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I am trying to come up with the best option for clothes dryers for an existing 3-story 16-unit aprtment building

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Old 05-06-2009, 09:30 AM
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I am trying to come up with the best option for clothes dryers for an existing 3-story 16-unit aprtment building where venting would be very costly. I thought electric units would be perfect but a local inspector (Detroit, MI) told me that standard electric dryers also require venting. He did inform me that there are ventless condenser dryers available, but that they are quite costly. Does anyone have any suggestions? Looking online, I read that only small-capacity European condenser dryers are available. So, my questions are:
1. Are "condenser" dryers my only ventless option? If so, are there any standard capacity electric condenser units in the $600 price range?
2. If we had to go with standard vented electric units, would a 240V 30A service cover most American electric units?

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Old 05-06-2009, 11:10 AM
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I am not familiar with the ventless dryer, but the entire concept is self-contradictory. A dryer is very simple, it passes dry heated air over the clothes, which takes the moisture from the clothes into this air, and in a normal situation expels the warm, now moist, air into the atmosphere, where it is harmless.

A condensor type dryer would have to have coils like air conditioning coils to cool the air, causing the moisture to condense out and fall into a drain or collecting tank where it would have to be emptied. Essentially it is a dehumidifier attached to the dryer. All in all, a concept which I would not think is desirable for a whole lot of obvious reasons, an idea whose time will never come, but others may have a different opinion.

A coventional dryer should operate fine on 30 amp, 240 volt circuit but check the specs on the unit you purchase. However YOU WILL HAVE TO VENT THE DRYER. Even if it were not a code violation, not venting the dryer is unacceptable for a variety of reasons, including mold, mildew, rot, breathing problems, lung diseases etc.

Unless someone has a unique solution I am afraid you will have to bite the proverbial bullet, cross the rubicon, cast the die (add any cliche here you wish) and create the venting system.

Good luck and let us know how it works out.
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Old 05-08-2009, 11:48 PM
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From TripleJ: Thanx 4 the prompt response. I tried to send some info I found on "condensing dryers".
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Old 05-09-2009, 03:42 AM
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I would have a few concerns about this type of dryer.

1. There seems to be a number of different types so finding out how it works and what is water/electrical services are required would be important.

2. I looked at a couple different places on the net and they conveniently neglected to mention how long it takes to dry a load. I cannot see dry times being the same as a vented unit. Would think they would be considerably longer.

3. How much heat if any does the unit give off. This would be important if you are going to install them into a closet or small room.

4. What is the noise level.

5. Since the sales volume of these units is going to be relatively small what is the support and parts availability like.

6. It looks like they blow the air over a cooled coil or a misting type device.
What is happening to the lint and will it clog this system up, so how difficult and how often does this need cleaning. Just have to look at a conventional unit to see how much lint actually makes it past the lint screen.

7. I would get references of others who have purchased the unit. Also do a web search of any unit that looks promising.

8. Is extended warranty from a reputable company available and what is the cost. It may be well worth purchasing.

9. How robust is the unit to abuse. Since tenants tend not to be great on taking care of things.

10. Since you are looking at 16 units it may be a wise investment to purchase a unit and try it yourself.
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