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Things to Know About Smells from Plumbing Vents

Many people believe that sewer vent pipes are set in a home to release any harmful gases in it. But this could not be further from the truth. Sewer vent pipes are, in actuality, intake lines. When water passes the drain, it pushes away any air that is in front of it. Replacement air, on the other hand, is sucked right through the vents. If there is a smell coming from a vent, it is possible that there is an obstruction or leak in the vent system.

Obstructions in the Vent
Check out every single vent line in the home for any obstructions. If one of the vents is blocked, it might channel sewer gases through a different one. You can check a vent by flushing the nearest toilet and then listening for sucking sounds from the sink or shower drain. If this noise is heard, it means that air isn’t sucked in the vent. Check the outlet for obstructions such as leaves, dead critters, or toys, and if you do not find anything at first glance, the debris might be in an angle fitting. Spray some water into the opening, or get the thick metal coil of a plumbing snake down there to clear it of any debris.

A bad smell on the roof vent can be due to its improper installation. If there are no obstructions in all vents, you can have a filter installed in the roof vent. Expect the odour to be abated upon its installation.

Vent Leaks
Vent lines can leak, and when they do, they can be hard to point out. A leaky vent line located by the air intake of the central heating system can cause sewer gases to spread to different parts of the home. Because water does not drip out of a vent leak, make sure to call a plumber to find the leak for you. He will use a machine which blows smoke for this task and then proceed to fix it once it is found.

Dry Fixture Trap
If a vent pipe is clogged, much water brought down the drain lines by either a washing machine or a toilet can suck all the air away from the traps of any fixtures or drains nearby. The water usually blocks all sewer smells, and if the trap is dry, the smell of sewage goes up from the fixture or drain. The sucking sound comes along with gurgling, which should help you in identifying the problem. To remedy this, spray water down the opening or insert a drain snake down the opening of the vent.