How to Keep the Vent of the Sewer Open

The sewer vent, also known as the plumbing vent or vent pipe, is an important part of the sewer system because it prevents water from gurgling when you flush the toilet. This will also help the toilet flush smoothly while providing an outlet for gas and odors out of your house.

Unlike the other pipes in the plumbing system, water does not run through the sewer vent – and you have to make sure it stays that way for the pipe to actually work its intended purpose.

The pipe might just be 3 to 4 inches in diameter but you’ll be surprised how it could actually be filled up with leaves and snow without you realizing the pipe is already clogged.

It’s difficult to clean this pipe because there’s really no other access to it. So, the best thing to do is to keep it free from obstacles and never let anything clog this pipe.

Here are ways to keep the sewer vent open:

Put a Screen Over the Tip of the Vertical Pipe

Some homeowners keep the vertical pipe as it is, with the hole on the top uncapped. While that’s fine for many homes, that could bring trouble when stuff such as leaves, snow, or a lot of rainwater gets inside the hole.

What you can do is attach a small screen over the tip of the pipe. But make sure to check this from time to time because the screen could fall into the vertical pipe or also get damaged from the elements. You’ll end up with a clogged pipe when that happens.

Sewer Vent

Attach a U-Trap or 90-Degree Elbow

A better way to keep the vent of the sewer open is to attach a U-trap or a 90-degree elbow to ensure that no leaves, snow, or rainwater can get inside the pipe. Because it’s really for air, the pipe won’t be affected even if you put these items to change the position of the opening.

Attach a Vent Cap

But the best way to keep this vent pipe open is to attach a special vent cap at the top.

Designed to weather the elements, prevent anything from entering the pipes, and also look good on your roof, investing in a vent cap is worth your money. Plus, it isn’t really so expensive!

The price will depend on the size and what style you pick but make sure that it’s a cap that actually lets air pass through.

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7 thoughts on “How to Keep the Vent of the Sewer Open”

  1. I love the idea of putting a u-pipe on the pipe. That’s such an easy way to keep things from getting down into the pipe!

  2. The ideas listed here sound good and probably work in a warm weather climate, but in Wisconsin I have seen many vents ice up solid when the weather is below 10 degrees for days at a time. The only remedy I have found is to paint the vent pipe black, insulate the pipe on the inside of the roof, and put a device called a sewer skewer in the pipe. A sewer skewer is basically a piece of 3/4 inch copper pipe in the shape of a T. It has air holes in the top of the T that allows sewer gas to still escape even if the top of the vent pipe freezes. You can make one yourself with 3/4 inch copper pipe thatnyou can buy at a hardware store.


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