Plumbing vents are necessary in order for the plumbing fixtures in your home work properly. These vents pass up through your house and out the top of the roof. Unfortunately, if the exposed portion of the vent becomes blocked with debris or animal nests, you may suddenly find your plumbing system exhibiting all sorts of strange phenomena. This article will discuss three of the most common signs that you should call a plumber to come check out your plumbing vent.
Bubbling Or Gurgling Toilet
Air bubbles in your toilet bowl are one of the most commonly experienced signs of a plumbing vent obstruction. Such bubbling or gurgling is often correlated with the use of other nearby plumbing fixtures. What is happening here is that the blocked vent is preventing air from entering your plumbing system. As a result, pressure inside of the drain lines does not have any outlet.
This will cause the water in your plumbing system to experience a restriction, while also drawing air from your home into the system. This air will be forced to escape from elsewhere in your plumbing system--hence the appearance of bubbles in your toilet.
As noted above, the lack of air flow from outside your home will cause all sorts of pressure-related issues inside of your plumbing system. This pressure often acts to suck the water out of the P-traps beneath your plumbing fixtures. These P-traps are designed the way they are so that, as long as your plumbing system is working correctly, a certain volume of water will remain suspended inside of them.
This water acts to form a physical barrier against sewer gases that would otherwise rise up through your pipes and enter your home. Such gases are not only foul to smell, but they can make you and your family sick. By causing water to drain out of the P-traps, a blocked plumbing vent can suddenly allow these noxious and potentially dangerous odors to permeate your home.
Blocked Up Drains
The easiest way to understand the role of a plumbing vent is to liken it to a straw partially immersed in a glass of fluid. So long as the top of the straw remains unobstructed, you can lift it up and down without altering the volume of fluid inside the glass. Yet if you place your thumb over the top of the straw and lift up, you will find yourself drawing fluid along with it.
This same principle applies to your home's plumbing system. Without proper air flow, the water in your pipes won't be able to move and behave as it otherwise would. This often manifests as sinks and tubs that seem especially slow to drain. If you have been experiencing such standing water throughout your home, contact a plumber to help diagnose and attend to the problem.
Keeping your home's plumbing system in good working order is a family job. Have you taught your kids what should never be flushed down the toilets or poured down the drains? Do your kids know what to watch for to know that there is a plumbing problem that needs to be addressed? If your kids know what to look for, they will be less likely to contribute to making a minor plumbing problem more serious. This blog will show you things that you should teach your kids so that everyone can work together to protect the entire plumbing system in your home.