How to Unclog Vent Pipe on Roof and Detecting The Issues

If your sink is clogged and you constantly fail to find the source of the problem, it might be worth checking if it is your drain. It is time to look for the upward instead of down when you see that the sewer line is not clogged, but your sink still won’t drain properly.

There is a possibility that the vent system is clogged instead, which is the plumbing pipes that projected out of the roof. If you want to know how to unclog the vent pipe on the roof, read the following explanations below and get your vent pipe to work back optimally.

Clogged Vent Pipe Symptoms

A venting system in a plumbing line is designed to balance the pressure down the drain line when water flows through it. This system is crucial for preventing slow drains and other signs of a clogged plumbing system.

That is where the air is required. These are the three most common signs to know how to tell if a plumbing vent is clogged:

Clogged Vent Pipe Symptoms

a. There is a sound of gurgling and sputtering from the toilet

The inadequate airflow due to the vent size or blockage is causing the pressure of the plumbing to be higher than the air pressure in the bathroom. Therefore, when the toilet is flushed, it causes sputters and gurgles because water fights against a higher pressure.

Read also: Should Roof Vent Pipe be Covered?

b. The draining process goes slowly

One of the signs of a clogged vent pipe is the draining process going slowly. This indicates a problem in the plumbing system, often leading to a clogged drain that requires drain cleaning or intervention from a professional.

The rising pressure in the drainpipe is causing the water to not be drained at the normal rate. Thus, the sinks and tubs are draining slowly, which indicates a blocked, clogged, or undersized vent.

c. Strong gas smell from the sewer

All plumbing drains are equipped with traps to allow the water to block sewer gases from entering the building. If the pressure in the drain is too high, the water will pour out. It leaves the gases and their odors to penetrate the inside part of the building.

How to Clean Vent Pipe on Roof

Understanding how the plumbing vents process is going is important before focusing on how to unclog the vent pipe on the roof. A plumbing vent is designed to manage the air pressure on the system, help the air stream from the drain, and eliminate gas and smells by allowing fresh air to enter the home.

How to Clean Vent Pipe on Roof

  1. To solve your problem with blocked vent pipes, start by safely placing a ladder to access the roof. Wear rubber gloves and appropriate safety gear. If the vent pipe is made of materials like cast iron, extra caution is needed. If unsure, it’s best to contact a professional. Make sure that the feet of the ladder are planted firmly on the ground.
  2. Prepare a garden hose and screwdriver, and bring them when you’re about to climb onto the roof. The garden hose is used to spray water to the vent. Meanwhile, the screwdriver is used to unscrew the vent’s cap, if there is any.
  3. Examine the opening vent. Look if there is any debris or leaves that are collected inside. Clearing these obstacles allows you to restore air circulation.
  4. Set your hose to the ‘full’ or ‘jet’ options. Spray to the vent’s opening directly if you see any visible hindrance. The water can clear the collected debris or animals that might be dead and trapped inside. It will fill the pipe and disclose the opening. If this method fails, you might need a more aggressive method to free the blockage.
  5. If these steps to unclog a drain from the roof went successfully, the water would start to drain down the pipes.

When attempting to unclog a vent pipe on your roof, it’s important to understand the layout of your plumbing system. If you’re dealing with an older system, especially one with cast iron pipes, the clog might be more challenging to remove. In such cases, it’s advisable to call a professional for assistance.

You might encounter this blockage issue at least once if you live in a place with a frigid climate. To give you a tip on how to unclog vent pipe on the roof, try to use hot water for persistent debris but be careful not to let hot water wash over you.

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RoofLast is an experienced author and roofing expert. With years of practical experience in the field authored several informative articles on various aspects of roofing, including installation, maintenance, and repair