How to tell if vent pipe is working properly?

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Old 01-16-18, 09:32 PM
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How to tell if vent pipe is working properly?

If the vent pipes (that goes out the roof) is blocked or partially blocked, what would be the symtoms?
Is there a way to test the vent pipes without climbing the roof?

I'm concern because there is nothing covering the pipe outlets (2 inch diameter, I think) and alot of pine needles fall from fir trees around the house. Wouldn't the vent pipes get clogged by the pine needles eventually?
 
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Old 01-17-18, 03:40 AM
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Yes! You should install a goose neck cap on it. I put a wire mesh over all my opening coming through the roof. But I have no trees to worry about, only the fear of birds or rodents getting in.
 
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Old 01-17-18, 06:30 AM
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Not a plumber but as I understand it all horizontal runs of any vent are sloped towards the departing drain line. For most of what might get in there (other than a larger critter) it should be washed down the drain by any rain. If concerned then when you go up there in warmer weather you could use a hose to wash anything down.

Overhanging trees are a problem in other ways, cleaning gutters, roof debris, squirrels, and heaven forbid a fire.

Bud
 
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Old 01-17-18, 07:32 AM
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Is there something about this home's drainage system that is clogged or not currently working . . . . or is this just a curiosity issue ?
 
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Old 01-17-18, 09:42 AM
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Is there a way to test the vent pipes without climbing the roof?
Depending on the height of your roof, you could take a garden hose and carefully arc the stream of water so that it goes into the vent pipe in question. Have a helper open a cleanout in the basement/outside and watch for the water flow. Be sure to remind family members not to flush the toilets or this is liable to get messy.
 
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Old 01-19-18, 10:15 AM
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Another trick is to watch the water in a toilet bowl on a windy day. You'll probably see the water rise and fall a little with the gusts of wind over the vent pipe.

As Bud mentioned, other than animals (or sometimes a squirrel using it for acorn storage, it's rare for vents to get clogged.
 
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Old 01-21-18, 10:55 AM
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Vent clogs are very rare. If it does happen I usually see it just upstream of where the drain connects to the vent, schmutz sometimes collects and clogs it. Does the fixture bubble and burble when draining? If you remove the p trap and drain a bunch of water into a bucket does it behave the same? Can you sneak a snake upstream from the wall outlet? We might want more info from you to solve your problem.
 
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Old 01-21-18, 12:58 PM
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If you remove the p trap and drain a bunch of water into a bucket does it behave the same?
I did this test and see no differences. So there is no issue with the vent.

The problem I have is an odor coming from somewhere in the bathroom. I guess I have to look elsewhere. Thanks for the suggestions.
 
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Old 01-21-18, 03:12 PM
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Smells are a tricky issue as they can have multiple causes.

Does the sink drain normally when connected to the wall? Connect the trap, run water and get it back to normal then try this test.

If you can do it safely, go up on the roof and pour some extract of peppermint down the nearest vent ( baking isle of any grocery store). Then see if the room that you suspect has a leak smells like peppermint. If it does you have a breach somewhere in the DWV system, rusted out pipe, rat chewed a hole in something, bad wax seal under the toilet...

If no peppermint smell the issue lies somewhere else.
 
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Old 01-27-18, 01:08 AM
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One potential source of odors is the lavy overflow. Difficult to clean but not impossible.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6VWB2Rtz0ak

If you're careful you can use bleach and a turkey baster to clean it.
 
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