Does Every House Have a Vent Pipe? (Explained)

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The vent pipes are invented so all the gasses from the house’s drainage and piping system are safely released into the air, away from the people living in the house. That’s why every house will have a vent pipe by default. Lack of one will cause issues in the piping system.

Where Are Vent Pipes Located?

Vent pipes are easily located since all of them are usually mounted to the roof. The reason for this is because vent pipes are there to vent all the gases from the piping system that might be dangerous.

That’s why the vent pipes are usually on the roof, where there are away from all the air conditioning units, windows, etc. – away from all places where they can enter and thus come back again in the house, causing damage.

The main venting pipe can have a different location throughout the layout of the house, and it solely depends on that.

You can check your project to see. It will be put in the central position usually, at the place that’s most convenient for all other pipes – where the gasses won’t have to travel much through the piping system.

Does Every House Have a Vent Pipe?

Because of the purpose of the vent pipes, it is normal to assume that every house needs to have one. Vent pipes are an unavoidable part of the house plumbing system, mostly because they are there to expel any excess gas that has been trapped in the piping system.

If you are unsure whether or not you have a vent pipe, just check your roof. If you see a pipe sticking out 50-60cm out of your roof, you can easily assume that that is the vent pipe, and by the location of the exhaust, you can assume where the body of the pipe is located in the house.

The entire purpose of the venting pipe is to regulate the air pressure in the pipes, thus preventing any accidents from happening. We will talk more about what could happen if you didn’t have the vent pipes later on.

Every house is required to have a vent pipe because without it the system would not work properly. The purpose of the vent pipe is to expel the bad gasses that are unavoidably going to build up in the system and to release pressure from it.

The plumbing system in the house is designed to remove all the water and waste from your home to one-out-of-two destinations – they can either travel to the city sewer system, or they can be connected to your septic tank.

During this process of traveling, the aforementioned air pressure can rise, thus creating sort of a tension in the system. The bad gasses are trapped, and the flow of water and waste can be interrupted.

Vent pipes will have a double purpose – they will let the bad gasses out of the system, and they will allow the flow of fresh air at the same time. This is important because every time you flush a toilet, fresh air is needed to put the water in movement.

The air is preventing odor and bad gasses from entering the home and is pushing everything towards the main pipe, where the gasses will escape through the roof, rather than through your house.

How Many Vent Pipes Does a House Need?

According to the project, each house should have at least one venting pipe. There is one main venting pipe that is considered to be the central one – it is the one you will see from the outside (it goes through the roof).

The system is interconnected within the house, and all pipes have a connection to that main center pipe. This means that the gasses are easily going to travel to the main pipe and then through the roof. They will dissipate in the air, causing no danger.

If you believe that it’s better to have two vent pipes, so be it. There is no proof that two vent pipes will do a better job than one – they will not be more efficient if that is your major concern.

Two vent pipes can mean that you have two main vent pipes going through the house, or it just means that at the top the vent pipe has two exhaust tubes.

Either way, the job they will do will be the same that’s done with only one vent pipe, so don’t spend your money trying to multiply the vent pipes.

What Happens if You Don’t Have a Vent Pipe?

It is almost impossible to have a vent pipe system – it is one of the basic systems every home needs to have. As already explained, the purpose of the vent pipe is to release the trapped gasses from the piping system, and thus remove any air build-up inside of them that could potentially cause troubles.

The thing is that the trapped gasses create a lot of pressure in the piping system, which can be potentially dangerous because of possible outbursts. Also, some of those gasses are very toxic, so if they come back to the house, they can pose a potential danger.

Poisoning from gasses trapped in the piping system is something that used to happen very often before the vent pipe became a standard part of every houses’ piping system. Besides this, the pipe that has burst can create more danger.

Imagine a situation where you don’t have a vent pipe. However, in a situation like this, you still need to drain your toilets, sinks, etc. This means that unavoidably, there will be gas build-up in the system.

After some time there will be too many gasses trapped in the system, and without the vent pipe, the only way out from them would be the other end – where they came from.

This means that they would come back through the system, and they would be released into the house itself. This is how the aforementioned poisoning can happen.

How to Notice Problems With the Vent Pipe?

Problems with the vent pipes rarely occur, but sometimes they can cause you a headache. Because people don’t identify them at the first glance, they tend to look for an issue in the wrong place.

When the vent pipe is blocked for whatever reason, the usual flow in the system will be interrupted because of the gasses that are building up. You may think that your drainage system is not functional because of the sink blockage, but in fact, the issue is with the vent pipe.

Sometimes the efforts to unclog the sink will cause better flow in the system, but very soon after, the problem will reappear. This is because the initial issue was not with the sink at all.

A blockage in the system that is not maintained and assisted will cause further damage to the system, and such repairs could be very costly.

The key here is to identify that the issue is not with the blocked sink, but with the vent pipe itself. The first symptoms include gurgling water or water retention in the sink and slow drainage.

If the local unclogging doesn’t help, the vent pipe is blocked and you need to fix that issue.

Unblocking the vent pipe will restore the gas and airflow, and the drainage would continue to work as before.