Ask a Pro

What’s the best way to install dryer flex lines in a tight space?


Photo by Casey Fleser


What is the best way to install dryer flex lines where you have walls and cabinets beside the dryer? I have used the light foil expanding duct, but when you stretch these out the three feet to get them connected on both ends while the dryer is away from the back wall, I find it very difficult to push the dryer back in and have the duct fold back up without buckling. I have been struggling with this concept for years! Any thoughts?

—Chris Riehl

Hi Chris,

Your problem isn’t a new one, and, in fact, it was one I struggled with for quite some time in my own home.

My first method was to use a short length of rigid galvanized duct coming from the wall and an over-crimped collar on the dryer outlet. If I was extremely careful (and a little lucky) I could move the dryer into place and the output would work it’s way into the rigid duct.

As I’m sure you can guess, this approach was far from ideal, so in the end I decided to tackle the problem from a different angle. While not the perfect solution, it worked pretty well.

Instead of trying to move the dryer every time, I decided to make it easy to move the cabinet beside it instead.  A simple set of floor glide pads from the hardware store nailed to the bottom of the cabinet allows me to easily slide the cabinet out of the way when I need to connect or disconnect the dryer.

Ryan Shervill

Ryan Shervill is a field editor and contributor to Outdoor Canada, as well as an avid hunter and shooter. He is also Canadian Home Workshop’s online Ask a Pro and contributing editor.


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CHW Pro - Ryan Shervill

Jan. 27, 2012

1:09 pm

Hi Chris. Because of the layout I was never sure about the seal.....I *suspected* it was fine, but was never comfortable with it.

I don't think the sink in the cabinet is a problem that can't be overcome though....I mean, it's not like we have to pull out the dryer very often, right?

You could replace the supply lines with 24" flex lines and make sure the drain has a screw-collar trap on it.....this would allow you to disconnect the drain in a hurry and give you 24" of slide-out room (more if you couple a pair of lines together or use what's called a Dishwasher flex connection (which are longer)

Alternatively you could modify your cabinet quite easily so the sink/faucet stays attached in place and the body of the cabinet slides out independantly.....perhaps a set of heavy duty shelf brakets connecting the countertop to the wall would work.



Jan. 26, 2012

5:07 pm

Thanks Ryan. What if your cabinet contains the laudry sink with all of the associated plumbing? With your first method, were you able to get a reasonably tight seal or able to get a wrap of metalic tape on the joint?


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