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Tumble Dryer Buying Advice

Tumble Dryer Installation Requirements

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  Dryer Installation Requirements

Installing your tumble dryer correctly and in the right place is essential for safety


Consider where you will install a new tumble dryerMost people think that you can install a tumble dryer just about anywhere, much as is thought about most appliances but sadly this isn't the case and you have to consider where that you will install the machine before you buy one.

When you decide where you will install the machine you can then decide what type of tumble dryer you actually require or, what type of dryer you can accommodate with the installation requirements.

Many modern electronic dryers may well even display a fault code if the ambient or, room temperature is too low and just not operate at all.

This means that areas that can be subject to extremes of temperature such as garages, conservatories and so on are very often unsuitable to install a tumble dryer in and, some manufacturers will not offer a warranty if you put them in such places.

  Dryers In Low Temperature Environments

Almost every winter, especially a cold one, we get a rash of service calls telling us that a condenser (or heat pump) tumble dryer will not dry. Often this is accompanied by  some sort of water leak or condensation problem.

The dryer is ordinarily then found to be in a low temperature environment and the result is unsurprising to us.

What happens is, instead of the water condensing in the condenser of the dryer it starts to condense on other cold surfaces, like the inner cabinet or even the drum of the tumble dryer itself. Meanwhile all that happens to the laundry in the dryer is that it gets mildly warm.

For a condenser dyer to operate correctly the room temperature must be above at least a 5˚C minimum or, it won't work.

Given many unheated garages and other outbuildings can get much lower that this during a typical UK winter it means that a good number of dryers installed in such areas will not work or will go faulty over the winter months due to this alone.

The irony of it being, that's the time of year that you most want to use a tumble dryer!

Many modern electronic dryers may well even display a fault code if the ambient or, room temperature is too low and just not operate at all.

Vented tumble dryers will often work below this temperature but it isn't recommended.

  Tumble Dryers Need Air To Breath

A tumble dryer needs a ready supply of cool (not too cool and not too warm) air to "breath".

It has to take air in that is cooler than the air in the dryer and it also has to be able to expel that air once it's heated and, even on a condenser or heat pump condenser tumble dryer, that air which is expelled will have some moisture in it, just as a vented dryer expels the air with moisture in it out the vent.

That means a few things for you to consider when you set out to buy a new tumble dryer.

The first is that putting a condenser or heat pump dryer in a confined space with little or a restricted supply of fresh air is a non-starter. You cannot put it in a cupboard and close the door for example. As an absolute minimum you should really have the dryer in a room that has at least 3m² with a fresh supply of air, even an open door to an adjacent room or an open window will do.

If you don't do this then all that happens is that the dryer ends up recirculating the air and, in the process, heating it up. With condenser based dryers this just kills the efficiency of the machine meaning you can end up using way more electricity than you probably realise.

  Air Too Warm To Allow Correct Operation

Although not a problem seen that often, at least here in the UK, you can get almost the same thing happening where the air the dryer gets is too warm.

The air passing over the condenser is too warm and the dryer is unable to get a cold enough surface to condense the moisture in the warm air.

This is effectively what happens when they are shut in an unventilated room, especially a small one.

Again vented dryer cope better with these extremes but are not immune to issues caused by them.

As with the winter, during the summer months garages and other outbuildings can get really warm, far too warm to allow your dryer to work correctly, if at all.

  Consider Your Needs

The best thing you can possibly do, before choosing a new dryer, is to consider not just the fancy features and looks of the machine but very much where you will install the dryer as that will often determine which one is best or, in a lot of cases, even possible.

wendy goodall
Want a dryer
Hello we\'ve been wanting a dryer for a while now but no room in kitchen,or any where else the only space we have is a old coal /outhouse which is attached to our house.We have central heating boiler in there on wall.the floor space from door to back wall is about at a guess 5 foot wide by 4 foot deep would a vented dryer be ok in there,?we would have door open to let the hose out!
I am drake
No it wont
Tumble dryer instalation
We have a tumble dryer,which we have placed on top of a washing machine in a spacious cupboard in the upstairs bathroom.
From the outlet of the dryer it is 2 metres to loft area and then 2 metres to outlet,
Through eaves of roof.
I was going to put a external fan on the end of pipe run,to draw the warm out.
Do you think this will be o.k.
Also I am fitting a air vent to top and bottom of cupboard for airflow.
Thank you

Heat Pump Tumble Dryer
Hi Guys,

I\'m considering replacing my old vented tumble dryer in the garage with a Heat Pump Tumble Dryer, I\'ve got a thermometer in the garage & the lowest the temperature has ever got down to is 9C. Do you think it would be ok?

Cheers Blue

sharon Neason
filtered Dryer
I have no window in my pantry and ideally this is where I would like to place my tumble dryer - on a shelf above the washing machine. However, there is no window only a back door to garden and right next to the garage entrance door would this be ok? Or could I even put the dryer in the garage? Again there are no windows in there! Any advice would be much appreciated before I make the purchase.
Space around Heat pump dryer
Hi Kenneth,

I have just read Sara\'s post and your reply, we have a very similar situation where the heat pump dryer is fitted in a 602mm space and is very snug with only 2mm each side. At the back here is about 35mm between the rear of the top and the wall and 35mm between top and underside of the worktop. The room itself has plenty of space and an opening window, there is also a humidity controlled 4\" extractor. The dryer is a Samsung DV90K6000CW and in the installation instructions for \"Alcove or Closet\" it says \"To operate safely and properly your new dryer requires minimum clearances of Sides - 25mm, Rear 51mm, Top 25mm, Front 490mm.

Can you see the space down the sides been a problem in my case?

With the heat pump dryers does the air draw in from the front and get expelled at the rear?

Final question, if you decide to use the drain option rather than the water collection tray what are the rules and regs of where it can drain to, does it have to be into and internal waste pipe or sink or could it go directly outside through a wall?



Quote :
Hi Sara

Without knowing what dryer and seeing the installation it really is not possible to advice too much.

Ventilation to the sides should not be critical, nice to have but not critical so long as there is good airflow to the front where it draws air in as well as normally expelling and to the rear where it will get hot.

The machine should not move enough to cause concern over damage.

Hi Paul,

You face the same issues in that case, it may overheat or take even longer to dryer and, they\'re not fast at all in the first place. They need a lot of space and air.

Air is usually pulled from the front and expelled rear or front depending on the design.

Drain can be into a standpipe same as a washing machine or dishwasher, no real issue there.

Vented Dryer
We\'ve got a cupboard where we want to store a new tumble dryer on top of the washing machine. The cupboard is internal, 0.7m deep, 1m wide and 2m high.

We ensured that we fitted a 4\" by 2\" vent that drops 1m then travels 3m under the flooring to the outside. This was to ensure the cupboard was well vented - ideally to attach the vent from a vented tumble dryer.

Having read your article, I was wondering whether this would be possible - or if you would advise us to buy a condenser or heat pump tumble dryer instead? Ultimately this is the only place we can put the tumble dryer but want to make sure that we neither have problems with it nor that we have humid air.

Any help would be much appreciated.


In that space, running anything with the door shut isn\'t happening, it will have issues almost without doubt. Even with the door open it may still have problems.

A vented dryer might work but, 3M to outside air is at best pushing it and may be too much depending on the run.

lynn mellor
vented tumble dryer
can you site a vented tumble dryer in an unheated garage. will the cold weather stop it working properly

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