When you are thinking about your plumbing system, you’re probably mostly thinking about the pipes that move water through your fixtures and then to the sewer. If you’re experiencing a problem with your plumbing, it could be in one of those pipes. However, it could also be with the air in your pipes. Air in your pipes can be a very serious problem, but some amount of air is necessary. This comes from the plumbing vent.
Plumbing vents are fairly simple. They are vents connected to your plumbing pipes that run to the outside of your house. Some people have the vent mounted in the roof. Others have it mounted somewhere at the back of the house. Plumbing vents help to vent foul odors and gases that might be in your pipes. They carry them safely away from your house. They also allow air into the pipes to help the water flow.
If you think about pouring a full bottle of water, they’re easy to understand. When you first pour the bottle, the water will pour in fits and starts. However, once there’s enough space for air to rush in, the water pours smoothly. Air replaces the moving water and allows it to keep flowing. The plumbing vent works the same way.
Plumbing Vent Problems
There are a few similar signs that something might be wrong with your plumbing vent. If you hear chugging and gurgling when your fixtures drain, it could be a problem with the vent. Also, a problem could be signaled by standing water in a sink or tub. You should first attempt to clear any possible clogs in the drain. That’s usually the problem. If that doesn’t work, you’ll need to call a plumber to work on your vents.
If you end up a complete blockage of the vent, a vacuum will form in your pipes. That will lead to sewer gases backing up into your home. You’ll be able to smell sewage in any room where there are affected drains.
What You Should Do
If you have frequently clogged drains, even if you can temporarily unclog them, you’ll need to call a plumber. Slow-flowing or clogged drains can lead to sediment building up on the sides of your pipes. That will eventually result in a total blockage and damage to your pipes. Call a professional who can unclog your drains and your vent to get them flowing again.