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Signs of Poorly Vented Plumbing Drain Lines

Signs of Poorly Vented Plumbing Drain Lines

Most people understand that their drains are essential to their overall plumbing system. However, many don’t realize that these drains have vents in them that are just as critical in keeping the system running. In fact, problems with drain line vents can prevent the entire system from working.

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How can you determine if your plumbing drain has poor ventilation or another problem? This article will discuss common indicators of a poorly ventilated plumbing drain that you should be aware of. If any of these signs resemble what you observe in your home, you may have identified the issue.

Understanding Plumbing Drain Line Venting


Plumbing is more about pressure and changes in pressure than you might initially think. As water flows out of a home through pipes, it creates an imbalance of pressure. Air from outside is then needed to equalize the pressure shift.

To do this, drain line vents are installed. These are pipes that go upward and peek out of the rooms of your home. However, these pipes can still develop problems. If problems do develop, it can create a ripple effect that hurts the whole system.

Signs of Poorly Vented Drain Lines

Luckily, there are a few signs that something is wrong with your drain vents. Watching out for these problems will help you detect an issue if and when it happens.

1. Bubbling Toilet

If something is wrong with the drain vents, air won’t be able to make its way into the system like it usually does. Instead, it will make its way in through paths that are disruptive.

You’ll see the effects in places like your home’s toilets. There, you may see bubbles randomly appearing in the bowl. You are most likely to see this when a large volume of water is being drained from your home at a single point in time, like when you drain a full bathtub or when your washing machine drains itself.

If you suspect a problem with your drain line vents exists, watch out for bubbles during times like these. Catching the issue as it happens can be a significant first step in identifying the problem.

2. Gurgling Sounds

When water moves through pipes that aren’t properly vented, it has trouble and takes more effort. This leads to the water bubbling and gurgling in ways that it shouldn’t.

These problems aren’t silent and, in some cases, can be pretty noisy. You may hear the gurgling sounds in your toilet or through any drain your home has. If you hear it, it is a sign that something isn’t right.

3. Slow Water Drainage

If your drains are not adequately vented, they may not function properly, leading to poor drainage. This becomes apparent when using the drains, mainly when dealing with more significant amounts of water. You might observe water pooling in the shower or sinks, struggling to keep up with the water pouring into them. However, this is not always caused by inadequate venting.

Try cleaning the drain to see if hair or other debris is clogging it. If the issue still persists, you will need a professional to determine if the problem is due to improper venting or some other issue. In either case, identifying that your drains have a problem will allow you to start taking steps to fix the problem.

4. Methane Odor

Gasses are produced when things drain from your home and move to the sewers. However, if the system is functioning correctly, you will never come into contact with these gasses. A seal will keep them in the sewer and away from your home.

However, poorly vented drain lines can cause your pipes to dry out. If this happens, that critical seal can degrade. Without the seal, you will start smelling these sewer gasses in your home. Specifically, you will smell them around your drains, which is where you will probably encounter the problem first.

If you encounter a problem like this, don’t wait for it to improve. These gasses are dangerous and are a hazard to your health. Have the issue looked at and repaired quickly with professional plumbing services. This will prevent anyone in the home from being exposed for too long.

5. Empty Toilet Bowls

Problems with your drain vents won’t just make bubbles in your toilet bowls. They will leave them empty.
This happens as a result of the inconsistent pressure of the drain lines. This causes the water in the toilet tank or bowl to flow right down the drain. You may notice that your toilet bowls are dry, that the tank is dry, or that either of them don’t fill back up after a flush. If any of this happens, you know that something isn’t right.

Call Hutchinson Professional Plumbers

If you are experiencing problems due to a poorly ventilated plumbing drain, don’t wait. Some of these issues are serious, and all of them are annoying to deal with. In either case, you don’t want to deal with the problem for an extended period of time.

Instead, call the professional plumbers at Hutchinson and book an appointment. We will resolve the issue with your drains to ensure that they no longer cause you any trouble. After we have completed this task, your drains will return to their normal functioning, and you won’t have to be concerned anymore.