Capping plumbing vents...

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Old 01-30-09, 10:39 AM
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Capping plumbing vents...

Ok, after checking around a few places, I'm pretty sure I can't cap my plumbing vents even if I drill a series of holes in the cap or something similar. And I'm not sure it would even really solve the problem.

I'm trying to reduce the venturi effect that I'm getting... it causes the water in the toilet bowl to be drawn out (you can see it bounce up and down) on windy days, which are most of them around here. This also causes a line of minerals to be deposited at the water line. I'm getting tired of having to pumice the water line of the bowl every couple of weeks.

I'm thinking now, I might solve it by putting the 180 part of a trap on the vent and drilling a few holes along the top radius of it. It seems like that might reduce the suction created w/o affecting the actual venting actions.

So, does this sound feasible? Or does anyone have any other method that has been proven?
 
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Old 01-30-09, 10:46 AM
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the water condition or the waste sitting to long is what is causing the ring in the toilet. there is something else wrong with your system. the wind should not cause a problem with any of your fixtures. it sounds more like a restricted drain line or toilet.
 
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Old 01-30-09, 10:58 AM
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Nope....though we do have hard water, I know thats whats actually causing the rings, but I won't be solving that anytime soon. We flush when we're done (sometimes before, depends on what dinner was...lol) and just 2 adults in the house.

You can actually see the water bob up and down slightly when the wind is blowing and gusty. No other water usage at the time. On calm days, the level is fine, no bobbing or dropping levels. Everything flows and flushes just fine. Another Pro a while back said it was a common occurance in his area with strong gusty winds as well. At the time I wasn't looking for a fix, had plenty of other irons in the fire.

Just wondering if anyone had experience with this, and how it was addressed.
 
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Old 01-30-09, 02:28 PM
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I've never seen or heard of this happening before. Does your house have a main vent and other vents for the bath, kitchen, etc? Or is it just all one vent? Septic Tank or city sewer?

Even with a pressure difference due to the wind, the main vent should be compensating for it without trying to "pull" the water out of the traps.... interesting.

I'd agree though - the ring around the bowl will only be helped by a filter and/or softener. Not a big deal to install, depending of course on the location of your main water line.
 
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Old 01-30-09, 02:47 PM
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3 vents...hmmm no, 4. Kitchen, 2 baths, 1 laundry. City water and septic. I know this won't solve the ring issue completely, but it should help. When the water isn't constantly bobbing up and down, there seems to be less depositation on the normal water line. I'm the toilet cleaner in the house, so I see it every week. And of course I see the bowl of the toilets quite often during the day...lol. During steady outside temp periods, we don't get as much wind and the water level stays constant. Probably something to do with evaporation somehow. Like when you swirl something around in a glass, some of it clings to the sides right?

It probably has to do with our location and proximity to the mountains and other houses. But the venturi effect is real, trust me. It may be doing it in the sink and shower traps as well, but since they don't have a visible water line, no way to know.
 
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Old 01-30-09, 03:37 PM
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Vent prob.

Gunguy45: They make caps for vents that get their air from the bottom of the cap; they are usually used to stop people from dropping debris down the pipe. You will have to get them from a supply house. You will have to do some searching, they are usually used on commercial applications.Beer 4U2
 
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Old 01-30-09, 03:43 PM
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shacko...thanks, but talking to the inspector downtown, they don't want any cap on the plumbing vents...maybe commercial would be different. He didn't have a problem with my trap idea though, as long as they are unubstructed by nothing more than hardware cloth to keep birds from nesting.

Do you have any sort of link or what the actual name is..if it looks better than what I'm doing, and deflects the air...might be worth asking about 'em. Course, my traps were only $4.50 each....

We'll see, I already bought traps and the paint is drying now.
 
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Old 01-30-09, 03:53 PM
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Vent Prob.

Gunguy45: If the inspector says its o.k. go for it, it will be cheaper in the long run, luck.
 
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Old 01-31-09, 01:00 AM
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ask the inspector about a charcoal filter. tell him you are having trouble with smells outside...lol
 
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Old 01-31-09, 08:13 AM
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In order to keep vent occlusions to a minimum, I always wondered why an elbow isn't installed on the vents, not glued, but firmly held via friction so it could be removed for optional cleaning if necessary. Just a physics thing.
 
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Old 01-31-09, 11:39 AM
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you talking a 90 or a u-bend? with a u-bend you would still have the same problem, with the 90 you will have even more problems unless you can rig it to where it works like a wind vane and turns the 90 away from the wind direction
 
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Old 01-31-09, 11:55 AM
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Actually, I used the bottom part of a 2" solvent weld trap, no U's available to me. Friction fit to the top of the vent, hardware cloth guard fitted into the downturned end. Drilled holes in the top and bottom of the radius. Figure that should equal out the pressure caused by the wind, at least some. I was also able to put it on where I hope the prevailing wind will have less effect. As I said, we'll see what happens.

If it doesn't work, maybe I'll have to fabricate up some sort of windvane thing that will keep the wind off the top of the vent. Maybe make it look like some sort of radar array. Did that once before for a gazebo we built at my last command before retirement. It actually spun like it was supposed to. Made it out of PVC pipe, an old wok lid, some VCR parts and epoxy. Hey, it stood up to 70 mph winds, last time I was there....lol.
 
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Old 02-01-09, 12:25 PM
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Nope, just a 90 degree elbow. It doesn't matter that there is water going down the vent, as it is expelled, but just something to keep leaves etc from falling directly into the vertically open pipe. I don't see how you would have a problem with a "U", or bottom portion of a solvent weld, as GG used, since you are only interested in introducing air. Interesting.
 
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Old 02-02-09, 12:14 PM
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i have no experience with constant extremely windy areas so i have no clue how they handle it. there is nothing in the ipc or upc code that addresses windy situations. i would think that a charcoal filter would be acceptable but i dont know how much it would help. all i know is doing what you, gunguy, have done is not legal to do according to those 2 codes
 
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Old 02-02-09, 12:53 PM
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Putting a U on a vent isn't to code? Huh...first I heard that, lots of people said no caps like on a WH vent or an actual cap...but no one said anything about a wide open U. Was there any explanation? Of course I know they rarely if ever give reasons. You would think a charcoal canister would be more restrictive.

It does have the holes on the very top, so its not like any sewer gas has no place to escape...but I don't think thats an issue anyway is it? The vent is more an intake for air I thought, and since its on the roof, I won't be smelling anything...lol

I wonder why I see U's on vents on commercial roofs? At least it seems like I have, it's been a while.
 
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Old 02-02-09, 02:53 PM
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I'm interested in this theory. What specifically does the codes you refer to have to say about vents and possible capping? I'm with GG on using an elbow or "u" on top, as it isn't restrictive, allows the introduction of air, keeps crud out, and will vent upward with minimal restriction (especially if you drill the holes as stated).
Now, granted, it will keep plumbers in a job clearing occluded vents of little old ladies that can't do it themselves, but what about practical application?
Not trying to start anything, but venting (no pun intended) the issue.
 
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Old 02-04-09, 01:25 AM
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oh. i thought you covered the end of the u. the vent is not there to necessarily introduce air, vents are used to equalize the pressures in the drain system. now if you had a bunch of small (2") vent pipes the wind would not be such a factor but if you are in a cold climate also then you have no choice with the size sticking out the roof.

you have , to me, a perplxing problem and if i remember to ask some of the plumbers i know that have plumbed all over the country i will see if they know a solution

u's used in commercial applications are there because of down drafts and swirling air coming off something like a parapit wall, as far as i know.
 
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Old 02-04-09, 05:57 AM
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Well, here's a very shot term update....

Only 1 day of moderate wind so far, since the U's were installed.

The vent for the main bath is down near the bottom edge of the roof, maybe 5 feet back. It seems to be working well.

The guest bath is right near the peak, not as effective so far, though it does seem to make the water "bob" less. The U's are both oriented the same way...so that may have something to do with it.

I'm going to probably put a small ribbon on top of the U's to see if I can get a better visual when it starts blowing again. Might be something to do with the orientation of the U's in relation to the roof slope. I installed them so they are less visible from the street.

We'll see...nothing but time here.
 
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