washing machine and druer

How to install a new gas dryer in 96 simple and easy steps

We recently purchased a new clothes dryer and when we ordered it from Lowe’s, because it was a gas dryer, they were quite clear that they would deliver it but would not install it. No problem, I thought. How hard can it be to unplug/unhook a couple of things and then re-plug/re-hook them when the new dryer is delivered?

But to be safe, I did some Googling to make sure there was nothing I was overlooking. And my wife Cynthia also talked to her Uncle Rick, who is an all-around great guy who can fix just about anything and is always happy to offer help and/or advice without making us feel like the dumb-dumbs that we are. He seemed to think that even we could handle this fairly routine task.

The general consensus from Google and Uncle Rick was that we could remove the old dryer and install the new one by following the simple and easy steps listed below:


  1. Unplug the electrical supply for the existing gas dryer.
  2. Turn off the gas supply at the shut off valve, which is located conveniently behind the dryer.
  3. Disconnect the exhaust vent and unscrew the gas supply line from the dryer.
  4. Remove the old dryer.
  5. Position the new dryer.
  6. Connect the gas supply line and exhaust vent to the new dryer.
  7. Turn the gas back on at the shut off valve, making sure to check for leaks.
  8. Once you are sure there are no leaks, plug the dryer back into the electrical supply.
  9. Enjoy your new appliance!

Not too bad, right? Seems pretty straightforward. Mechanically disinclined though I am, even I figured I could handle that. What follows, instead, are the more comprehensive and complete steps that I found were needed to actually install a brand new, semi-state-of-the-art gas dryer:

  1. Unplug the electrical supply for the existing gas dryer. You know what? This is going to be a walk in the park.
  2. Realize there’s no gas shut off valve located conveniently behind the old dryer.
  3. Ponder this unexpected development but then smugly decide that you can just shut the gas off at the meter outside.
  4. Watch three different YouTube videos on how to shut the gas off at the meter outside.
  5. Look for your adjustable wrench but realize while you’re looking for it that the one you have is probably not big enough to turn the gas off at the meter – at least not based on all those YouTube videos you just watched – which is just as well because you can’t find the smaller wrench anyway.
  6. Go to the Dollar General near your neighborhood so that you don’t have to go “all the way out to Lowe’s.”
  7. Spend 10 minutes looking only to realize they do not have an adjustable wrench.
  8. Go all the way out to Lowe’s and buy an adjustable wrench.
  9. Return home and, using brand new adjustable wrench, attempt to turn the gas off at the meter.
  10. Fail spectacularly.
  11. Spew a shocking string of profanities, with a few in foreign languages for added color.
  12. Think about giving up and paying someone to install the dryer for you.
  13. Call Uncle Rick to see if there is some trick to turning the gas off at the meter that you just aren’t aware of.
  14. Don’t leave a message when he doesn’t answer because you don’t want to sound like a raving lunatic on his voicemail.
  15. Start to call the gas company to see if there is some trick to turning the gas off at the meter that you just aren’t aware of.
  16. Hang up because you don’t want to sound like a raving lunatic while talking to a real live person.
  17. Remember that there is some WD-40 under the kitchen sink.
  18. Decide to try one more time after spraying the afore-mentioned WD-40 on the valve.
  19. Success!!! Walk. In. The. Park.
  20. Now that the gas has been shut off, disconnect the exhaust vent and unscrew the gas supply line from the dryer.
  21. Remove the old dryer.
  22. When Lowe’s arrives to deliver the new dryer and haul away the old dryer, tell the delivery folks that you do, in fact, know what you’re doing when it comes in installing the new dryer. Even you don’t know that you’re lying at this point.
  23. Position the new dryer.
  24. Connect the exhaust vent to the new dryer.
  25. Think about how, even though there have been a few slight hiccups, this process has so far been what you can really only call a pretty splendid success.
  26. Realize the existing gas supply line is too small for the intake on the new dryer.
  27. Spew a shocking string of profanities, with a few in foreign languages for added color.
  28. Once more, think about giving up and paying someone to install the dryer for you.
  29. Go all the way back out to Lowe’s for a new gas supply line.
  30. Explain that your existing gas supply line is too small to three different Lowe’s employees who all look at you like you have two heads. They suggest you go to the new plumbing supply store in town.
  31. Uncle Rick, having seen your missed call from earlier, calls you back just as you pull into the parking lot of the plumbing supply store. Explain the problem to him to see if the way you’re explaining it to other people makes sense so that you can make sure to ask for the right part for the new dryer.
  32. Decide after talking to Uncle Rick that it might be a better idea to bring in the existing gas supply line with you to the plumbing supply store so you can demonstrate the problem using visual aids.
  33. Leave the plumbing supply store without actually having gone in and drive back home.
  34. Unscrew the gas line from the gas supply terminal coming out of the wall. Think to also grab the manual for the new dryer. It might be the one smart thing you do all day.
  35. Drive back out to the plumbing supply store.
  36. Explain the problem to clerks who, thankfully, don’t look at you like you have two heads but also aren’t quite sure what you’re talking about.
  37. Call Cynthia and ask her to text you the picture she took of the back of the dryer, which shows the connections on both ends of the existing gas supply line.
  38. Show this picture and the manual to the clerks who finally understand what you’re talking about and explain that you’ll have to unscrew the old adaptors on the existing gas supply terminal and use new adaptors in order to install the new gas supply line.
  39. Smile and nod as if this all makes sense.
  40. Purchase new gas supply line and adaptors.
  41. Drive home but realize when you’re almost there that you’ll probably need two wrenches to unscrew the old adaptors.
  42. Detour to the nearby Family Dollar since Dollar General already failed you once and you don’t want to go “all the way out to Lowe’s” again.
  43. Realize they, too, don’t have an adjustable wrench but that they do have locking pliers.
  44. Buy those and hope they will work.
  45. Get offered candy to support a local youth group at check out.
  46. Politely decline because, if you’re being honest with yourself, you probably eat a little too much candy as it is, and you really do need to cut back. Sugar is not great for you, especially not at your age. And, while you’re still being honest with yourself, you probably also need to find a way to exercise a little more. Just walking across campus to and from your car each day isn’t quite cutting it.
  47. Start to walk away but realize, you know what, it’s been a very challenging day so far and you probably deserve some of that candy. Besides, it’s for a really good cause supporting something or whatever.
  48. Buy candy and eat it all before you reach your car in the parking lot.
  49. Drive back home, confident that you will finally be able to get the new dryer installed.
  50. Once home, realize it is lunch time and that you’re hungry.
  51. Heat up and eat lunch while thinking about how the person who invented gas dryers is an asshole. I mean, really, what was wrong with electric dryers?
  52. Finish lunch and attempt to unscrew the old adaptors with the new wrench and the new locking pliers, realizing almost immediately that the locking pliers won’t work for this particular job.
  53. Think about giving up and paying someone to install the dryer for you.
  54. Suddenly remember where your adjustable wrench is.
  55. Using the old wrench and the new wrench, finally get the old adaptors disconnected from the gas supply terminal.
  56. Connect the new gas supply line to the new adaptors and then connect the whole thing to both the gas supply terminal and the back of the new dryer.
  57. Connect the exhaust vent to the new dryer.
  58. Walk outside and turn the gas back on at the meter.
  59. Crack a self-satisfied smile as you think about how much you were able to overcome and that maybe you aren’t so useless when it comes to tools and appliances after all.
  60. Walk back inside and immediately smell gas.
  61. Spew a shocking string of profanities, with some in foreign languages for added color.
  62. Walk back outside and turn the gas off at the meter.
  63. Think about giving up, yet again, and paying someone to install the dryer for you.
  64. Call Cynthia because didn’t she say the guy who comes in to fix things at her office might be able to help?
  65. Wait patiently for her to call back while thinking that you’ll never buy a house with a gas dryer in it ever again. Really, gas appliances in general are just dumb and you hate them.
  66. She calls back to say she can’t get in touch with him but that she’ll try someone else.
  67. Decide to finally call the gas company since gas was leaking into the house and you don’t know much but you know enough to know that smelling gas in your home is not really anything to mess around with. They dispatch a technician to determine the source/cause of the leak.
  68. Technician arrives surprisingly quickly and turns the gas back on at the meter.
  69. Technician looks at the setup, determines the source of the leak and realizes that one of the adaptors you got at the plumbing supply store has the wrong thread type on one end.
  70. Technician turns the gas back off at the meter.
  71. About this time, one of the guys your wife knows through work arrives to check on things. He also has a plumber on standby who says he can come out first thing in the morning if need be.
  72. Turns out he knows the gas company technician, realizes you’re in good hands and leaves but reminds you to call the plumber to let him know whether or not you need him to come in the morning.
  73. Technician finds the gas shut off valve – the one that’s supposed to be on the gas supply line that’s located conveniently behind the dryer – connected to a gas line at the hot water heater on the other side of the laundry room.
  74. He turns off the gas at the shut off valve but back on at the meter for the rest of the house. So, worst case scenario, the new dryer won’t work but the hot water heater will. Which means, thankfully, no cold showers in the morning.
  75. Decide to call that a small, perhaps undeserved, victory.
  76. Technician also relights the pilot light on the hot water heater, which makes you realize that you never would have thought to do that and thank God he did because the house might have blown up. Also, you’d have had to take a cold shower anyway, which might be worse.
  77. Technician explains what type of adaptor you need for the gas supply line.
  78. Thank him profusely as he leaves and make a silent promise to never badmouth the gas company ever again.
  79. Drive back to the plumbing supply store.
  80. Walk in assuming they’ll just give you the new adaptor for free since they gave you the wrong one in the first place. Or at least swap out the wrong one for the right one.
  81. Realize you are, in fact, mistaken and pay $1.32 for the new adaptor.
  82. Drive back home and, using the new, correct adaptor, connect the new gas supply line to both the gas supply terminal and the back of the new dryer.
  83. Connect the exhaust vent to the new dryer.
  84. Say a quick prayer, cross your fingers and hold your breath while you turn the gas back on at the shut off valve that’s for some reason connected to the hot water heater and not located conveniently behind the dryer.
  85. Raise one fist in the air, Breakfast Club style, when you don’t smell gas.
  86. Think about how much you were able to overcome and that maybe you aren’t completely useless when it comes to tools and appliances after all. Just mostly useless.
  87. Call the plumber who is on standby and let him know that, while you appreciate his willingness to come on such short notice, you won’t need him to come in the morning after all.
  88. Finally go to work about six hours later than you originally planned.
  89. Come back home at 5:15 p.m., walk in and notice a faint smell of gas.
  90. Optimistically think that it’s probably just residual gas from earlier in the day.
  91. Open a couple of doors and windows and turn on ceiling fans.
  92. Google “how long does it take for gas smell to dissipate?”
  93. Call your parents to see if they’ve ever had a gas leak and whether or not this just might be residual gas from earlier in the day.
  94. Decide to call the gas company again out of an abundance of caution because you don’t know much but you know enough to know that smelling gas in your home is not really anything to mess around with. They dispatch a technician to determine the source/cause of any leak.
  95. A different technician arrives, can’t find any evidence of a leak and can’t smell any gas himself. Says it was probably just residual gas from earlier in the day and that opening doors and windows helped it finally dissipate.
  96. Enjoy your new appliance!

That’s all there is to it! A veritable walk in the park.

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