FAQs and Answers About Plumbing Vents

If you picture the internal workings of a plumbing pipe, you probably imagine it transporting water to your faucets or carrying wastewater away from the home. What you might not know is that it also transports air currents. Pipes rely on pressure and air to move liquids in the right direction, and plumbing vents are an essential part of that equation. 

What are plumbing vents? 

Plumbing vents are also sometimes called vent stacks or air inlets. They are short pipes that poke up from the roof. You might have noticed them before and thought that they were ugly. But without them, your home could get very messy. 

What do plumbing vents do? 

In a nutshell, plumbing vents equalize the pressure within the plumbing system. Picture a plastic bottle of water. If you uncap it and turn it upside down, the water starts to glug out of the bottle. It doesn’t flow in a steady stream. Instead, the water chugs and the sides of the bottle start to pull inward. This is because the pressure in the bottle isn’t equalized. If you poke a hole in the upturned bottom of the bottle, the pressure equalizes and the water flows freely. Plumbing vents allow air to be introduced to the system above the waste drains. This allows liquids to flow, and it also keeps the toxic sewer gases down the drain and out of your home. 

Could my plumbing vents be broken? 

If you suspect your plumbing vents are broken or obstructed, you need to call a professional to inspect and fix them. Often, the first sign of a broken plumbing vent is an abnormal gurgling noise coming from the drains. You might also notice that the drain is slow-moving. You might even have standing water left in the sink or bathtub. A broken plumbing vent can also cause foul odors to arise from the drains. 

The expert team at Ace Plumbing can diagnose and correct all sorts of plumbing problems. We also service water heaters, provide heating and air conditioner repair, and offer septic services. Call our office at (916) 455-4548, and we’ll send one of our courteous, professional plumbers out to your home in Sacramento. 

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