Know the Warning Signs of Poorly-Vented Drain Lines
If your home’s plumbing system isn’t functioning as well as it should, it may be due to poorly vented drain lines. The vents, or stacks, are vertical cast-iron or plastic pipes running from your drains to the roof. When the vents are functioning properly, they allow air into the plumbing system so pressure inside the drain lines doesn’t form a vacuum that can stop waste water from moving along freely.
Problems with the vents can produce some warning signs that you can easily identify.
The traps on your sinks and other plumbing fixtures retain a small amount of water to keep sewer gas out of your home. If the vents are obstructed or installed incorrectly, negative pressure in the drain will siphon the water from the trap and you’ll notice an unpleasant sewer gas odor.
Slow Moving Drains
Blocked vents can cause a pressure imbalance in your drains and slow the flow of water through the lines. Since the symptoms are similar to the sluggish movement caused by a partial clog in the drain itself, you may not even realize the problem is in the vent pipe.
You shouldn’t hear any sounds from your drains when they’re working properly. If bubbling or gurgling sounds are coming from the drain even when a fixture isn’t in use, it’s a clear warning that air pressure isn’t escaping through the vent stack as it should.
Poor Flush Force
If you have to flush your toilet repeatedly or the bowl doesn’t fill completely after a flush, pressure issues in the drains due to a vent pipe blockage may be the culprit.
Bubbles in the Bowl
The force of water draining from your washing machine can push air bubbles up into the toilet bowl in a nearby bathroom if the drain lines are poorly vented.
At Sobieski Services, Inc., our goal is to help our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey learn more about energy and home comfort issues — especially HVAC and plumbing issues — so that they can save money and live in healthier, more comfortable homes.
Photo Credit: nizger via Compfight cc