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How to Prevent a Clogged Vent Stack

What Is a Vent Stack?

A vent stack is an integral part of a plumbing system. It helps to release pressure off plumbing pipes to prevent sewer gas from infiltrating the home. Vent stacks are located on the roof of a home, where for the most part they are out of sight out of mind.

Every now and then a vent tack can get clogged. Here are the signs of a clogged vent stack and how you can prevent it.

How Do I Know if My Vent Stack Is Clogged?

Slow Drainage and Gurgling Sounds

A vent stack is in place to release sewer gasses that can build up inside of your plumbing system. When there is an obstruction, it can create negative pressure when water is flowing. This can cause air to be sucked into the p traps, resulting in slow drainage and gurgling from drains. If the problem persists you may end up with a clogged drain, as there isn’t enough water pressure to move debris out of the pipes.

Sewer Smell

When there is a severely clogged vent stack, the vacuum formed from the water draining can cause all of the water to be sucked out of the p trap. The p trap is designed to keep a barrier of water in the trap to prevent sewer gasses from traveling through the pipes and into your home. As unpleasant as the smell is, this problem can also pose health threats to you and your family and should be attended to immediately.

How to Avoid a Clogged Vent Stack

Like most plumbing problems, a clogged vent stack is something that you can prevent. To prevent leaves, debris, bird nests, and even animals from crawling in and clogging your vent stack you can install a screen or a filter over to the top to prevent things from clogging it. This is a cheap and effective way to minimize clogs. This is a good home maintenance project to take on during your annual gutter cleaning, or while you are clearing the leaves off of your roof.

Why Does My Vent Stack Freeze?

Another culprit of a clogged vent stack is ice. During inclement weather, when temperatures drop below freezing, ice and snow can build up and cause a clogged vent stack. You can prevent this by installing pipe insulation around your vent stack. In addition to your vent stack, you should also take the time to insulate the rest of your plumbing pipes, before winter sets in to prevent frozen pipes.

For more plumbing tips, contact Courtesy Plumbing today!

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