How To Tell If My Drain Lines Are Vented Properly

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Have a toilet that’s constantly bubbling or one where you notice frequent changes in the water level in the bowl? Sure, these things are normal when the toilet is in use, but when it’s been stagnant for a while you shouldn’t be dealing with either of these scenarios. Well, it all has to do with your plumbing system’s ventilation and if it’s not venting properly, it could sound like your drain lines are gasping for air or taking a deep breath.

How Do Plumbing Drains Work?

Ever open a can of tomato sauce or juice? You’ve probably noticed that if you only make one hole in the can for pouring, it doesn’t flow out easily. However, if you punch a second hole in the top of the can, it allows air to enter the can which helps the fluid flow more freely. The same is true for your plumbing drains.

As water enters and flows through a drain, air is required to help equalize the pressure and allow the water to flow freely. This is where a ventilation system comes into play.

How Does A Plumbing Ventilation System Work?

In a properly functioning plumbing ventilation system, anything flushed down a drain will mix with air pulled from a vent resulting in a free flow of water through the system.

If your drain lines have poor venting, or no venting at all, water flowing through the drain will likely pull excess water from a nearby P-trap, which can lead to that bubbling sound you’re hearing from your toilet.

Another scenario you might be encountering is a clogged drain or blocked plumbing vent pipe and in either case, it will need to be snaked and cleared. It is important to note that clogged or missing vents can be difficult to find and fix as they’re usually located behind walls or in tough-to-reach areas of the floors or ceiling. For this reason, it’s best to leave these projects to the pros!

Don’t wait until the last minute to have your sewer line problems repaired. The best course of action is to contact an experienced plumber at American Mechanical as soon as possible. More importantly, have your sewer lines checked on a regular basis so that any problems can be prevented before they have a chance to develop.