What are Plumbing Vents and Why Do You Need Them?

What are Plumbing Vents and Why Do You Need Them?


The entire plumbing system is composed of various elements, with each fostering a certain role or function. One of the most important elements of a plumbing system is the plumbing vent. This article digs deeper into what it is and why you need them in your home.

Plumbing Vents in Brief

The main function of a plumbing vent is to enable a free flow of the sewer and drain system. Plumbing vents fulfil this function by allowing air to flow into the drain system. As a result, the pressure within the pipes is equalised.

The vent has a main section which is commonly referred to as the stack. The stack is designed to go down to the sewer line, and extend upward to the roof. The opening of the vent is then situated on the roof, extending a couple of feet past its line. Most plumbing regulations stipulate that the main venting pipe should have at least a diameter of 2.5in, particularly if it is serving a couple of fixtures in the drainage system.

Importance of Plumbing Vents

In your home, water must move freely and the wastes must also efficiently move out. In this case, you need both your drainage system and your plumbing vent to work accordingly. Otherwise, you will encounter a very inconvenient problem that needs to be addressed properly by seasoned and professional plumbers who have the knowledge and skill to do so.

Plumbing vents tend to prevent sewer gases from entering your home. Alongside this, it also enables wastewater gas to escape. As such, vent pipes can supply fresh air to each of the plumbing fixtures in your home. With fresh air supplied in your plumbing fixtures, your system will be able to move water throughout your drainage pipes each time your toilet is flushed or even when your sink is used.

Special vents, such as circuit vents, are used when plumbing codes require every fixture of your home to be connected to its own venting branch. With this design, a single horizontal vent is used for up to eight fixtures, with several circuit vents interconnected as necessary. This provides an efficient venting solution not only for an apartment complex but in most buildings.

Common Problem with Plumbing Vents: Blocked Vents

Plumbing vents, just like any other component in a plumbing system, can also get blocked. For this reason, the experts in emergency plumbing Croydon locals rely on, suggest that you have your vents periodically checked. The first thing that you may notice though when you have a blocked vent is water draining slowly. More often than not, this is mistaken as blocked drainage. However, in case you hear gurgling sounds from a certain drainage and there is water flowing in another drainage, then this is a viable sign of a blocked vent.

There may also be instances wherein you may smell foul sewer odours. This is an indication that the negative pressure emptied the P-trap, leading to a blocked vent. Finally, when your efforts to clear your drain are not working, then this can also be an indication that you have a blocked vent. How your blocked vent needs to be addressed depends on the specific structure and design you have in your home.

The Bottom Line

Plumbing vents fulfil a significant role in the entire plumbing system. Apart from allowing gases and fumes to dissipate, plumbing vents also enable the sewer and drain systems to flow freely, which is why they are all the more important. In case you deem that you have any issues with your plumbing vent, make sure to get in touch with a professional plumber as soon as possible.

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