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What is a Plumbing Vent & how does it work? Know all about your Vents

June 27, 2022
4 min read

In plumbing, "vents" or "venting systems" are special installations that conduct the breath of the drainage pipes outside your home, preventing gas leaks, helping to stabilize the pressure in the water or sewage outlet pipes, allowing a continuous and adequate flow. Now you may be wondering, where should I install vent systems in my home? Are vent systems important in my home?

¿How plumbing venting works?

It’s important to know initially how these vent systems work, they are a very important part in the operation of an efficient and safe drainage system. The drainage pipes are usually vertical pipes that, in turn, must be connected to a vent system that basically transports the water to "the trap" retaining it and keeping out the gases that are produced after the water has already begun to flow. The ventilation pipes expel the excess oxygen produced in this process to allow the correct and constant flow of recyclable water, preventing gases from returning to the pipes and causing problems of pressure or odor.

There are several types of vents, any that you prefer, is indispensable in any drainage system. Commonly, vents need an outlet pipe, no matter if it’s in buildings or in single-family homes, its design is usually the same. All drainage systems must have this vent pipe that usually go out through the roof, which today isn’t necessary, if AAV is installed, which is a more economical and efficient option in some cases and doesn’t need installations or pipes that damage the aesthetics of your home.

¿Where should plumbing vents be located in my home?

Vent systems, because they work together with wastewater and/or sewage, must be installed in all the accessories that produce this wastewater such as: bathrooms, kitchens, terraces and everything that has an inlet line of drinking water, which in turn must have the waste or sewage line, which is where the water must leave our homes. The water must have a pipe that transports this waste water from your bathroom, kitchen, terrace, etc (which is usually in the floors commonly known as siphons) to the traps, which are our first gas filter; its P-shaped design with a maximum height of 3 inches makes the water that stays in the trap work as a kind of protective layer preventing odors, insects and bacteria from returning to the home. From there they go to the pipes that are in the deepest part of the home and transport all this water to the municipal drains or public sewers. Throughout this process, the ventilation pipe that must be connected between the trap and the municipal drains, is constantly expelling the residual oxygen or accumulation of gases to maintain a balance in the pressure of the water flow and for this reason its design is in the opposite direction of the drainage pipes, upwards, which is where the oxygen flows.

¿Are plumbing vents important at home?

Of course they are very important, this system is designed for care of your health and the hygiene of your home. Vent systems are mandatory because of the enormous consequences of them not being installed or not working properly. Ventilation systems take years of design and research in order to keep your home free of toxic or residual gases and keep the hygiene of the areas of your home free of unpleasant and harmful fluids to your health.

¿Plumbing without vents?

These as any system with inlets and outlets can present obstruction or as any other system needs proper maintenance as well as an efficient installation. 

If at any time you notice that your drainage pipes aren’t working properly, or that the drain generates a lot of bubbles, this is because the oxygen is looking for an exit and your ventilation system must have some obstruction. You should call your plumber, these signs are among the most important to alert you that your ventilation system needs maintenance or may be due to some kind of obstruction or clogging. 


Ventilation systems (vents) are the way to control gas filtration and proper flow in drainage systems. They prevent pressure changes that can cause other problems inside the home, such as sewer gas accumulation inside your home, helping to release the air that accumulates when water is forced out.

They are systems that protect our home from these fluids or toxic gases that we cause when we handle organic waste in contact with water. Each home accessory that has an inlet or a flow of drinking water must have an outlet, which must have its vent system, that is commonly installed, as a pipe parallel to the drain. The professional plumber who is performing the installation of the fixtures in your home, decides its proper location. It is very very important to keep these ventilation systems free of obstructions and in a perfect and proper condition so that your home doesn’t suffer the consequences. 

Keep in mind that over time debris, animals and dirt accumulate in the grids, and it is very important to keep these grids clear so that they can fulfill their function.

If you think it has been a long time since the last maintenance of your drainage system, if you notice that the drainage system is very slow, or that the water takes a long time to go down, or that there are too many bubbles, contact us and tell us your situation. Your ventilation systems could be suffering from a failure and it’s important that you act. We will always be available to help you to solve it. Our consultations are free and we’re always ready to solve your problems.


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