If you have slow sluggish drains, the problem is not always a clog in the drain line. Instead, it could be in the plumbing vents. If the vents are blocked up, air cannot get into the drain lines, which then slows down water. Below is some information about plumbing vents, as well as how to clean them.
What Are Plumbing Vents?
Plumbing vents are not likely something you think about, but they play a big role in the plumbing in your home. Plumbing vents are pipes that branch from the waste pipes connected to your toilet, shower, and sink to the outside, usually up through the roof. These vents do not carry water, however, but instead they carry sewer gases to prevent them from getting inside your home. Plumbing vents serve another important role of allowing air to enter the system so waste water can flow freely through the pipes. Over time, plumbing vents can become clogged if they are not maintained properly. Fortunately, you may be able to clean the plumbing vents yourself.
How Do You Clean Plumbing Vents?
Use a ladder to climb up on your roof. Bring a garden hose, plumbing auger, and a screwdriver with you. The plumbing vents look like pipes coming out of your roof. Each vent should have a cap that you will have to remove using the screwdriver.
Look for debris that may be inside the vent. You could find things like leaves and other yard debris. Remove any debris that you can see with your hands. Use the garden hose to spray into the vent opening to remove the debris that you cannot reach.
If you find larger debris, such as a dead bird or small animal, in the vent, you will need to use a plumbing auger to remove it. Insert the head of the auger into the opening of the vent, and feed it in until you get to the blockage. Crank the auger around to work through the blockage and loosen it up. Pull the auger back out, and the debris should come along with it.
Use the garden hose again to spray more water into the vent to make sure all debris is gone. Screw the cap back on the opening, and check the water inside your home to see if it is flowing faster.
If you continue to have problems with sluggish drains, call a local plumber, like Alexander's Plumbing and Pumps.. There may still be blockages in the plumbing vents that he or she may be able to remove using special tools.