Did you realize your home has a plumbing vent system? Do you know what a plumbing vent pipe is? Here is information you need to know.
Each day, the average American uses between 80 to 100 gallons of water in their home.
With about 2.53 people per household, that’s a lot of water flowing in and out. But your plumbing system actually plays a larger role than that.
The plumbing vent pipe is an important part of your home’s plumbing system. If you know what it is and how it works, you can better diagnose problems.
Vent Pipe’s First Benefit
When it comes to household plumbing systems, most people know drain pipes and supply lines. Drain pipes allow water and waste to flow out of your home and into the sewer system. A water or supply line brings the water in and lets you fill your sinks, bathtubs and washing machine.
A plumbing vent pipe works alongside your drain pipes, except it doesn’t carry water. Instead, it regulates the air in your plumbing system.
Also called a vent stack or plumbing air vent, the vent pipe regulates airflow to assure waste and water flows through pipes that drain out of your house. It prevents a vacuum that causes slow or no drainage.
Clean drain pipes can only do their job when the vent pipe works. Each plumbing fixture in your home requires air to move the water through the drainage pipes.
Vent Pipe’s Second Benefit
Your plumbing vent’s second purpose is to remove sewer gases. It’s common for such gases to flow from the sewer system into your home. This build-up of gases not only causes a foul odor, but it can also be dangerous.
That’s why your plumbing vent pipe on your roof. It’s installed away from air conditioning systems and windows so those gases and odors don’t get back into your home.
Common Types of Plumbing Vents Pipes
When you install a new plumbing fixture like a sink, you need to make sure it’s properly vented. Here are the different types of vent pipes and where they’re usually located.
- True vent: This is the most common type. It’s a vertical pipe attached to your drain line. Because no water runs through it, it vents from the roof.
- Common vent: Use a common vent between two fixtures installed on opposite sides of a wall, like back-to-back sinks. They’re connected to the stack with a sanitary cross.
- Re-vent pipe or auxiliary vent: This type attaches to the drain line or behind the plumbing fixture. It runs up and over to the main vent that goes to the roof.
- Air admittance valve (AAV): This is actually a valve that opens when wastewater drains. It lets air in and uses gravity to stop any gases from getting into the room. Usually, these vent for more than one fixture.
Make sure to check building codes and to consult with a professional before you install a venting system.
Potential Vent Pipe Problems
Blockages in your vent pipe or stack cause a buildup of negative pressure in your drainage system. That means water can’t flow out of your home efficiently, if at all.
While many types of drainage issues you can fix yourself, a blocked vent is more difficult. If you often have drainage problems, a blocked vent might be the cause.
More often than not, you should seek professional help immediately. The more your pipes back up with wastewater, the more likely sediment will form in them. That sediment can lead to costly repairs if unchecked.
A blocked vent can also cause gurgling sounds in your drains, standing water in sinks and tubs, and much slower drainage. More dangerous is the buildup of sewer gases. That’s recognizable by its odor.
When you can’t fix these issues with a plunger, drain cleaner, or even an auger, a professional plumber will inspect your pipes, diagnose the issue and fix it.
Need a Professional?
Your plumbing vent pipe is an integral part of your plumbing system and, more specifically, your drainage system. They assure water and waste properly flow out of your home. But the vent pipe also keeps out odors and sewer gases.
If you have drainage problems or odors, your plumbing vent pipe may be at fault. Call Eyman today at (402) 731-2727 for a professional inspection.