Archive for December, 2012

Plumbing Vents

Dec. 17th 2012

Plumbing vents are another name for drain-waste-vent systems. These systems help to eliminate waste and a substance known as greywater, or water that is used in household activities such as bathing, washing dishes, or laundry, from a residence. These vents connect to household appliances via internal pipes, and lead outside, sometimes to the roof of the home. The material that travels through these vents can cause illnesses if not properly disposed of, and plumbing vents help to ensure that these materials are removed. These materials include gases and fumes from the sewer, which can be seriously toxic if they manage to seep inside of a residence.

Plumbing vents also help to maintain air pressure in these pipes, which enables the contents to flow much more easily. Because of this regulated air pressure, gravity is able to work on these waste contents and carry it out of the home. These vents must be installed and positioned properly in order for them to be effective. Plumbing vents are important for other reasons, as well, because it is through these systems that oxygen is able to get to the waste inside the pipes. When sewage and wastewater make contact with oxygen, the oxygen helps to break down the waste because the components of these substances are aerobic in nature and rapidly deteriorate in its presence. These types of vents also can help prevent sewage gases from making their way inside the home by maintaining the seals that keep unwanted vapors and substances out of the main area of the residence.

When the air pressure is not maintained by these plumbing vents, it can compress the air in the pipe. This can create suction on the waste that leaves the air with nowhere to go. When this takes place, gases can easily leak into the home, creating a dangerous and toxic situation. In order for these pipes to properly work, each fixture must have a vent close by, within five feet of its placement in the room. These fixtures include sinks, tubs, and toilets. These requirements are often set up by local building codes, and should be maintained and reinforced during installation of plumbing vents.

It is also important for installation and maintenance purposes to remember that these pipes can at times become frozen or clogged. There are various things that can cause this to happen, and they include ice blocking the pipe or dead leaves collecting inside. Anytime homeowners are having trouble getting their sinks or tubs to drain, this is one of the first signs to look for to indicate that somewhere a pipe is clogged. It may also be possible that as a result of this clogging gases will contaminate the indoor air of the home, so calling a plumber if this happens would be the best course of action.

It is vital that every homeowner have plumbing vents properly installed to manage the sewage and wastewater and gases that homeowners are at risk of exposure to just going about their daily lives. Installation can be done as a do-it-yourself project, but for those who are unsure about how to best install these systems, calling a qualified plumber to do the job is a necessary step.

Posted by plumber | in DIY, Pipes | No Comments »

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