Call Advantage Plumbing & Sewer Co. today for help with your plumbing vents!
Homeowners already know that plumbing systems are complex and need many components to work together harmoniously to deliver your home’s water supply and remove waste. Still, people often overlook their home’s plumbing air vents until they experience plumbing problems. In some cases, houses might not have this essential part of a plumbing system, resulting in many plumbing and health-related complications.
So, what is a plumbing air vent, and why do you need one? Consult the guide below from our professional plumbers in Bloomingdale, IL, to learn what you should know about these vents and their role in your plumbing system.
Plumbing Vent Definition
A plumbing air vent refers to a vertical pipe that plumbing systems need to help regulate air pressure within the pipelines. While similar to drain pipes for waste removal, they transport air and foul gases and odors instead of liquid or solid waste. The air vent line connects to various drain pipes and a roof’s primary vent to allow gases to escape and let fresh air enter the plumbing system.
Why Plumbing Vents Are Important
Like HVAC systems, airflow plays a major role in the functionality of a plumbing system. Without enough fresh air, sewer gases can escape drain lines, filling your home with bad smells and potentially hazardous gases. The air is essential to create a vacuum effect to keep gas seepage low.
Plumbing vents also help facilitate proper drainage for waste removal. Without these vents, wastewater will empty into drain traps, making it easier for gases to escape from the drains.
A bit of water should always remain inside the traps behind or under each drain to ensure the pipelines eliminate waste without risking gas seepage and odors. The airflow through the plumbing air vent keeps water inside the drain trap by maintaining the air pressure within the pipe from both sides of the trap.
How Drains Work
If you still don’t understand how ventilation affects your plumbing, it may help to know how plumbing drains work. Under your sinks and toilets, you’ll find P-shaped or S-shaped traps that hold water. The water helps prevent gases and foul smells from permeating through your house from the drains.
When you use the drain to remove wastewater, the air from the plumbing ventilation maintains the pressure within the P-trap or S-trap to keep the water in place while the pipe drains by neutralizing the negative and positive pressure that develops when water flows through the pipe. However, if the vent isn’t available or you don’t use the drain often, the water will evaporate, and the gases and odors will escape.
Types of Plumbing Air Vents
Despite the need for plumbing air vents in homes, building types and locations will affect the local plumbing codes. As such, you might have to use a specific type of plumbing vent to keep your system running smoothly. The three most common plumbing vents include:
- Wet Vent: A went vent operates as a vent and a drain using a single pipe. This type of ventilation has many restrictions and is usually for toilets, sinks, and other drains in close proximity.
- Vent Stack: A vent stack or direct vent is the most popular option for most residences. It goes through your roof, and you might have several pipes depending on the size and complexity of your home’s plumbing system.
- Air Admittance Valve: This small vent or auto-vent often forms part of a sink drain pipe to let air inside the line and regulate pressure as the pipe drains. An air admittance valve provides a common alternative to vent stacks.
Signs of Plumbing Vent Problems
If you don’t know whether your home has plumbing air vents or if the ones you have are faulty, you’ll likely notice one or more of these problems due to a buildup of air pressure inside your plumbing system:
- Rotten egg or sewer odors throughout the house, but especially around drains
- Gurgling noises from drains and pipes
- Poor water flow from sink taps
- Insufficient drainage in tubs, sinks, and showers
- Standing water in bathtubs and sinks
Since some of the warning signs of a missing or damaged plumbing vent resemble a clogged drain, you might think the latter caused your plumbing problems. Unfortunately, you’ll have a difficult time getting rid of standing water or a drainage issue if you try conventional clog-removal methods like plunging a toilet or using an auger in a sink drain if the culprit is the plumbing air vent or the lack of one.
Even if you try chemical drain cleaners to solve your problem, they won’t be effective. Frequent use of harsh drain cleaners can corrode and weaken some pipe types and cause additional plumbing issues. So if you notice these potential warning signs of a missing or damaged plumbing vent, it’s best to contact a qualified plumber.
Common Causes of Plumbing Air Vent Issues
Continue reading for several reasons why your plumbing ventilation doesn’t perform as it should:
- Frozen Vents: In the winter, the exposed part of the vent stack that sticks out of a roof and the water vapor it contains can freeze, creating a pressure imbalance in the drains.
- Incorrect Installation and Layout: You should never attempt to install your drainage vents or hire an unqualified contractor to do the job. The vents must follow the proper drain route and pitch to work correctly.
- Clogs: Debris, like bird nests, leaves, and dirt, can clog vent pipes and restrict airflow going to your wastewater pipes.
Contact Advantage Plumbing & Sewer Co. for Your Plumbing Vent Needs
If you need to install, replace, or repair the plumbing air vent in your Bloomingdale, Illinois home, turn to Advantage Plumbing & Sewer Co. Our experienced plumbers not only know the symptoms of a bad plumbing vent, but we also provide quality solutions you can count on. Our technicians are available 24/7 and back up our comprehensive plumbing services with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
Book your appointment with Advantage Plumbing & Sewer Co. today at (847) 268-3553.