Understanding Your Plumbing Ventilation Pipe

11 December 2019
 Categories: , Blog


As a homeowner, it is important to understand how the various components of your home work in case you ever have to diagnose a problem. This includes your plumbing and potential problems that can happen with your plumbing system's ventilation pipe. This simple pipe that sticks out from your roof is crucial to your plumbing working properly, which is why it helps to understand how it works.

Why A Ventilation Pipe Is Necessary

You may be wondering why it necessary for air to be introduced to your home's plumbing system. The best way to explain it is that the air from the ventilation pipe helps your drains move faster and prevent problems from occurring. Without the ventilation pipe, water will behave oddly when flushing out to the sewer system.

A great example is to try emptying a bottle of water in your sink. If you turn it upside down, you'll notice that the bottle chugs as it empties, the bottle tends to shake in your hand, and you may even notice pressure pushing your hand upward. This is what happens without a ventilation pipe, and it is not good for your plumbing. Try the same experiment again, but cut a hole in the top of the plastic bottle. You'll notice that the water effortlessly flows out of the bottom of the bottle. This is what happens when you have a ventilation pipe.

What Happens When A Ventilation Pipe Is Clogged

Unfortunately, there can be problems with the ventilation pipe sticking out from your roof. For example, you may have birds that create a nest in the opening of the vent, creating a blockage in the vent pipe. The problems that this can cause within your home are quite odd. 

You may notice that the plumbing is now louder as a result of not having air pressure since water drains and forces air upward through the pipe. That motion can shake the pipes, loosen connections, and cause leaks to occur. The lack of air can also cause the pipe to seek air from other places. If there are sinks the empty into that ventilation stack on the way to the sewer, the water may pull water from the p-traps on its way down. This can cause the p-traps to become dry, and allow sewer gas into your home. 

Thankfully, a plumber can help fix any problem that you are having with your home's ventilation pipe that is causing odd behavior to occur. Reach out to a local plumbing service to learn more.