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Modern Plumbing Industries, Inc. Blog

What Are Drain and Plumbing Vents?


If you see this, you may have clogged drain vents.

What do you think of when you hear about the vents in a home? You probably think of the air vents in the rooms, or possibly the venting for gas-burning appliances that moves toxic combustion products safely away from the house. Those are crucial vents.

But your plumbing also has vents, and they’re just as crucial for the proper working of your plumbing system and the hygiene of your home. People often don’t know much about these plumbing vents, so we’re going to give you a short overview of them and also look at some potential drain and plumbing vent problems. If you run into any plumbing troubles, make sure you call a professional plumber in Sanford, FL to help out. Vent troubles can’t be fixed with DIY attempts.

The Basics of Drain and Plumbing Vents

Your plumbing needs to have the air pressure in it balanced. Drain vents must eliminate gas buildup from waste as well as allow some fresh air in to permit the water to move smoothly. The end result balances the pressure throughout the wastewater plumbing. The vent pipe doesn’t actually carry any water: it allows the sewer gas to escape upward. The various vent pipes extending up from the drainpipes lead to a central vent stack. This pipe goes to the roof of your house where the sewer gas is released.

How These Vents Are Helpful

Why do you need to have air pressure balanced in your drainage system? Because if the pressure is unbalanced, it will mean sewer gas traveling the wrong direction up the pipes. The gas might escape into your household, pushing through the water in the p-trap of drains. (You may hear a gurgling sound from the drains, which is warning you of sewer gas rising through the p-trap.) Worse, the pressure may push the sewage itself up from the pipes. You definitely don’t want to be caught in a home with sewage odors moving through it!

What Might Go Wrong with the Vents

One of the common troubles that can affect vents is the same problem that can affect vents of any kind: blockage. Storms may send debris onto your roof that block the vent stack; an animal nest can cause the same thing. If your home’s plumbing has dealt with slow drains or common blockages, sediment may get up into the vent pipes and block them. Drains that are slow or clogged up because of blocked drain vents won’t respond to using a basic plunger or hand-cranked drain snakes. Only professional plumbers can successfully take care of the necessary repairs.

There are signs to watch for that will warn about possibly blocked vents. We’ve already mentioned the gurgling drains. Also look for standing water in sinks and tubs, and slow or clogged drains that occur all around the home. Blocked vents aren’t the only source of these problems, but you’ll need a licensed plumber to find out what’s wrong so it can be fixed before you have an even worse trouble on your hands.

Solve your drain and other plumbing problems by calling Modern Plumbing Industries, Inc. We’ve serviced Central Florida since 1975.

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