what can clog a plumbing vent?When you have a plumbing vent clog, it can be a bit of a mystery. You can’t see the clog unless you go and inspect it. Your plumber can let you know what specifically caused this clog, but it’s also wise to know what can cause a plumbing vent clog and how you can correct it in the future. Here’s what you need to know about the causes of plumbing vent clogs.

Potential Plumbing Vent Clog Causes

Here are a few of the potential sources of a plumbing vent:

  • Sports equipment: A medium-sized ball, like a tennis ball or baseball, may cause a plumbing clog if it finds its way down the vent. Smaller objects, like badminton birdies, may contribute to a plumbing clog too.
  • Plant debris: Leaves, sticks, and other debris from plants can make its way into the plumbing vent and block it.
  • Trash: It’s relatively rare, but sometimes windstorms or hurricanes can blow sidewalk trash up into the plumbing vent. You might find a pop can or a plastic bag in the vent.
  • Bird nests: Most commonly, birds create nests inside of plumbing vents and clog them up.
  • Other animal debris: The dead bodies of birds or rodents might also cause a clog. Sometimes squirrels or other animals investigate the plumbing vent and get stuck there. Or, a bird of prey may leave an animal body in there.

Preventing Plumbing Vent Clogs

You can prevent getting additional plumbing vent clogs by taking some precautions, including:

  • New vent: Sometimes, the design of your plumbing vent lends itself to more frequent clogs. Newer vents have caps and other mechanisms to prevent clogs, so replacing your old one can be a good idea.
  • Clear nests: During spring, take a look to see if birds are developing a nest in your plumbing vent so that you can clear it away. If you can catch the birds before they lay an egg, they have an excellent chance of simply building a nest elsewhere, so you haven’t set their species back.
  • Clear debris: In fall, after the leaves have fallen or anytime after you notice a build-up of debris on your roof, it’s wise to clear off the roof to prevent the debris from getting into the plumbing stack.
  • Sports: Try to direct sports activity away from the roof so that balls are less likely to get jammed in the vent. Or consider buying slightly larger balls if possible for your sport or activity.

Signs of a Plumbing Vent Clog

It’s also wise to know the signs of a plumbing vent clog so that you can get them resolved as quickly as possible. The signs include:

  • The smell of sewage in the home may mean gasses are getting trapped.
  • Toilets and drains gurgle with air because the air can’t escape properly.
  • Fixtures and basins drain slowly due to pressure from the clog.

Your plumber can help you with plumbing vent clog issues and let you know what has caused your specific problem.