Maintaining a high-performing commercial plumbing system is all about finding a balance of pressure. The force of the water running through your pipes and the amount of outside air slowly filtering in are vital to keeping things running smoothly. Plumbing vents work by allowing air into your pipes, neutralizing the pressure exerted by wastewater, and ensuring your freshwater supply flows normally. So, should this vent suffer a blockage, it can cause a series of problems that mimic common plumbing malfunctions. These are the signs of poorly-vented drain lines in commercial buildings to look out for in your own complex.
Slow Water Drainage
One of the first things to be aware of is how quickly your building’s sinks and toilets drain when in use. Slow drainage can often seem like a clog in the plumbing lines themselves, so checking your vents for any debris is important. Even something as small as a few leaves in your vents can alter the water pressure in your pipes and prevent water from draining properly. As such, it’s important that you perform a thorough inspection if this happens in your building.
Gurgling or Bubbling Noises
You might also notice strange sounds such as gurgling or bubbling when your building’s plumbing vents have poor airflow. When a pipe has an unbalanced pressure system, the access air can move back up and release in the form of bubbles. This creates a loud, distinguishable noise that indicates poor drainage. These sounds will often be most apparent after the water has already gone down. Therefore, take a moment to listen after using your appliances.
Empty Toilet Bowls
Since blocked vents make it more difficult to control how your building’s water drains, another indicator to watch for is empty toilets. The pressure in your pipes allows toilets to refill with clean water after they’re flushed. But, with lowered pressure, the appliance can’t draw the water it needs, and the bowl remains empty.
Strong Sewer Odors
The most apparent sign of poorly-vented drain lines in commercial buildings is a strong odor in areas with faucets or toilets. When pipes run dry, smells from their sewer output can start wafting back up through your drains. This leaves a distinct, pungent scent no one wants to be around. For this reason, it’s vital that you call a professional as soon as you notice it.
If you notice any of these indicators, you could have anything from a vent blockage to a full-fledged leak on your hands. So, don’t hesitate to reach out to Fletcher’s Plumbing. Our plumbing contracting professionals will carefully assess your situation and use our several decades of experience to diagnose and repair the problem.