Black roof vents in silhouette against a blue sky, illustrating blog post “How to Clean Plumbing Vent & What Is a Plumbing Vent.”

How to Clean a Plumbing Vent

Before we discuss how to clean plumbing vents, let’s explain what a vent pipe is for in plumbing. Knowing what a plumbing vent pipe is for will explain why it’s REALLY important to keep your plumbing vent clean and unobstructed.

What Is a Plumbing Vent?

A plumbing vent, also known as a vent pipe, is a crucial component of your home's plumbing system. It allows air to enter the system, ensuring that water flows smoothly through your pipes and drains. Typically plumbing vents (often referred to as a "stack" by professionals) extend through the home and up through the attic before exiting at the top of the roof. Placing the plumbing vent on the roof ensures that any noxious fumes are released above nose level, keeping the home and property odor-free. 

Over time, plumbing vents can become clogged with debris such as leaves, dirt, or even small animals. Without proper ventilation through the plumbing vent, your plumbing system can experience slow drainage, gurgling noises, and even harmful sewer gases entering your home. 

So, now that you know WHAT a plumbing vent is and why it’s important to keep it clean, let’s get into the details of HOW to clean plumbing vent pipes.

How to Clean Plumbing Vent Pipes

Knowing how to clean plumbing vent pipes can help maintain the efficiency of your plumbing system and prevent unpleasant issues. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to clean plumbing vent pipes:

  1. Safety First: Before you start, ensure you have the necessary safety equipment, including gloves, safety goggles, and a sturdy ladder with support.
  2. Locate the Vent Pipe: Typically, the vent pipe extends from your roof. Carefully climb onto your roof to access it.
  3. Inspect the Vent: Use a flashlight to look down the vent pipe and check for any visible blockages.
  4. Clear the Debris: Use a plumber’s snake or a garden hose to remove debris. Insert the snake into the vent pipe and twist it to break up the clog. If using a hose, flush the pipe with water (note: only flush it with water after manually removing as much debris as possible to avoid blocking up pipes in your plumbing system).
  5. Test the Vent: After clearing the blockage, pour water down the vent pipe to ensure it flows freely.

How to Unclog Plumbing Vents if the Snake/Hose Method Fails

If the vent remains clogged after attempting to clean it, you may need to contact a local plumber in order to unclog the plumbing vents thoroughly. A professional plumber has specialized tools and techniques to remove stubborn blockages, ensuring your plumbing system works efficiently.

Looking For a Plumbing Vent Cleaning Service?

If your DIY plumbing vent cleaning doesn't work or if you just don't have the time to handle the job yourself, it’s time to contact the pros! 

Southern Plumbing Works offers expert plumbing vent cleaning in Nashville, TN. As a licensed, insured, and highly-rated plumber, we are committed to providing top-quality service for all your plumbing needs. Let our skilled team handle your vent cleaning and ensure your plumbing system remains in optimal condition. Contact us or schedule an appointment online!