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If your home suddenly smells like a sewage facility, check the main vent stack on your roof. The main vent stack is a thin pipe that sticks out of your roof. Sometimes, the vent clogs up with debris and blocks the flow of wastewater, sewage and air out the home's plumbing system. The blockages create terrible scents that permeate the home. Here's what you should understand about your main vent stack and what you can do to solve your dilemma.
How Did the Main Vent Stack Clog Up?
Your main vent stack releases harmful and smelly sewer gases out of the house throughout the day and night. The vent also ensures that raw sewage and wastewater pass through the plumbing system to the main sewer line properly when you flush your toilet, wash clothing or take a bath. But when the vent clogs up, it can't perform any of these critical functions.
Animals, leaves and other outdoor things clog up the main vent when they fall or slip inside the vent's opening and become trapped inside it. Sometimes, pets and small children drop objects, such as toothbrushes and toys, inside the toilet or tub drain. Once someone flushes the toilet or runs water down the drain, the objects become stuck somewhere inside the plumbing system and block the flow of air and water that pushes through it.
The biggest problem with a blocked vent stack is timing. You may not know that something blocked the vent until your home smells bad. In most cases, you'll experience problems in your bathroom, kitchen or laundry room before you notice issues in your main vent stack.
By the time you repair the problems caused by the blocked vent stack, such as an overflowing toilet or clogged tub drain, germs and sewage already compromised it.
How Do You Get Rid of the Smell and Blockages?
Getting rid of the foul smell in your home isn't easy, but it's possible. You'll need to climb your roof to do so. You also need to gather a few supplies for the project, which include a long snake or cleaning pipe, tall ladder, utility gloves, and a large garbage bag.
Now, follow the steps listed below:
You can test the vent stack to see if you removed the blockage by flushing the toilet or running water down the bathroom sink. If the smell goes away, you took care of the problem and don't need to do anything else.
If the scent is still present in the home, contact a residential plumber, like those at DiRosato Plumbing and Heating, for services. You may have a bigger issue to repair, or you may need to install a secondary vent stack to keep up with the demands of your home's plumbing needs.