Did you know that around 2900 house fires are caused by dryers each year, resulting in around five deaths? And sadly, this number was even higher in the past.
With most of these fires caused by blockages in the dryer vent, dryer manufacturers must do what they can to help reduce the risk. LG’s proprietary Flow Sense is one such feature that can help detect blockages and prevent fires.
This article will tell you everything you need to know about the LG Flow Sense feature, including how it works and what steps to take if it detects a blockage.
What Is LG Flow Sense?
Flow Sense is a safety and performance feature found on many LG dryers. It’s essentially sensors that detect when there may be a significant blockage in your dryer vent and a warning system to alert you of the problem so you can fix it.
Blockages in a dryer vent restrict airflow, meaning moist air from the laundry cannot be expelled, resulting in the dryer having to work longer and harder to dry the clothes. This means your dryer won’t be performing at maximum efficiency, driving up your energy bills.
Blockages can also cause heat to build up in the dryer or venting, posing a significant fire risk. Since lint accumulation and bird and rodent nests, the most common causes of blockages, are highly flammable, they can be deadly when combined with the high temperatures a blockage can cause.
Flow Sense tackles all of these problems by detecting heat, blockages, or restrictions in the dryer and venting system early, allowing you to quickly resolve the issue in order to reduce energy consumption, speed up clothes drying, and avoid fire hazards.
How Does Flow Sense Work?
When the Flow Sense sensors detect a significant blockage in your dryer vent, the Flow Sense warning icon with four bars lights up on the display to alert you, along with one of three error codes:
- D80 error code: This suggests there is an 80% restriction of airflow in your dryer vent. The dryer will continue to run with the D80 error code.
- D90 error code: This suggests there is a 90% restriction of airflow in your dryer vent. The dryer goes into cool-down mode and then stops running.
- D95 error code: This suggests there is a 95% restriction of airflow in your dryer vent. The dryer goes into cool-down mode and then stops running.
The D90 and D95 error codes cause the dryer to shut down to prevent overheating and the risk of fires. However, all three of the error codes should prompt immediate attention.
Using a dryer with a severely restricted exhaust is unsafe, so if you see these error codes, it’s best not to use the dryer until the vent ducting has been cleaned or repaired.
Troubleshooting the LG Flow Sense Errors
So, if one of the LG Flow Sense error codes appears on your dryer’s display, what steps should you take to resolve it? Well, you can try several possible solutions, which we will now explain.
Clean the Lint Filter
If the lint filter is clogged, it can restrict airflow and trigger a Flow Sense error code. The lint filter plays the important role of reducing how much lint reaches the dryer vent, helping to prevent more severe blockages there.
It’s recommended that you always clean the lint filter before you run the dryer. The lint filter is easy to access and clean, usually located at the bottom of the door. Pull it out, open it up, and simply clean it with your hands or a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment.
Once cleaned, place it back in the dryer and see if the error code is resolved. If not, move on to the next step.
Check the Dryer Vent Is Installed Correctly
If the dryer vent is damaged or not installed correctly, it can restrict airflow or make blockages more likely, prompting the Flow Sense error. There are a few things to check, including:
- Is the dryer vent too long? – This increases the risk of lint buildup and blockages, and it makes cleaning the vent harder.
- Does the dryer vent have too many bends? – This makes cleaning the vent more difficult and lint accumulation and blockages more likely.
- Does the dryer vent have proper ductwork? – LG dryers should use heavy metal ductwork rather than a flexible foil or plastic hose.
- Has the vent ducting been crushed? – Sometimes, the dryer is accidentally pushed too close against the wall, crushing or disconnecting the hose.
If your LG dryer vent has any of these issues, you may be able to repair, improve, or replace the vent yourself. However, it’s generally recommended to hire a professional tradesperson to do the job.
Clean the Dryer Vent
Significant blockages in the dryer vent are the number one cause of a Flow Sense error code. Cleaning the dryer vent is an important job that should be done at least once yearly and done immediately if a Flow Sense error code is displayed.
Many professional dryer vent cleaning services are available who can turn up and do the job for you. It usually takes a professional outfit around an hour to complete a cleaning session.
However, many people opt to clean their dryer vents themselves.
To do this, you will need:
- A cordless drill
- A dryer vent cleaning kit with extension rods
- A vacuum cleaner
Here are the steps for cleaning the dryer vent:
- Unplug the dryer and pull it away from the wall.
- Disconnect the vent from the dryer and inspect the connection points of each for any visible blockages.
- Check the outside vent hood for damage or clogging.
- Remove the plastic louvers from the outside vent hood, clamp the vent hood flap open, or completely remove the outside vent hood. This will allow you to access the vent with your cleaning kit.
- Attach your dryer vent cleaning kit to your cordless drill, using as many extension rods as you need for the length of your vent.
- Insert the brush end of your cleaning kit into the vent, and power your drill to spin the brush.
- The cleaning kit will self-feed into the vent as it spins. Keep spinning until you reach the end of the vent. Then, spin again while pulling the cleaning kit out of the vent.
- Repeat this process several times, going all the way in and out of the vent until all the lint and debris are removed.
- Vacuum any mess on the floor and reconnect the vent to the dryer.
Once the vent is unblocked and the dryer reconnected, run a dry cycle to see if the error code has been resolved. If not, call in a professional to help you troubleshoot the issue.