Can Plumbing Vents Get Clogged?

A plumbing vent equalizes pressure and removes the smell of sewer gas. The combined efforts of this make them one of the most appreciated areas in your plumbing system. However, this part of the plumbing system is the easiest to ignore when it comes to issues. With this in mind, can plumbing vents get clogged?

While it doesn’t happen often, your vent pipe can be clogged by anything from bird nests to tennis balls. You can also see this occur if any debris (leaves, trash, branches) falls into the pipe. Without these critical vents, your plumbing system will have numerous issues.

In the rest of this article, we will go through some common signs that your plumbing vents are clogged. We will also go through potential solutions you can take to solve the problem.

Three Signs Your Plumbing Vents are Clogged

The three most common signs of clogged plumbing vents include the following:

Sewage Smells

The most unpleasant sign you have plumbing issues come from the smell of sewage. Plumbing vents’ primary goal is to remove the scent of sewage from your home. When the pipes are clogged, that smell has nowhere else to go.

If you smell sewage, it might be time for you to consider an emergency plumber. That sewage smell is methane, which is a poison to the human body.

A Gurgling Noise from Your Toilet and Drains

Gurgling noises from your toilet or drains after you use them are another sign of clogged plumbing vents. With a smaller air gap available, air will try and escape from your pipes by any means necessary. Many times, this air tries to return through the only open ports.

A tiny bit of that air comes back to you while the remaining attempt to push through the vents. With a smaller amount of available space, gurgling is a sign of air trying to escape from all available channels.

 Slow Drains

If a drain is slow to push water through, that may be a clog in the drain or plumbing vents. In either case, a quick test of checking for clogged drains cay be through any over-the-counter drain cleaner. This assumes that the drain giving you trouble and the pipes are compatible with the drain cleaner you choose.

When using drain cleaner, check the bottle to see if it isn’t recommended for some pipes. If the drain cleaner isn’t working, your issues might be related to the plumbing vents.

Common Ways To Fix Your Plumbing Vents

Here are some quick ways to check out and fix the status of your plumbing vents:

  • Check the roof to see if you can find any birds nest or blockages
  • If your vent has a cap on it, you may need to remove it
  • Use a flashlight to check if any debris fell into the tube (make sure you have a mask on for this)
  • Spray a high-pressure water hose into the pipe
  • Use a plumbing auger (drain snake) to dig into the vent

You can identify a plumbing vent by looking for a pipe on the roof.

Final Thoughts

A plumbing vent can have several different blockages. While they are less common than toilet clogs, they can still be a problem that causes significant issues with your system. If you suspect issues with your plumbing vents, don’t hesitate to call Reliable Drain & Plumbing.