How Can You Fix a Clogged Vent Pipe?

Fix clogged vent pipes by clearing any pipe debris from the top of the vent on the roof. With the aid of a plumber's snake or a garden hose, the clog can be flushed down the drain, leaving the vent clear and preventing further disruptions.

  1. Clear the reachable debris

    Climb to the roof on a clear day when the roof tiles are dry. Wear rubber-soled shoes for better traction, wear safety gloves, and attach a harness to your body. Check for any visible debris in the vent pipe using a flashlight, and then reach in and pull the debris clear.

  2. Snake the pipe

    Run a plumber's snake down the vent pipe to clear out any debris that can't be reached by hand. Maneuver the snake the full length of the pipe until it hits the bottom of the pipe, and then draw it slowly out to prevent any loose debris from falling back into the pipe.

  3. Wash the pipe clear

    Slip a water hose down the drain until it hits any remaining clogged areas. Have a helper on the ground turn on the water, and listen to the vent pipe for a loud whooshing sound, which indicates that the clog has been washed free. If the debris are not solid enough to create a water dam for the water to act against, then snake the hose down the pipe to wash down loose debris. If the clog is caused by frozen debris, then attach a hose rated for hot water to a washing machine's hot water spigot, and run hot water down the pipe.