Paying professionals to install a gas dryer can be expensive. Paying fines or repairs from fire or water damage is even more expensive.
If we can DIY a project, great. If we need to call in the professionals to remain code-compliant, then that’s what we’ll do. So, let’s find out if you need a plumber to do the official gas dryer installation.
The IRC does not specify that gas dryers must be installed by plumbers. However, it does say that manufacturer’s instructions must be followed. It is VERY UNLIKELY that the manufacturer will NOT require professional installation.
IRC Says Follow Manufacturer’s Instructions
In the International Residential Code (IRC), Section G2438.1 states that clothes dryers should be installed according to the instructions of the manufacturer.
Many manufacturer instructions for installing gas dryers will be similar, but some machines may have different requirements.
For example, some gas dryer manufacturers permit longer exhaust vents or have restrictions on the use of 90-degree turns in duct systems.
Similarly, lint may be dealt with slightly differently between different dryer models, so venting requirements will also differ to reduce the risk of lint buildup and the resultant fire risk.
Since each machine is built differently with different specifications, it makes sense that installation requirements will vary depending on the manufacturer to ensure optimal function of the machine.
If the IRC were to try and cover all the installation possibilities, it would be unending and ever-changing!
The fact that saleable dryers have to conform to safety standards helps to ensure that the make-/model-specific installations are still safe.
Confirm With Local Codes
Most states in the US refer to the IRC for gas dryer installation requirements. However, some states may differ slightly in their regulations to account for local climates, housing designs, laws, etc.
For example, there are regulations listed in the International Mechanical Code (IMC) of the Texas Industrialized Housing and Buildings Program, Section 504, with more in-depth requirements for gas dryers.
Texas follows the code for both the IRC and the IMC, while this may not be the case for other states.
Similarly, Nevada has additional installation requirements for gas dryers in its local code.
Hence, it would be prudent to refer to your local codes to confirm the requirements for installing gas dryers.
Codes can be found on websites such as UpCodes for this purpose.
Manufacturers Say Get Professional Installation
Lint is highly flammable and gets past lint filters into dryer venting systems.
Similarly, hot air and noxious gases released from the combustion of gas are exhausted from dryer venting systems.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, 92% of home fires between 2010 and 2014 involved clothes dryers.
Hence, it is very important that dryers are installed correctly to reduce fire risk.
If the dryer is installed incorrectly, lint could build up, and overheating could occur, which could eventually lead to a fire.
Although it is possible to install a gas dryer yourself, manufacturers will almost always recommend that a professional is hired to install the machine.
This is because there is a lower risk that something will be installed incorrectly since professionals are trained and experienced in such installations.
Importantly, the warranty on gas dryers is nullified if gas dryers are not installed according to manufacturer instructions.
Let’s suppose the manufacturer does not specify professional installation. Should you try DIY the projects?
Installing a dryer by yourself is a lot cheaper because you do not need to pay labor fees for a professional to do it.
Installing the machine by yourself also means that you can work around your own schedule and complete sections at a time if necessary.
Similarly, you can plan the installation to your preferences without the need to explain it to someone else. (These preferences have to line up with the code regulations).
You can also develop a new skill and become very familiar with what is required to safely install and run your dryer.
If you have specific expectations, you may also feel better about the quality of the work knowing that you did it yourself.
Installing a dryer by yourself means that you will likely need to spend a considerable amount of time figuring out how to do the installation.
Additionally, it may take time to source the appropriate tools and resources to complete a safe installation.
Without training, it is also possible that you will do damage to your property if you make a mistake.
In the event that something does malfunction, you may need to spend additional time and money fixing it.
Depending on the manufacturer, there is the risk that malfunctions may not be covered by your warranty if the manufacturer argues that they may have been caused by lack of professional installation.
Now, compare these to the benefits and drawbacks of professional installation.
Hiring a professional to install your gas dryer means that they will be responsible for providing and sourcing the tools and resources necessary.
This will save you time, and installation can take place while you carry on with your day.
Professionals will also be familiar with code regulations and are experienced with ensuring that everything is installed safely.
This may mean that installation occurs more quickly overall than if you do it yourself.
Correct installation also ensures that the machine works optimally.
In the event that something goes wrong with the gas dryer, you may be more likely to argue that it was due to poor manufacturing as opposed to incorrect installation.
Some professionals may also hold insurance policies that protect their customers, though this depends on who you hire.
Hiring a professional to install your gas dryer will be much more expensive than doing it yourself because of the need to pay labor fees.
While you won’t need to spend time on the installation itself, it may be time-consuming to compare quotes between different providers.
Additionally, while professionals are more experienced in installations, the quality of workmanship between providers may vary.
This means that there may be a risk that you will not be completely satisfied with the installation.
Alternatively, you may need to spend time investigating and comparing the workmanship of different providers or you will need to carefully explain your preferences.
Finally, if you’ve ever hired a plumber, you know that if they say that they are coming between 13:00 and 14:00, they might actually only pitch at 17:00. This is not just plumbers; it’s a risk with any service provider.
If you have made arrangements to be away from work in your lunch break to meet them, you might run into trouble. Likely, you will have to take a day off to manage the installation.