About Damien

Damien McCusker, Manager of Arpi's residential service division, has been working in the HVAC industry for 16 years and has hands-on experience in new home installations, furnace and air conditioner replacements, sales and residential service. He spends most of his spare time being an UBER driver, driving his kids to soccer practice and games.

How to Tell If Your Home Has Poorly Vented Drain Lines

Phil Laprairie

How to Tell If Your Home Has Poorly Vented Drain LinesYou may have a feeling that something’s amiss with your plumbing. Frequently, poor venting symptoms are mistakenly attributed to blockage inside a drain pipe or sewer line. Instead of looking down the drain, the problem may actually be above your head. Drain line vents—also called “stacks”—are plastic or cast iron pipes that connect to your drainage system and extend vertically through the attic, venting at the roof.

As waste water flows through enclosed drain lines, pressure is created in front of the flow, forming a vacuum behind it. Functional vent pipes are necessary for equalizing this difference, so waste can move freely. Poorly vented drain lines may be the cause behind symptoms as diverse as these:

Sewer Odors

The pungent smell of sewer gas is unmistakable. Water in drain traps under sinks and other fixtures prevent sewer gas in the plumbing from entering your home. When drain lines aren’t properly vented, low pressure inside the pipe can suck water out of the traps, letting sewer gas in.

Slow Draining

Air pressure imbalances inside the drain pipe can restrict water flow and cause sluggish draining, often mimicking a partial clog inside the pipe. In these cases, your air vent is probably blocked, not your drain pipe. 

Unusual Sounds

If you continue to hear gurgling sounds from your drain after water in your sink or bathtub has emptied, excess air pressure trapped inside the pipe may be the factor. Resolving issues with poorly vented drain lines can usually eliminate strange noises.

Poor Flush Performance

If your toilet seems to have lost its flushing force and your bowl doesn’t fully refill after flushing, a sewer vent may be blocked somewhere producing pressure and vacuum inside the sewer line, restricting free flow.

Air Bubbles

A bubbling toilet bowl usually means that there's a reflux of air as drain water moves through a poorly vented drain line. Oftentimes, this occurs during high-volume draining, like when a nearby washing machine is in the drain cycle.

For professional help diagnosing and remedying poorly vented drain lines in Calgary, contact Arpi's Industries, Ltd today.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Calgary, Alberta about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “iQoncept/Shutterstock”

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