LintEater Is Stuck in a Dryer Vent

When your LintEater tool becomes caught in the dryer vent, you must remove the tool carefully to avoid permanently damaging the LintEater, the dryer vent and the dryer's flexible duct. The removal process involves taking all or part of the dryer's exhaust system apart. Testing the LintEater on a dryer's vent first can prevent it from getting stuck later.

Duct Removal

Remove the dryer's duct from the vent from inside the house, to give you access to the end of the LintEater. Flexible dryer ducts are secured to the vent with a hose clamp, foil tape or a series of screws. Once you remove these objects from the connection, carefully slide the duct off the vent opening, to avoid damaging the LintEater and the duct.

Dryer-Vent Removal

If the LintEater is stuck inside the dryer vent on the outside of your house, remove the vent's hood or cap to successfully remove the LintEater. Remove the screws in the perimeter of the the cap or hood, which hold it to the side of the house. The installer should have caulk around the edges of the hood or cap, which you must cut through using a utility knife. After you remove the LintEater, secure the cap or hood to the side of the house with the screws, and apply a fresh layer of caulk around its perimeter.

Exhaust-Duct Damage

When you use the LintEater in your dryer's vent duct, exercise caution -- because the tool's bristles or flexible shaft can puncture the duct. This is especially true if the duct is flexible, since the duct itself has a very thick material that can be punctured easily. If, while removing the stuck LintEater, you damage the duct, the duct will not work as well as before. A hole in the duct lets the hot and humid air from the dryer into the laundry room, which in turn can lead to mold growth. Dryer lint may also escape the duct and collect on the laundry-room floor, presenting a potential fire hazard.

Test Fitting

Before you use the LintEater on dryer vents or other objects, such as rain gutter downspouts, test fit the LintEater in the opening. When you test fit the LintEater, do not force it into the opening, and do not turn on the drill to spin the LintEater. If you can feel that the fit between the device and the opening is tight, spinning the LintEater can lodge it in the opening.