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What Is A Plumbing Vent & How Do They Work?

Wondering what part a plumbing vent plays in your house? Equip yourself with the knowledge of plumbing vents to better detect problems with your plumbing system.

Plumbing systems are a core part of any home. They direct wastewater and sewage from your home into the city’s sewer systems.

You may not be aware that drainage systems make up only half of the plumbing systems. And plumbing vents are the often-overlooked halves. While drainage systems keep the unpleasant waste out of your house, plumbing vents do the same for sewer gases.

Plumbing Vent

Plumbing vent pipes are a part of your plumbing system that you should be aware of. With the knowledge of their inner workings, you’ll be able to identify and solve any issues before they become severe problems.

What Is A Plumbing Vent

Roof Showing Pipe Top

Plumbing vents are, in essence, the thing that keeps your drainage pipes going without issues. The pipes protrude from your home’s roof, directing sewer gases out of the house and fresh air into the pipes. This maintains the ideal air pressure in the pipes of your plumbing system, allowing sewage water to pass through freely without needing external aid.

The other function of a vent stack is eliminating foul sewage odour while preventing them from escaping into your home. No one wants a living room smelling like that, and a plumbing vent stack contains this.

Vent stacks work in tandem with the drainage system, as one cannot function without the other. The sewage flow through your drain pipes improves with a well-functioning plumbing vent.

Common Problems With Plumbing Vents

There are a few clear signs you can watch out for when dealing with a faulty plumbing vent pipe. These include:

Chrome Plumbing Vent Roof

1. Slow drainage

If the water stops draining from your sinks or you notice a slow-flowing drain, it could be due to a clogged drainage pipe or a blocked plumbing air vent.

2. Unusual Sounds In Your Drains

If your plumbing vent pipe is blocked, you may hear gurgling sounds in your drains. This happens because of a lack of proper airflow in the drainage system.

3. Foul Odour From Your Drains

If sewer gases can’t be expelled from your home, you may detect a foul odour from your drains. This may be due to a clogged plumbing vent pipe. The resulting low pressure dries the P-traps, which are responsible for keeping the gases from entering your home.

4. Reduced Water Pressure In Faucets

If water flows slowly out of your faucets, it may be due to a fault in your home’s plumbing system or the plumbing vent.

Solving Problems With A Plumbing Vent Stack

Check the drain line first if you suspect your drainage pipes are clogged. Clogged drain pipes are relatively easy to fix using a plunger or pouring baking soda and vinegar through them.

How To Clear A Clogged Plumbing Vent

Hand Holding Trap Pipes

If your plumbing venting system is clogged, you can attempt to fix the issue. If the plumbing vent is unreachable, feel free to call for a professional plumber. Here are the steps you can take to clean a clogged plumbing vent.

Step 1:

Reach your plumbing vent pipe. You should be able to find it on your roof.

Step 2:

See if you can locate the blockage within the plumbing fixture. If you can reach the blocked area, move to the next step. If not, you may have to call a professional for help.

Step 3:

Direct the tube of a plumber’s snake through the vent and attempt to move the blockage. Pour water through the vent if needed.

Step 4:

Check if the vent blockage has cleared or not. Cover the vent with a hand and ask someone to flush the toilet. If you feel the air being sucked in, the clog has cleared. If not, you may repeat the steps a few more times.

These steps should have cleared the blockage in your plumbing vent pipe. If the issue is a severely blocked vent pipe, you should call for professional help immediately. The longer you wait to act, the more severe the blockage. Allowing gases to build up can lead to leaks or burst pipes, which you should avoid entirely.

The Big Blue Plumbing team can assist you in Noosa, Sunshine Coast and Moreton Bay areas. We can help fix plumbing vents and drain pipes quickly and affordably. You can reach us anytime, so don’t hesitate to call our plumbers today!

Types Of Plumbing Vents

Plumbing vent pipes play a crucial role in a plumbing system by allowing gases and odours to escape and ensuring that the system functions properly. There are five main types of plumbing vents, each designed for specific purposes and locations.

Double Plumbing Vent Roof

  1. True Vent: These are the most common type of vent pipes and are typically located on the roof of a house. They are vertical pipes that remain untouched by water and allow gases to escape into the atmosphere.

  2. Common Vent: Common vents are located where a wall separates two plumbing fixtures. These vents are connected to the vent pipes with a sanitary cross, allowing for proper fixtures ventilation.

  3. Re-vent Pipe: Re-vent pipes are vent stacks that run up and over to the main vent. These pipes are typically located behind plumbing fixtures or the horizontal drain line and are used to ensure proper ventilation.

  4. Loop Vent: Also known as a Chicago Loop, loop vents connect to the P-trap underneath a sink. The pipes form a loop inside the sink cabinet from the P-trap and connect to the plumbing vent system, which helps to prevent sewer gases from escaping.

  5. Air Admittance Valve: These valves allow air back into the system after waste drains. Air Admittance Valves (AAV) use gravity to prevent sewer gases from escaping and connecting to multiple fixtures, which ensures proper ventilation and controls odours.

Getting to Know Your Plumbing Air Vents & Drain Pipes

An integral part of the plumbing system, a plumbing vent pipe assures the proper flow of water and sewage out of your home and into the sewer system. By maintaining adequate airflow, plumbing vent pipes ensure that the drainage system functions properly without any issues.

Knowing how a plumbing air vent works makes solving any plumbing problems more straightforward.

We hope you have learned much about plumbing, air vents and drainage pipes. Always call a professional for help if you need it!

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