Plumbing 101: How Do Plumbing Vents Work?

There are a few things you should know about plumbing vents in your home especially since vents are necessary, and there are various types that you can have fitted.





The plumbing system is an important component of every house. It exists so waste and water can go down smoothly without causing any disruption. However, occasionally there might be issues with vents that need to be dealt with before they cause more mess. Identifying the problem is easier when you understand what is going on.

There are quite a few things you should know about plumbing vents in your home. Vents are necessary, and there are various types that you can get. Knowing what happens in your home can benefit you greatly. Therefore, we will give you the basics, so make sure you stick around to learn more about this topic!

If you need more information or different plumbing-related services, you should definitely check here.


What Is a Plumbing Vent?

Plumbing vents serve to remove grey water and sewage from a dwelling. They get rid of the waste and allow the fresh air to circulate through the pipes, getting rid of odors. This helps the water run smoothly in the drainpipes.

Keep in mind that only air runs through vent pipes, not water. However, these are intertwined as the air pressure affects the water flow. The liquids and waste are then directed towards the main drain.

The waste we mentioned is generally produced in the toilet, shower, sink, etc. These are also called plumbing fixtures that are connected to waste lines.

In order to prevent odors from coming out of the sewage, every fixture must have a trap. Traps are basically the bends in the pipe that hold water and stop bad smells from entering the household.


Why Are Vents Important?

Plumbing vents and drains are incredibly important because our houses would have an unpleasant smell and frequent floods if not for them, and we aren't talking about clean water floods! A good plumbing system is necessary to avoid all this!

Ensure that the plumbing system in your house is functioning properly because it can cause some real complications if something is broken. If you notice anything out of order, make sure to call professionals to help you deal with it!


Types Of Vents

Every plumbing fixture in your house needs a vent. Moreover, there are different kinds of vents, which include:


True Vent:

It is placed vertically and goes through the roof to the drain line. It is generally recommended for the top floor of your house as it is closer to the stack. No water runs through these drainpipes; it only vents the air.


Common Vent:

Two fixtures or traps are on two opposite walls, but they use a common vent. These must be located on the same floor.


Vent Stack:

This type of vent regulates the air pressure, which means they are responsible for odors. It is a vertical pipe that allows for air circulation in the drains. This is not to be confused with Stack Vent, which is used for air circulation, drainage, and getting rid of waste.


Re-vent pipe:

It is a vent attached to the drainpipe which goes above the fixture to the main vent on the roof.


Air Admittance Valve (AAV):

This has a sealing mechanism that allows air pressure to enter the drain. It comes in handy when there is negative pressure. Moreover, AAV does not let gases enter your household!


Potential Vent Problems

Plumbing systems are constantly in use, which is why you may often experience certain issues related to them. Sometimes the equipment breaks, while other times, it starts malfunctioning owing to old age. Either way, problems occur, and some of the most common ones are listed below:


1. Cracked pipes:

Pipes can break for different reasons. For example, they might be improperly installed or clogged due to dirt and waste. Corrosion and water pressure can also play a role. This issue must be dealt with immediately to avoid further damage.


2. Dripping faucets:

Much like with pipes, broken faucets can be an issue because of corrosion and old age. These are generally easy to replace, but they are quite inconvenient.


3. Running toilets:

Running toilets can significantly increase your bills. They waste too much water, but you'll be glad to know that it is easy to fix them.


4. Clogged drains:

You might have a nasty experience if you use your drains for a long time and neglect maintaining them. Different types of waste such as hair or food can be the reason for this. This is a serious issue that can lead to worse problems if not solved as soon as possible.


5. Low water pressure:

If you notice that the water pressure is no longer the same, check for leaks, clogged drains, corrosion, and similar issues.


What Are Air Gaps?

An air gap is a space between a water outlet, such as a tap, and the fixture. This gap must exist to avoid possible floods or the backflow of contaminated water.

The usual distance of an air gap is one inch. But it can also be more depending on the scenario. They are most common in sinks and dishwashers and are shaped like small cylinders placed opposite of the faucet.


The Price

Every household must have a functioning ventilation system. Installing vents is generally not that expensive, but everything depends on the circumstances. The size of the project, your location, home design, your personal needs, and preferences are all factors that need to be considered. There are also different types of ventilation that might affect the price.

The average cost could range from anywhere between $300 and $6,000. The price might go up to $10,000 in extreme cases if you need an entirely new system. However, you'll only have to pay $120 if you need to replace the roof exhaust fans.



To conclude, we can say that a plumbing system is non-negotiable. Nobody enjoys odors and disgusting waste in their homes. Make sure to constantly maintain your plumbing vents in order to avoid potential problems. Seek professional help if needs be but never compromise on the quality of plumbing and vents in your humble abode.




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