Your home is equipped with several types of exhaust systems. For example, you’ve got the ones for the furnace, fireplace chimney, dryer vent, and kitchen fan. But you know what? There’s one vent system that often goes unnoticed – the plumbing vents and vent stack. That’s where Pickerington Plumbing & Drain comes into play! We’re here to remind you of everything you need to know about your plumbing vent stack and how to prevent it from freezing this winter. So, let’s dive in! 

Do You Know What a Plumbing Vent Stack Is?       

The purpose of the vent stack is to allow the sewer gases to vent out through your roof and keep them out of your living spaces. Basically, each home has one vent stack, and all the drain lines are connected to it. (Some homes might have more than one vent stack on their roof.) 

Vent stacks are usually made of materials like cast iron, steel, galvanized steel, PVC, and CPVC. On top of that, every drain in your home – the sinks, toilets, tubs, you name it – has a trap that acts like a “plug” to prevent sewer gases from escaping. It’s normally a curved pipe, also known as the P-Trap.  

Now, plumbing vents are what keep the air pressure in the drains balanced. They make sure that water doesn’t get siphoned out of the traps. They also aid in keeping unwanted odors away and prevent backflow. All in all, plumbing vents and the vent stack are the unsung heroes of a plumbing system. They may not get much attention, but they play a crucial role! 

Do You Know What Happens When a Plumbing Vent Stack Freezes?     

While the plumbing vent system usually doesn’t need much maintenance, it can be a real pain during super cold weather. (Thanks, Ohio!) So imagine this: your vent stack freezes shut and gets all blocked up. Now what? You end up with a lovely collection of sewer gases like hydrogen sulfide, ammonia, and carbon monoxide in your own home. Yeah, it’s not exactly the kind of vibe you want, right? Plus, it can cause all sorts of other plumbing issues too. Let’s learn how to avoid this. 

Do You Know What the Signs of a Frozen Vent Stack Are?   

  • So, here’s the thing. If you’re standing outside and you happen to notice your vent stack covered in ice, chances are it’s frozen up, and there’s a blockage. But please don’t attempt to climb up on your roof.  
  • Sometimes, if your toilet is running slowly or making gurgling noises, it could also mean that the vent stack is blocked. 

Do You Know How to Prevent Your Plumbing Vent Stack from Freezing?     

  • Pipe insulation is a fantastic choice! If you can get to the pipe that connects to the vent stack in your attic, wrapping it with pipe insulation will help keep it warm and prevent ice buildup. It’s a simple yet effective solution! 
  • Every now and then, you can pour warm water down drains that aren’t used too often. This helps keep the trap full and ensures it does its job properly. This is especially helpful for floor drains! 
  • Also, when you run hot water from one of your faucets (especially on really cold days), it helps create a warm vapor that can help melt the ice. 
  • It’s really important to make sure the cap of the vent stack is kept clear of leaves, debris, and stuff like that. But remember, we definitely don’t recommend you go climbing on your roof unless you’re a professional.  
  • If your vent stack is already frozen, one quick trick to help it thaw a bit faster is to open the attic door to let the warm air from your home creep in and warm the attic and the vent stack up. But keep in mind, it might increase your heating bill a bit. 
  • If this problem has happened more than once, you might want to think about using heat tape as another good option to add to the stack in your attic. Furthermore, an insulated cap is another thing you can consider adding as well. 

Make sure you protect your plumbing vent stack from freezing this winter by following the helpful tips mentioned above. And don’t forget, regular maintenance and preventive measures during colder weather can help prevent freezing and keep your plumbing system running smoothly. 

If you ever come across any problems with your plumbing vent stacks or run into other plumbing-related issues, just reach out to Pickerington Plumbing & Drain. Our team of experts is here to help you out with professionalism and confidence.  

Don’t hesitate to contact us! We’re here to help! Call us today at (614) 350-1955, or schedule an appointment online now by clicking here! Stay safe this winter! 

Pickerington Plumbing & Drain

(614) 350-1955

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