Are Plumbing Vents Necessary?

Just as much as we depend on having electricity in our homes, we depend on the indoor plumbing too. And just like when there is a power failure, plumbing failures can create a huge disruption in our households. And that is why our homes need plumbing vents.

What do plumbing vents do? It’s all a matter of eighth-grade physics. Plumbing has to have outside air to help it work so that the sewer gas can get out. When there aren’t any plumbing vents, it is the same as when you place your finger over a straw in a glass. It is blocking the air flow and the liquid inside the straw stays. Same works when there aren’t any plumbing vents.  The sewer gas can’t escape.

Other Reasons Why Plumbing Vents Are Necessary

Every home will have a plumbing problem at some point, and it won’t always be with the water pipes. Plumbing vents can get clogged, even damaged, which cause stoppages among other problems. For the drains in your home to flow, a homeowner should understand why plumbing vents are important.

Another example of why plumbing vents is necessary is the toilet. If you will look behind your toilet, you’ll see a U-pipe. The fresh water in the tank is admitted to the sewer through this U-Pipe. The next important part of a toilet is the S-trap, or the plumbing vent. Each time the toilet is flushed, air is pushed in from the vent and maintains neutral pressure while gravity does the rest.

With the U-pipe plugged, the fresh water from the tank blocks sewer gases and they escape through the plumbing vents. Plumbing vents are needed on all plumbing fixtures such as the bathtub, sinks, washing machine, etc. Your home may need plumbing vents added or repaired if you are experiencing any of these:

  • Gurgling sounds from the drains – annoying
  • Slow drains – major inconvenience
  • Sewer odor – creating dangerous methane gas

Plumbing Vents – Problems With The Pipes

When plumbing vents aren’t working properly, the drainage system doesn’t either.  This can happen when plumbing vents are blocked which causes negative pressure to build up and interrupt the water flow, meaning the water isn’t draining.

The first thing a homeowner will try is unclogging the drain, which may help for a brief period of time. But if there is problem with the plumbing vents, that slow drain will return, causing sediment to form inside the pipes. Further damage will occur, costing you more inconvenience, and worse, a lot of money.

When You Need Professional Service For Plumbing Vents

When your attempts to open up a slow-flowing drain have failed using an auger, drain cleaner, or the typical household plunger, you most like have vent blockage. If not addressed by a professional plumber, a vacuum will form over the pipes, which will stop that annoying gurgling, but then the sewer gas will begin to back up into the house. That isn’t only unpleasant, it is unhealthy.