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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Philadelphia PA

    Default condo dryer discharges into common duct

    Yesterday (yes, Sunday), I inspected a condo where the dryer vented through an overhead metal duct that ran down the length of the condo, about 30 feet, or more, and then out into the common hallway where it connected to a larger duct, maybe 10 inches in diameter, that the other unit's dryers also vent into. This larger duct ran way down the common hall and I didn't see where it discharged.

    I thought maybe the common duct had a booster fan somewhere, which would have to be running all the time, sort of like the bathroom ventilation you often see in condos, but I checked inside the dryer and couldn't hear or feel any air movement.

    Anyone ever see a system like this? Crazy!

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Chicago IL

    Default Re: condo dryer discharges into common duct

    Very strange sounding set-up, never seen one like that. Sounds like something someone who thought they knew what they were doing spec'd out. I agree with the bath exhaust analogy. There's no way a dryer or multiple dryer's are going to have the boost to push through that length of duct and duct size (no static pressure). I don't think the duct running to the roof and acting with chimney draft will do it either.
    This would go under my 'Condo Association Concerns' section in my Condo report. That's where I put stuff that may/will cost the Association money and therefore the unit owner (client). I'd tell the client to ask for details about the system, how the Association currently deals with it, how long it has been in place, etc.
    I could see this set-up being an annual maintenance issue, change out and fire-hazard.
    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

  3. #3
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
    Ron Bibler Guest

    Default Re: condo dryer discharges into common duct

    I had a condo like that some time back... this was so plug-up. I was almost in shock to see that set up... (FIRE) just around the bend


    Santa Rosa California Home Inspection - Exterminating & Thermal Imaging
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Ormond Beach, Florida

    Default Re: condo dryer discharges into common duct

    Almost all high-rise condos vent to a common riser with an exhaust fan on the roof ... with the key word being "riser".

    That riser is then in a shaft and it is all designed and constructed as required for the fire-resistance rating.

    I can see all kinds of problems with it running horizontally as you describe, but only one or two possibilities with correct outcomes, and then only if it is all done correctly - starting with that chase being required to be fire-resistance rated to (most likely) at least 2 hours and probably even 3 hour rated.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( )

  5. #5
    Stacey Van Houtan's Avatar
    Stacey Van Houtan Guest

    Default Re: condo dryer discharges into common duct

    J peck is right, this is very common in condos and hirise apt.

    There should be a deisged common duct, both for fire rating and CFM , I think The connector should be 25' or less with deducts for els.
    If longer a booster may me needed in the unit

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010

    Default Re: condo dryer discharges into common duct

    The common dryer runs have a booster fan that should have a senssor to detect when a drye is running. I would wonder is there is a regular maintenance schedule to clean indivual units as well as the riser.

    Last edited by Robert Hronek; 02-22-2010 at 01:51 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area

    Default Re: condo dryer discharges into common duct

    At least they're trying to vent the clothes dryer for a change John. How many times do we see the high-rise condos around with just the moisture/lint bucket?


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