Clearing a Clogged Plumbing Vent

Are your plumbing fixtures struggling to drain but no amount of plunging or cleaning seems to help? Maybe you are noticing odd odors, particularly around your sinks? If either of these problems is happening to you, then it is possible that your vent pipe is to blame.

Vent pipes are a vital part of your plumbing system that allow air to enter your plumbing lines, preventing a vacuum from forming. This keeps the pressure in your drains balanced, allowing water to drain freely and preventing sewer gasses from entering your home. When this vent pipe becomes blocked, this is a serious issue that can prevent your plumbing system from operating correctly.

How a Plumbing Vent Works

When you try to run water down your drains, this water will often fill the pipe, which can create a vacuum behind it. Without anything to equalize the pressure, this can prevent waste and water from flowing effectively into the city sewer or your septic system. This is what your plumbing vent is there to accomplish. This crucial pipe runs from your drains up to your roof and allows air to enter the lines to replace displaced air keeping the pressure balanced.

Locating Your Plumbing Vent

Though a plumbing vent should typically be located on top of the roof to prevent any noxious odors from entering your home, in some cases, it may be located inside a cabinet above a p-trap. In some homes, a “cheater” vent may be installed, which is a one-way vent that is installed directly into a trap. However, due to their lower effectiveness, these are often prohibited by building codes. If you have difficulty locating your plumbing vent, you can call a professional to help you locate the vent and even help determine if it is causing your plumbing issues.

Clearing A Plumbing Vent

Once you have identified your plumbing vent, you will need to remove a cap if there is one. Look inside and attempt to identify if there is any debris visibly blocking the pipe if there is an attempt to remove it. If there is no visible debris, then use a garden hose to spray water into the pipe and dislodge any debris. If the water begins to fill the pipe, then the clog may be too stuck.

Try feeding a ten to twenty-foot auger into the drain until you hit the blockage. At this point, begin turning the handle to dig the head into the blockage. Once you have managed to push through the blockage, the water may begin to drain, and you can begin to pull the cable back. Be prepared because the blockage or part of it is likely to come with it. Finish by spraying more water from a garden hose to flush any remaining blockage out of the vent pipe.

If you suspect your home’s plumbing vent may be clogged, then don’t put you and your loved ones at risk by waiting to solve it. Try following the above steps to clear the clog or call a professional to diagnose the issue and restore your system to full function.

Contact Us

If your home’s plumbing isn’t working as it should, then contact J Griffin Heating & Plumbing. Our professional team of plumbers has more than three decades of experience with heating and plumbing services. Call us at 781-520-1212 and connect with us on Facebook.