You may not realize that your drain lines are connected to pipes that ventilate sewer gases. This ensures that the pressure is equalized so that wastewater continues to flow. The pipes that carry away the gases are called vent lines, and it’s important that they remain unobstructed to avoid plumbing problems.
If your plumbing vents become clogged, it impacts your entire plumbing system at home or at your business. Luckily, there are ways to diagnose a problem, before it becomes a bigger issue for your vent system.
Keep reading to find out what they are; this guide teaches you how to troubleshoot problems in your vents.
What You Need to Know About Plumbing Vents
To begin, you may wish to learn what a drain vent is and how it works so you can accurately tell when one might be clogged.
Drainpipes remove waste in water from the building. They sometimes become clogged but clogs also occur in the vent system that removes harmful gases from your pipes.
Plumbing vents are important because they prevent gas and odor from building up in your home. Also, they control air pressure and the entire plumbing system. Consequently, you need your vents in good working order to keep dirty water flowing out of the home.
Typically, vent pipes run vertically and attach to the drain line. Then, they run through the roof where the gas is vented.
The pipe that leads to the roof band is the vent stack. The vent stack maintains atmospheric pressure and channels gases away from your home. In your home or office, drainage and vent pipes work together to eliminate wastewater from the property.
1. Strong Sewage Smells
If there’s a strong smell of sewage in your home, your toilet vent pipe is probably clogged.
Because the vent is designed to get rid of odors, if there’s a strong smell coming from the toilet, the gases are probably not venting correctly. This means it’s time to check out the vents.
If a clog prevents the gases from venting, then the gas can’t escape. So, it reenters the drainpipes. This may result in an unpleasant odor coming from the sinks or toilet.
Besides the nasty smell, methane in the sewer gas is extremely toxic to inhale. It is also highly combustible and can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. If you smell something gross, it’s time to call a plumber.
2. Gurgling Toilets
If your toilet or drains are talking to you, that’s not a good sign. You may have an issue with your plumbing vent pipes.
Do you hear gurgling sounds coming from the toilet when you flush? Are the sounds originating in the drains?
Clogged plumbing vents prevent trap air in the plumbing system. When that occurs, the air looks for the nearest exit, which is usually the sink or toilet.
This escaping air makes a noise, which is the root of those gurgling sounds. This is another sign that it’s time to call a plumber that specializes in vent pipe repairs and maintenance.
3. Sluggish Drains
There are many causes of slow drainage. However, this could be another indication that you have a clogged plumbing vent.
If one or more of the drains back up or empty sluggishly, it’s likely related to your vent system. If you notice that all the drains are backing up, you may have a critical issue with one or more of your vent pipes. Clogged vent pipes are unable to regulate air pressure in your plumbing, so the wastewater cannot flow smoothly through the drainpipes.
Call a reliable plumber to determine the cause of your clogged drains or plumbing vent pipes. Using harsh products like Drano can mess up your pipes. Rather than pour harsh chemicals down your pipes, it’s better to call a professional.
Plumbing jobs can be messy. Fixing a vent pipe could involve opening a wall to get a clear look at the pipes and vents. The work can also be dangerous since most drainpipes are located on the roof. In fact, debris, bird nests and rodents are typical culprits of clogging up your vents.
Don’t go up on the roof on your own. This could lead to serious injury. If you suspect a clogged vent pipe, it’s safer to leave repairs to technicians who do it every day.
4. Weak Flushing
If the water pressure in your toilet seems inadequate or the bowl doesn’t refill quickly after you flush, you may have an obstructed vent line. Of course, poor venting isn’t always the issue if your toilet isn’t performing properly. However, it’s not unusual.
When you call in a professional plumbing specialist, they inspect the vent lines as well as the drainpipes to find the source of the problem. In the case of an obstructed vent line, there are several ways to resolve the problem. Tools such as augers may break through the blockage and restore the functionality of your plumbing vent system.
Don’t Wait to Get the Plumbing Vents Checked
Here’s an important thing to remember about plumbing issues, particularly clogged plumbing vents – The longer you wait, the more is likely to go wrong.
When methane gas contaminates the air in your home or office, your customers or your loved ones could become ill. Instead, regular maintenance checkups and spot inspections can help prevent clogged vent lines from impacting the performance of the property’s plumbing system.
If you want reliable plumbing experts, turn to bluefrog Plumbing + Drain. We answer calls quickly and work toward a long-term solution to any clogged plumbing vents we encounter. Find a bluefrog location near you today for all your residential and commercial plumbing needs.