The plumbing vent is something that most people take for granted. You know it’s there somewhere, but you can’t see it, and you never think about it unless the water starts backing up into your sink or toilet.
The plumbing vent is hidden in plain sight; if only we knew where to find one! This blog post will give 7 tips on how to find the plumbing vent without breaking a sweat.
How to Find the Plumbing Vent
Tip 1: Get a Professional
Unless you have experience as a plumber or working with plumbing lines, this is not something that an average homeowner should try to tackle. There are many ways for homeowners to fix their own problems, but it can be very dangerous and time-consuming if the problem gets out of hand.
Tip 2: Look for an Indicator
Some plumbing vents have a small indicator on top of them that will show when there is pressure being built up in the system. This can be helpful if you are trying to diagnose a problem and want to rule out the vent as a potential issue. If you cannot find an indicator or is not working, move on to Tip Three.
Tip 3: Follow the Pipe
If you cannot find an indicator or see any evidence of a vent above ground, your next step should be to follow the pipe down until you find where it exits your home.
This can be tricky if your home has vinyl siding, so try to get as close to the exterior of your home as you can without removing any siding. If it is a newer house but older PVC piping, look for an area where the pipe seems slightly larger than normal and try there first.
Tip 4: Look Underneath Your Home
If this still does not get you anywhere in finding out how to find the plumbing vent, then you may need to look underneath your home at what pipes are coming up through the ground directly under where you are standing on top of your roof.
It’s best if someone else goes into their attic or basement while one person looks around outside just so that they know exactly which section of the foundation they should be looking at from aboveground level.
Once, PVC pipelines will seem thicker under the house, but HDPE or ABS plastic will be slightly larger. Try to follow where these lines are headed, and you should get a good idea of which vent is your main one if they all seem to be heading in different directions after leaving the foundation underneath your home.
Tip 5: Look for Signs of Water Damage
If everything else fails that you’ve tried so far, then it’s time to look around for signs that there might have been water damage at some point over the years on any part of your roofline.
If there happen to be cracks lining up where you know this particular pipe exits from above ground level under your home or very close by, try digging down right next to those cracks, either a spade shovel or a simple garden trowel. You should be able to find the vent fairly quickly this way since it will have been pushed up from underground and damaged your shingles when doing so.
Tip 6: Use a Metal Detector
If you don’t want to try digging under your home, use a metal detector with an induction coil with a flat head on top of it to do further research into what is below ground where you are standing before going any deeper than necessary.
This can also help you avoid hitting anything important like water lines or gas pipes while trying to dig around for answers underneath your home without proper training in how exactly to go about finding out how much trouble there might actually be when considering all possible outcomes if something does happen during this process.
Tip 7: Be Careful!
If you do everything that has been recommended here, then congratulations on finding out how to find the plumbing vent.
This is not something for most people to try without any experience working with these types of issues beforehand since it can be very dangerous if done incorrectly which will only make things harder and more expensive down the road when trying to fix whatever might have gone wrong in one’s own home after attempting a task like this one alone or with just an amateur plumber who doesn’t know what they are doing.
If you don’t feel comfortable going forward yourself, call a professional immediately so no further damage is done by guessing at how much trouble there may actually be underneath your home where everyone else should not be trying to go themselves.
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