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A typical household always has a constant water flow; however, a hidden component keeps this system flowing smoothly.

This underappreciated element in the plumbing system is the plumbing vent. Realising the importance of this direct plumbing vent stack can be the difference between smooth operation and clogged pipes.

Beyond just the plumbing system, a plumbing air vent also plays a significant role in the drainage system. Read on if this isn’t enough to convince you why you need a plumbing vent. We will review the various benefits of this vent and its different types and identify vent-related problems.

Let’s jump right into it, shall we?

Why Do I Need A Plumbing Vent?

White Plumbing Vent Roof

1. Maintaining Water Pressure

Most people think of plumbing systems as the inlet and outlet pipes that carry water around the house. Drain pipes remove waste and dirty water from the sewage system. Meanwhile, supply lines are what we use to draw water into the building for sinks, appliances, and other daily needs.

Alongside these essential piping arrangements, a plumbing vent pipe will regulate the air pressure in the entire system. Although it may seem out of place, it has one of the most vital roles. It creates vacuums to control the direction of air in both the drain and supply lines.

As a result, a plumbing vent system essentially uses air to pump water into the home while pushing waste material and dirty water out of it. Regardless of how clean and well-maintained other drain pipes are kept, they would not function without the plumbing vent pipe to move the water.

2. Removing Sewer Gas

The plumbing vents are also crucial for preventing sewer gasses from entering your home from the sewer system. Without these vents, sewer gas would slowly build up and into rooms.

These sewer gasses are unpleasant but can also be dangerous if inhaled. Potential poisoning and other ailments are highly likely in individuals exposed to such sewer gases without proper protection.

Due to this feature, plumbing vents are typically located on the roofs of houses and buildings. HVAC systems are also kept far away from these plumbing vents to prevent them from entering the home through another vent. Ultimately, limiting the frequency of contact with humans is the end goal of a plumbing ventilation system.

Types Of Plumbing Vent Pipes

Among plumbing ventilation systems, a few variations are specialised for specific installations and purposes. Below are some of the different types of vents and where you can find them.

Diagram Plumbing Vent Bathroom

1. True Vent

One of the most commonly found plumbing vents, an actual vent, is attached directly to the drain line. It is responsible for regulating the flow of gasses in your home’s plumbing system. No water runs through these pipes, allowing them to vent the air onto the roof, leaving your bathroom with fresh air.

2. Common Vent

Usually, standard vents are used when two fixtures, like sinks, are in separate rooms and share a common wall. These vents are connected to a stack (known as vent stacks) with a sanitary cross to differentiate them from the other drain pipes in the plumbing system.

3. Auxiliary Vent/Re-vent Pipe

This vent acts as a pathway, directly to the drain line or behind a plumbing attachment like sinks and tubs. Down the line, it connects other plumbing fixtures to the central vent to control the gas build-up.

4. Air Admittance Valve (AAV)

An essential type of plumbing vent, the AAV, acts as a buffer to stop gasses from moving into a room while wastewater is drained. When opened, this wastewater pipe can release a sudden influx of harmful sewage gas, which gravity stops due to the AAV. Typically, these vents are used for multiple plumbing fixtures around the home, like the true vent.

Vent Pipe Problems

Identifying an issue with your plumbing vent pipe can help you determine the best action to get water flowing smoothly again. Although you can tackle plumbing and drainage pipes problems, a plumbing vent demands extra attention.

One of the best steps to take before proceeding is to figure out the source of the blockage. A gurgling sound in the drainage pipes is one way to watch a blocked vent. Other signs of a clogged plumbing vent include a backup of wastewater, little or no drainage in sinks or tubs, and an unpleasant odour from sewage gas.

If you feel the cause of your blockage is due to a blocked plumbing vent system, it is highly recommended to call in professional help. When a backup is allowed to remain in the vertical pipe, there is a high chance of sediment build-up. This build-up can eventually damage the pipeline and cost a hefty sum to repair.

Understanding Plumbing Vents

It is safe to say you are more aware of why plumbing vents are so important in any plumbing and drainage system.

Ensuring your vents are working correctly can benefit a system that runs seamlessly. After all, no one likes blocked drains and the hassle they entail to fix. Plumbing vents keep unpleasant odours away from our living spaces, and we owe a lot to this system of pipes.

No modern home is complete without these plumbing air vents, allowing our daily necessities to be met. On that note, we will conclude our guide on why these vents are so important. Please contact us if you need any assistance with plumbing vents in Melbourne! From Docklands to Elwood, we are your trusted plumbers!

Take care, and until next time!

Plumbing Vent FAQs

What is the purpose of a plumbing vent?

A plumbing vent helps regulate air pressure within drainage systems and allows fresh and clean air to enter the plumbing fixture and pipe network. The vent also eliminates any negative pressure that could trap harmful gases or hinder drains from flowing smoothly.

How does a plumbing vent work?

The plumbing vent works by equalising the air pressure within the plumbing drainage systems to allow drains to flow smoothly and to prevent water in traps from being siphoned off. Vents allow air to enter the system so water can drain properly.

What causes a clogged vent pipe?

A vent pipe can become clogged by debris, nests from animals/insects, or accumulation of grease or ice. This blocks the vent from bringing fresh air into the plumbing fixtures.

What are the signs of a clogged plumbing vent?

Signs of a clogged vent pipe include slow-draining sinks/tubs, gurgling sounds from drains, foul sewer gases coming from drains, reduced water flow, and toilets that bubble up or have a weak flush.

How can you unclog a vent pipe?

To unclog a vent pipe, you can try snaking the vent with a drain auger or plumber’s snake. However, vent pipes are often installed high up and may require a professional plumber to access and unclog using special equipment safely. A plumber can also determine if the entire vent system needs repair.

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