Q:

How do you clean your plumbing vent pipe?

A:

Quick Answer

Cleaning a plumbing vent pipe involves spraying water in to the vent and using a plumbing auger to remove any blockage. Unblocking the pipe requires someone to climb to the roof, since the vent opening is located there.

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Full Answer

Clearing blockage in the plumbing vent pipe requires a ladder, screwdriver, garden hose with nozzle and 10-to 20-foot plumbing auger or snake. The ladder, fastened to the house’s foundation eye hook, offers an easy way to access the vent pipe opening in the roof.

The screwdriver is for unscrewing the vent’s cap, while the garden hose is for spraying water down the vent. In many cases, pumping water down the vent is all that is required to remove blockages. However, in the event of serious blockages, use the plumbing snake.

Obstructions such as debris and leaves blocking air circulation are removed by setting the hosepipe’s nozzle to full or jet. Larger obstructions, such as an animal or excess debris collection are removed by inserting the plumbing snake’s head in to the vent opening and pushing it in until the obstacle is encountered.

Cranking the snake’s handle helps drive the head through the obstacle. When successful, water begins to drain freely. Retract the auger and debris may come with it. Spraying more water in to the vent ensures that the obstacle is fully removed and not likely to occur again.

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