Did you know that your plumbing actually needs ventilation to work properly? If you have unexplained problems with your drains, it’s important to have your Houston plumber check the plumbing vents. Plumbing vents are located on your roof and play an important part in your plumbing system. Therefore, make sure you know the signs of a clogged vent stack.
What are Plumbing Vents?
Never heard of plumbing vents or vent stacks? You’re not alone. In fact, most homeowners don’t know about this vital part of plumbing systems. Have you ever seen your Houston plumber get up on the roof? This is likely to check plumbing vents. Plumbing vents connect to every drain in your home to provide access to air. The top of the vent stack connects to the roof of your home for access to fresh air. Plumbing vents perform several important functions for your plumbing system.
One of the main jobs vents play for your drains is to help equalize the pressure in drain pipes. Without ventilation, negative pressure can build up, making it difficult for wastewater to flow into the sewage system properly. Instead, the vent stack helps allow that pressure to vent through the stack. A common example your Houston plumber uses to explain this process is tipping a water bottle straight upside down. If you’ve ever done this, you’ve heard the glug, glug of the water coming out of the bottle in spurts. This is because there is nothing to equalize the pressure and this is what your plumbing would be like without vents. However, if you were to poke a hole in the water bottle, this would allow the water to flow out more freely, which is why vent stacks are needed for every plumbing system.
Venting Sewer and Wastewater Gases
Another issue plumbing vents help with is sewer and wastewater gases. Sewer gas contains a mixture of gases, including hydrogen sulfide. While low levels of sewer gas aren’t necessarily dangerous, chronic exposure or exposure to high levels of sewer gas can be toxic to humans. Vent stacks in your plumbing system help vent these gases and unpleasant odors outside of your home. That’s why it’s so important to call your Houston residential plumber if you smell sewer gas, which smells like sulfur or rotten eggs.
Keeping Water in Drain Traps
Also, vent stacks help keep water in drain traps to prevent gases and odors from traveling up into your home. Every drain in your home, including the toilet, has some sort of low point, called a trap. You’ve likely seen P-traps under the sink, which are shaped like a horizontal letter P. The low point helps trap water to create a “plug” against gases and odors from entering your home. However, without ventilation, your plumbing system becomes a vacuum. This can create extra suction and lead to your drains essentially syphoning water out of the trap and getting rid of the water that helps seal your drains off from gases and odors. Dry P-traps are a common sign your Houston plumber sees in homes with improper or clogged plumbing ventilation.
Drain Clog Symptoms That Won’t Go Away? Call Your Houston Plumber to Inspect Your Vent Stack
Now you know how important plumbing vents are, you may be wondering how you know if yours are working. There are several signs of blocked vent stacks, all of which you should call your Houston plumber about. Plumbing vents can become blocked from a wide range of things, such as leaves, small branches, debris, rodents, bird nests, and even lost baseballs. Therefore, know the signs of a blocked vent stack to help keep your plumbing in good condition.
Blocked vent stacks can cause similar problems to clogged drains. In fact, many homeowners damage their plumbing from trying to remove drain clogs that simply aren’t there because their vent stacks are clogged.
Schedule Service with your Houston Plumber for Gurgling, Bubbling, and Suctioning Noises
One of the most obvious signs of plumbing vent blockage is gurgling or bubbling toilets and drains. These strange noises are actually your drains gasping for air. Remember the water bottle example we mentioned earlier? If your plumbing starts making those familiar glugging noises from tipping a water bottle straight over, this is a sign that your Houston plumber needs to check your vent stack for blockages.
Slow Moving Drains May Need a Houston Residential Plumber to Clean Out Plumbing Vents
Does it take forever for water to drain in your home? This can be a symptom of many other plumbing issues, like a drain clog or blockage. However, it can also be a sign of clogs in your vent stacks. Plumbing vents help keep water and waste flowing through your drains, so you may notice that your drains drain slowly with a clogged vent.
Sewer Odors May Mean Blocked Vents
If you notice sewer odors in your home, this could mean that you need your vent stack inspected by your Houston residential plumber. Plumbing vent issues can lead to sewer gas buildup in your pipes as well as dry P-traps, which is a recipe for sewage odors in your home.
Call Your Houston Plumber about Unexplained Standing Water in Tubs and Sinks
Another issue you might notice is unexplained standing water in the bathtub or in your sinks. Once again, standing water can be a sign of a blocked drain. However, poor plumbing ventilation can actually lead to backups, where the wastewater flows the opposite direction it’s supposed to. This is unsanitary and a sign you need immediate plumbing repair.
How Will My Houston Plumber Fix Clogged Vent Stacks?
If you do have a clogged plumbing vent, it’s important to work with a professional Houston plumber. Clearing vent stacks of blockages involves getting on the roof and carefully removing the debris or obstruction. In many cases, this requires specialized tools. For broken or corroded vent pipes, then your plumber will likely need to access the pipes through the wall. In either case, these are difficult plumbing services that require experience and skill to perform.
However, there is something you can do to help prevent vent stack blockages. If you notice your plumbing vents frequently get clogged with debris, you can install vent stack covers on the exposed area of the vent pipe. These act as a screen or filter similar to drain screens to help catch large debris before they go down the vent stack.
At Santhoff Plumbing Company, we provide high quality, affordable, and prompt plumbing services for your home and business. Our team is dedicated to providing excellent customer service and providing practical solutions for your plumbing installation, repair, and maintenance needs. Whether you need vent stack cleaning or Houston water heater repair, we are here to serve you. Call us today at (713) 665-4997 to schedule service or request plumbing service, any time day or night.