What is a Plumbing Vent?

You may have seen that little pipe that comes out of every single home and building but, what is that?! That is your plumbing vent, and this one little pipe is extremely important to your whole plumbing system.

What is a Plumbing Vent?

plumbing vent

As mentioned above, it is the pipe sticking out of your roof. It is a part of your drain-waste-vent (DWV) system. You typically only have one, as they all connect to one main stack. Depending on the size of your home there could be multiple of them.

There are a few purposes for your plumbing vent. The first is providing ventilation to the DWV system. As sewage runs through your pipes, sewer gasses can build up in your system. If you did not have a plumbing vent, sewer gasses would come through your drains. Sewer gasses are harmful and can cause you to get extremely sick. The plumbing vent allows the air to escape through the pipe. It is not located near any window, AC unit, or anything similar.

plumbing vent

The air from your plumbing vent allows water to remain in the trap. The water in a plumbing trap has two purposes. In every trap, it is designed to keep sewer odors at bay. In your toilets, it is to keep water in the bowl.

Another purpose is to keep your drains flowing freely. If you put your thumb on a straw in your water and lift the straw out of your water, the water will not go anywhere. However, once you release your thumb on the straw, the water will fall out. This is the exact reason why air from your plumbing vent is necessary to let your drains work properly.

Problems in your Plumbing Vent

vent on roof

Like anything else in life, your plumbing vent can also have problems. There is only one major issue a plumbing vent has and that’s clogging. There are a few different ways that your plumbing vent can become clogged.

The main way it can clog is birds and animals making nests on or in the vent, animals can also interfere with the structural integrity of your plumbing vent. It can also clog due to any leaves, twigs, or organic materials that fall in there.

It is very important that a plumbing vent has a pipe. This is what it looks like before the pipe is installed.

There is no way to clean your plumbing vent on your own. It is too dangerous and the clogs may be hard to access. This is a job for a plumber, they will know exactly what to do to clear your clog out.

How to Know Your Plumbing Vent is Clogged?

There are a few signs that your plumbing vent is clogged. The first one is that if you’re experiencing symptoms of a clogged toilet, for example, but it is not solved with any plunger, drain snake, or hydro jet. A good plumber will look into your vent if no other clogs are seen.

two plumbing vents on the home

The next is slow drainage, if you take our straw example from earlier, a clog in your plumbing vent is like having your thumb not fully on the straw. This can make the water go a little slower. Water pooling may also happen due to the disturbed pressure. The water pooling will occur in your sinks and your tub or shower.

When your sewer is blocked, that will cause the sewer odors to escape through the drains in your home. It is important to open all the windows or leave your home if you are smelling a sewer smell that is not going away. This will help dilute the gas in your home.

Final Thoughts

Your plumbing vent has a lot of importance in your plumbing system. It helps keep sewer odors out of your home by keeping water in the trap and letting it vent out through your roof. They also keep drains working properly. They can become clogged, and knowing the signs of that is important so you can call your plumber to take care of the issue.

Call 1-Tom-Plumber

Don’t hesitate to contact us here or call us at 1-Tom-Plumber (1-866-758-6237) if you need help with any plumbing, drain cleaning, water damage, or excavation services. 1-Tom-Plumber’s certified team of plumbers and drain technicians respond immediately to any emergency plumbing, drain cleaning, or water damage problem. We also handle the excavation of underground water lines and sewer main lines. Our immediate-response team is available every day and night of the year, even on holidays.

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