An alternative to electric, gas dryers are similar to other gas appliances and require both a natural gas line and electrical outlet. The appliances also require you to connect a vent hose so any lint and excess gasses in the dryer escape to an outside location. Like their electric counterparts, gas dryers do pose some dangers if the piece of equipment is not connected or maintained properly.
One danger of a gas dryer is gas vapors escaping from the appliance itself through its burner. Vapors escape due to not having enough air flowing through the burner for the gas to burn effectively. Gas vapors can also escape from a faulty gas line running into the dryer as well as faulty connectors around the gas line or inside of the dryer.
If the gas dryer is not vented properly, toxic fumes can escape from the appliance and into the room or area containing the dryer. The dryer must be vented properly to an outdoor location, and the vent hose must be a flexible or rigid metal pipe and not a nonmetallic flexible hose. Nonmetal hoses pose a fire risk and toxic fumes can also escape from the hoses.
Gas dryers, like electric dryers, contain electrical components that also pose a danger if not properly grounded. Grounding reduces the risk of electric shock. Gas dryers must also be connected to the right type of electrical outlet.
Carbon Monoxide Danger
An odorless, colorless and tasteless gas, carbon monoxide (CO) leakage is another danger associated with gas dryers. If the restriction insert in the dryer's vent is removed or an internal component is failing, CO can escape into the room or area containing the dryer. High levels of CO can cause nausea, dizziness, loss of muscle control headaches, fatigue and even death.
Gas dryers that are not getting enough oxygen will function irregularly, and the dryer's burner flame will be yellowish instead of blue. Other problems of irregular operation include the dryer making strange noises, emitting odd odors and condensation appearing in the room or area containing the dryer. Immediately turn off your gas dryer, and consult a repairman or service if any of these signs are present.
Nick Davis is a freelance writer specializing in technical, travel and entertainment articles. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Memphis and an associate degree in computer information systems from the State Technical Institute at Memphis. His work has appeared in "Elite Memphis" and "The Daily Helmsman" in Memphis, Tenn. He is currently living in Albuquerque, N.M.