
Reducing the air flow can lead to additional problems, including fires (especially for that sock being used to catch lint). Here are some other findings on dryers:

  • Clothes dryer fires account for about 15,600 structure fires, 15 deaths, and 400 injuries annually.
  • 80% of clothes dryer fires in structures occur in residential buildings.
  • Annually, 12,700 clothes dryer fires occur in residential buildings resulting in 15 deaths and 300 injuries.
  • “Failure to clean” is the leading factor contributing to clothes dryer fires in
  • residential buildings.

Elledge,facility/office services manager for Dallas, TX-based Summit AllianceCompanies, is the recipient of the Distinguished Author Award from theInternational Facility Management Association (IFMA), is an IFMA Fellow, and isa member of TFM’sEditorial Advisory Board. All questions have been submitted via the “Ask TheExpert” portion of the magazine’s web site. To pose a question, visit this link.

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