What Happens When Plumbing Vents Get Clogged?

There are many things that can clog up your drains in the home, from hair and food to dirty wipes and pet waste. But one of the most dangerous and unpleasant is a blocked vent pipe. These pipes carry toilet odours and other gases out of the plumbing system into the outside air to prevent them from stinking up the house, but if they aren’t properly maintained, they can clog up and start to cause problems.

If your sinks, tubs or toilets are taking longer than usual to drain, it may be a sign that the plumbing vent stack is clogged. Debris like leaves, sticks and other plant matter can make their way into the vent stack and block it, but it’s also possible that there is a more serious problem. In some cases, the clog is caused by an insect nest or the remains of dead rodents or birds that have been blown into the vent pipe.

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Because the opening of a vent stack is located on the roof, it’s vulnerable to outdoor elements and easy to block with dirt, leaves, debris and other substances. The most common culprit is a bird’s nest, but it’s possible that there is another animal or rodent inside the pipe. If the clog isn’t cleared quickly, it can lead to high pressures in the pipes and sewer backups. For a Plumber Gloucester, go to HPR

Another sign of a clogged vent is gurgling noises that occur around the home. This is because the clog prevents air from being able to move through the pipes and equalise the pressure. The result is that the water and sewage that goes down the drains backs up into the vent stack.

Depending on what is blocking the vent pipe, you might be able to clear it yourself with a little bit of work. If the clog is just a small amount of plant matter, you might be able to remove it with a garden hose and a spray nozzle set to a narrow high-pressure spray. This will clear the clog and prevent it from returning.

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If this doesn’t solve the problem, you’ll need to bring a plumber in. A plumber will be able to use a drain snake with a camera attachment to see what’s causing the clog and how to resolve it. If it’s a more serious issue, they may need to go through the roof and push a plumbing auger down through the vent pipe to break up and clear out the clog.

While chemical drain cleaners might temporarily fix blocked drains, they can’t solve clogged vent pipes. It’s best to contact a plumber and have your vent pipes cleaned to avoid clogs that can lead to leaky drains and even a plumbing disaster.

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