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Pine Cone Protection – Love Those Squirrels

pine cone protection

Do you need pine cone protection for your dryer vent? What’s this guy talking about? Another excuse to 3D print something.

Recently, our dryer stopped working. Not a good thing. So, I took a load of wet laundry to a laundromat. But wait. It seems there aren’t a lot of self-serve laundromats around any more, at least not in Calgary. Yes, there are lots of laundry services, but not so many coin operated machines. I eventually found one got everything dried.

Back home, it was time to fix the dryer, or at least try. But, what was the problem? After checking for tripped breakers or blown fuses, I knew hard work could not be avoided. So, I huffed and puffed and pulled out the dryer from the wall. Turns our laundry rooms are convenient but not that great for handyman space.

Anyway, when I removed the vent hose from the back, out fell a pine cone. And then another. And then – you get the idea. About two dozen pine cones had been lovingly stored inside the bottom of my dryer. Turns out it was pretty easy for squirrels to climb up on the air conditioner, and then transfer their pine cones into the dryer vent. Probably these squirrels were attracted by the warmth of the vent.

We live in a wooded area with lots of pine cones and lots of squirrels. Time for some pine cone protection.

In the end, we got a new dryer. The old one could have been repaired – but not by me – and it was 15 years old. So, the new dryer arrived and again I huffed and puffed, finally getting it into place.

Pine Cone Protection – Prusa to the Rescue

It was fairly easy to achieve pine cone protection by designing a plastic vent cover the lets exhaust out and prevents squirrels and pine cones from coming in. My challenge was figuring out how large the mesh holes could or should be.

I discovered that new dryers have flow sensors. If the exhaust flow is too low, the sensor shuts off the dryer to prevent a fire or other failures. I found this out the hard way when I tried to connect the new dryer to the old expandable vent hose. I needed to twist the hose in order to fit the dryer against the wall. No good. Twisting the hose even once reduced air flow and triggered the sensor. Fixed that problem with a shorter hose.

Finally, I sized my plastic vent holes just small enough to keep an average size pine cone out, as shown above. So far I find this solution works well and should last for quite a while.

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