If you have never experienced the smell of sewer gases in your home, you have the plumbing vents to thank for. Plumbing vents are pipes that run from the appliances in your house to the outside carrying sewer gases. The vents also allow fresh air into the drainage system and balance air pressure in the plumbing pipes, which aids the waste water to move efficiently. In most cases, plumbing vents are positioned on the roof. But like other pipes, plumbing vents can also be clogged and when they do, they can no longer direct the gases outside the house. You shouldn't worry much, though, as unclogging the vent is simple; all you need is a ladder to help you climb the roof and a garden hose to clear the clog.
How Do You Clear The Plumbing Vents?
When you get to the roof, run the hose down the vent. Have someone else turn the water on and poke the clog using the hose. After some few minutes, the clog should be flushed out. But if it is solid enough, you may need to include the services of a plumber's snake. The plumber's snake is a tool used to dislodge large hard solids, or clogs that are too deep in the pipe. Run it down the drain and poke the clog before flushing it out with your hose.
How Do You Know That Your Vent Is Clogged?
You can easily tell if the vent pipes are clogged. One sign is a slow drain. If the gases are not being let out because of a clogged vent, it means that the waste water inside your house's plumbing fixture will move slowly due to a high pressure build-up. Hence if you observe a slow drainage, consider inspecting your plumbing vents.
Another sign of a clogged vent is the pungent smell of sewer gases. All drains are designed to have traps for storing water. The water prevents the sewer gases from coming back into the house. But when no gas is escaping through the vents, high pressure starts to build up and it may clear the trap providing a way for the gases to get back into the house. A gurgling or sputtering toilet is also a sign of clogged vent. If there is a high pressure build-up in the pipes due to a clogged vent, the water that you flush in your toilet will come up against the pressure and it will be forced to sputter or gurgle.