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Building Codes for Gas Dryers in Los Angeles

Herb Kirchhoff

The city and county of Los Angeles have certain building code requirements regarding installation of household gas-fueled clothes dryers. Most provisions of the Los Angeles code governing clothes dryers are identical to the California Uniform Mechanical Code, except that the Los Angeles code section regarding dryer venting doesn’t recognize the new “green” ventless condensing clothes dryers.

Piping & Wiring

Los Angeles has explicit requirements for venting gas clothes dryers.

If you are replacing an existing gas dryer in your home at a spot where gas, electricity and vent connections already are in place, you don’t need any Los Angeles city permit. You or your appliance installer must install the dryer and make the gas, electric and vent connections in accordance with the manufacturer’s directions. But if you are installing a new gas dryer in a different location without a gas connection, you will need a city plumbing permit and a licensed professional installation for any gas line extension that’s more than 6 feet long. Similarly, if you have no 120-volt electrical outlet near your dryer location, you will have to get an electrical permit and a professional electrician to install an electric outlet at the dryer location.

Outside Exhaust

Los Angeles building code requires that domestic clothes dryers vent their moist exhaust to the outside. It’s illegal to vent dryer exhaust into a dwelling. The outside end of the exhaust duct must be covered with a back draft prevention damper and be at least 3 feet from other vents. You can’t put a screen over the duct opening and can’t run the dryer exhaust duct into or through another duct or plenum. The vent can’t be more than 14 feet long and must be at least 4 inches in diameter with no more than two elbows; duct length must be reduced by 2 feet for every additional elbow in the duct.

Metal Duct

Your dryer exhaust duct must be made of rigid sheet-metal pipe. Joints must be substantially airtight. You can’t fasten duct sections together with screws or clips that may impede airflow. Instead, you can use aluminum duct tape. Flexible duct connectors are allowed only for connecting the dryer to the vent duct. Flexible connectors can’t be more than 6 feet long and can’t be passed through cabinets, walls or other concealed spaces. In addition to outside venting, gas dryers installed in a closet or other confined space must have an air intake at least 100 square inches in area and must have the clearances specified by the manufacturer.

Garage Installation

If you are installing your gas dryer in a garage, you will need to obtain a Los Angeles mechanical code permit. In your permit application, you must show where the dryer will be located and how you will protect the dryer from automobile damage. Wheel blocks are not sufficient protection. Something more robust is required. A gas dryer in a garage also must be installed at least 18 inches above the floor.