Q:

How do you clear out clogged toilet air vents?

A:

Quick Answer

To clear a plugged toilet vent, SFGate recommends using a water hose with a spray jet. In most instances, the water pressure is sufficient to remove the debris plugging the vent. Set the spray jet to the most forceful setting and spray down the vent from the roof of the home.

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Full Answer

This method is not always effective at clearing a particularly large blockage, possibly from years of debris buildup or an animal that has died inside the vent; instead the water backs up in the vent and drains slowly, if at all. In these cases, a 10 to 20-foot drain auger offers the solution. Lower the head through the pipe until it hits the obstruction and turn the auger. When the water drains, the obstruction is loose. Remove the head from the vent. Most of the time, the obstruction is pulled from the vent, but sometimes it breaks apart and falls through the pipes. Spraying with the hose washes any remaining debris down the drain.

When working on the roof, it's important to use proper safety precautions. The ladder's feet should be stable on the ground and its top should extend at least three feet above the edge of the roof. Rubber-soled shoes provide better traction than standard shoes. Homeowners who don't feel safe on the roof should hire help for this job.

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