Vents are an important part of your plumbing system. They allow air to escape from the drain pipes so that water and waste can go down those same drain pipes. If you live in an area where temperatures are often below freezing in the winter, you might have issues with the plumbing vents freezing. When this occurs, your drains may slow down, gurgle, or even stop flowing completely. This is definitely something to call a plumber about. Here are a few things a plumber can do to prevent your vents from continuing to freeze.

Extending the Vents

Sometimes, vents freeze because water and snow end up inside of them. Then, this water and snow get colder and freeze solid, causing a complete blockage. One way for your plumber to prevent this is by extending the ends of the vents. If they make the vent stacks taller, snow will be less apt to accumulate around the top of the stack, and less water will make its way down the pipe. Your plumber will also likely put a curved or bent top on the vent stack, which keeps rain and snow from heading down the vent as it falls from the sky.

Insulating the Vents

Another factor contributing to frozen vents is the temperature inside the vents. Your plumber can wrap insulation around the vent or part of the vent. This insulation will trap warmth inside and help prevent the vent from freezing. Insulating vents is not always necessary, but if you live in a really cold climate or one that gets feet of snow, it's a good idea.

Cleaning Your Sewer Pipes

Cleaning your sewer pipes may initially seem like a strange way to prevent vents from freezing. But consider the following: if your sewer pipes have some buildup inside them, then the liquid is more likely to back up into the vents. This liquid can then freeze and block the vents. If your plumber cleans out the sewer pipes, there will be fewer backups and less chance of the vents freezing. Your plumber can use a hydro-jet, a tool that forcefully expels water, to clean the interiors of the sewer pipes.

If you're having trouble with frozen plumbing vents, don't ignore this problem. There are plenty of things a plumber can do to prevent your vents from freezing again. In the winter, this is important to keep your sewer pipes flowing. For help with your plumbing vents, contact a professional plumbing service in your area such as PRATT PLUMBING HEATING & COOLING.