Vent stacks are a key component in the plumbing system, without which the drains will not work smoothly. Failure to vent plumb can lead to strong sewer odors, empty toilet bowls, overflowing drains, gurgling sounds from the drain lines, and bubbles in the toilet bowls. All this happens due to an imbalance in pressure due to a lack of ventilation in the plumbing system.
Plumbing vents are pipes installation that runs upright inside the walls and comes through the top of the roof. These installations are important as they allow natural pressure into the plumbing system to equalize the pressure in the pipes for the smooth flow of wastewater and waste material. Of course, you may have used an unvented system and notice the plumbing system work, but you will appreciate the difference brought about by vented installations.
You will forget the need to flush the toilets more than once to get the waste off the ball and other issues brought about by not vent plumbing. But first, let’s check what happens if you don’t vent plumbing.
Issues That Result When You Don’t Install Plumbing Vents
Proper ventilation is needed for the plumbing system to work properly. Failure to install the vents result in some serious discussed below:
Gurgling Sounds From Drain Lines
When the air is not flowing through the pipes due to lack of ventilation, it would be difficult for waste material and water to flow smoothly. You will easily notice the gurgling sounds from the bathroom as the plumbing pressure would be more than what in the bathroom. This sputter is a result of water fighting the increased pressure when the toilet is flushed.
Increased drainpipe pressure causes water to drain slower than the average rate. You will notice that the bathroom sinks and bathtubs do not drain water as it should be. Eventually, the drains could overflow as the water is slowly drained than it is fed. However, issues such as blockage or clog could cause the drains to overflow, and it is good to rule out such issues before overhauling the whole system to install vents.
Strong Sewer Odors
A proper plumbing system has a trap in the drain pipes that hold little water to block gases and odors from reversing into the building. As a result, the house smells good. However, if the plumbing vents are not installed, the pressure in the drain pipes will be too high than the surrounding air pressure forcing all the water to be drained out. Dry traps thus have no liquid to block the gases and the odor, which then escape and get into the building, creating an unpleasant smell.
Empty Toilet Bowls
Ideally, the toilets should refill after every flush. This only happens when there is proper ventilation in the plumbing system. Failure to install the vents increases the pressure in the drains causing all the water to flow away. You will experience inconsistent rising and falling of the water level in the bowl that could be annoying to the toiler users.
Bubbles In The Toilet Bowl
Vents are meant to equalize the pressure around the bathroom and in the drain pipes. When the structures are not installed, the drain pipes will struggle to get enough water to maintain the bowl water level. As a result, you will notice bubbles sitting on the toilet bowl.
Why Is Vent Plumbing Important?
The venting system complements the drainage system, and thus without it, the plumbing system is incomplete. Vents work to allow the wastewater and material flow smoothly with the reduced plumbing-related issue. Check the importance of plumbing vents below:
Supply Fresh Air To Plumbing Fixtures
Wastewater and materials are carried away from your home to the septic tank or city sewer through the drainage pipes. However, there’s a need for a balanced pressure for the waste to be channeled smoothly. This is achieved by installing the vent that supplies fresh air to the system for a balanced pressure that allows water to flow well through the pipes. Each time you drain the sink or flush the toilet, the water flows at an ideal rate without gurgles or bubbles.
Block Sewage Gases From Escaping The Drainage System
A trap is created in all the drainage systems to create a low point where little water remains to block the odors and gases from escaping back to the building. For the trap to function well, there has to be a balanced pressure achieved through venting. No vents create a suction effect in drain pipes that pull some or all water from the trap down the sewer line. The space left allows gases and odor to escape resulting in a bad smell.
Does The Washing Machine Drain Need A Vent?
Yes, the washing machine drain should be vented for it to function properly. Failure to vent the drains results in a slow and noisy system,which subsequently could overflow. Besides, there is a risk of hazardous fumes escaping to the house as the trap functioning is affected by a lack of proper ventilation.
When venting a drain for your washing machine, you should keep the following in mind:
1. The material of the vent pipes
2. Vent pipe’s pressure class
3. Proper slope, especially those of horizontal vents
4. Connection vents to other fixtures in the building
5. Distance between the vent and the washing machine
6. Location of the vent
7. Size of the vent
What Does It Mean When You Flush Your Toilet And The Bathtub Gurgles?
Gurgles from the toilet or bathtub indicate clogged drainage pipes or a lack of proper ventilation. It means that there are some air traps in the pipes, and instead of the water flowing down the drain, it flows back, resulting in gurgling sounds. However, if you check and find that the drains are not clogged, you might need to check whether the vent system is installed and is working well.
A proper plumbing system calls for the installation of the vents. This allows the system to work at its optimum while preventing common issues related to a lack of ventilation in the drain pipes. If you are still in doubt about vent plumbing, doubt no more as you need it. Otherwise, you are likely to face strong sewer odor, overflowing drains, and gurgles from the toilet that are all annoying.