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5 Signs of Poorly Vented Plumbing Drain Lines

October 29, 2018

Your pipes need to breathe, so poorly vented drain lines can be a potential cause of poor plumbing performance. As waste water moves through your system, pipe pressure fluctuates. If the vertical vents that admit outside air are obstructed, the flow of water is impeded. As a result, puzzling symptoms may arise and be mistaken for other common plumbing malfunctions, such as a drain clog.

Unfortunately, identifying and then pinpointing the exact location of a venting problem is not a job for a do-it-yourselfer. If you’re having slow drain problems or other issues, put down the plunger and let a professional plumber diagnose your problem.

Sluggish Drains

When more than one drain runs slowly, you may have a system venting problem, not an isolated clog. Pressure imbalances inside pipes create air locks and vacuum forces that interfere with proper drain function.

Weak Toilet Flush

If repeated flushes are required and the water level in your toilet bowl remains abnormally low, your sewer line may be affected by an obstructed air vent.

Sewer Odors

Water in your sink’s U-shaped trap keeps sewer gas from infiltrating your home. A poorly vented plumbing drain line may create negative air pressure inside your pipes, siphoning water out of traps and allowing the influx of sewer odors.

Belching Drains

As pressure imbalances equalize inside pipes, instead of properly venting through the vent stack, you may hear gurgling noises and bubbling sounds from the drain, even when that particular drain or sink is not in use.

Bubbling Toilet

A high volume of water flow in a poorly vented sewer line—such as occurs when a nearby appliance like a washing machine is in the drain cycle—may create enough positive pressure to force air up through the toilet. Large bubbles in the toilet bowl usually indicate a venting problem.

The plumbing professionals at Aggressive Mechanical Contractors, Inc. are ready to remedy your poorly vented plumbing drain lines. In Monmouth County, contact us for service today.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Monmouth County, New Jersey and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).