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Why Would There Be Water in A Vent Pipe?

A vent pipe is an integral part of every structure. This pipe sticks out of your roof and keeps the toilet smell out of your house. Sometimes, you might see water in your vent pipe.

So, why would there be water in a vent pipe? It might happen because the vent pipe is clogged or not installed correctly.  If that is the case, you need to quickly unclog it with a plumbing snake. And if that does not work, a professional plumber needs to be called to the scene.

In this article, we will cover various reasons why water can be seen in a vent pipe and how these situations can be dealt with easily. Let us get right to it!

Why Would There Be Water in A Vent Pipe?

why would there be water in a vent pipe

The water in the vent pipe is not good news.

  • That means the vent pipe is clogged or it is a result of faulty installation.
  • A vent pipe is situated atop a building and birds can make nests.
  • Also, small animals, such as squirrels, rats, etc., might get stuck and die.

So, there is always a possibility of the vent pipe being blocked. Thus, it can stop rainwater from going down it and might seem like water is in the vent pipe.

  • A vent pipe with lengthy horizontal connections without slopes would not work as good ventilation for sewer gas.
  • It would also not dispense water to the sewage system properly. So, if there is no clog in your vent pipe, it might be dysfunctional.

Aside from all these, if you run hot water, some condensation can occur, making the vent pipe seem wet. That is not a thing of concern at all and is quite normal. A vent pipe does not need to be always dry for it to work and rainwater always goes down it. So, a little wet vent pipe is fine.

What Does A Clogged Vent Pipe Mean?

  • A clogged vent pipe means that one of the most important parts of your sewage system is not working. Vent pipe deals with sewer gas and maintains the atmospheric pressure in drain pipes.
  • The sewer gas has no way of getting out besides the vent pipe. Sewer gas is disgusting to smell and some compare it to rotten eggs.
  • However, that is not the only concern; sewer fume is also dangerous to health. A high concentration of sewer fume can even lead to death.
  • Although that is highly unlikely for a small sewage system in a home, it can cause nausea, eye irritation, and headache.

So, a clogged vent pipe means you have to deal with the foul smell and it can also affect the health of your family members. One of the main health risks associated with a clogged vent pipe is carbon monoxide poisoning.

Also, if the atmospheric pressure in the pipes changes, the p-traps will stop working.

P-traps are the deposit of water in your sewage line that is filled with water. The water blocks sewer gas from coming out of your toilet, basins, etc.

How to Fix A Clogged Vent Pipe?

A clogged vent pipe means there are either things blocking it or it is dysfunctional. If it is blocked, you can fix it yourself with a plumbing snake.

Follow these steps to unclog a vent pipe:

Step 1: Get a ladder and climb to your roof. Be careful because it is quite risky if you are not wearing any safety equipment.

Step 2: Locate the vent pipe and check if it is filled with water. If it is, take the plumbing snake and gently push the wire down the vent pipe.

Step 3: Keep pushing the wire until it hits something solid. Then simply turn the lever on the handle.

Step 4: The plumbing snake comes with spikes at the tip. The spikes will latch onto the material that is clogging the vent pipe.

Step 5:  Slowly pull the wire out of the venting pipe with the clogged material attached to it.

You can follow this video if you are looking for visual guidance.

However, do keep in mind that if it is dysfunctional, a professional needs to come and fix it. That’s because it might involve redesigning the vents and tearing down the old vent pipe structure.

So, that is not something a normal house owner can do and the job needs to be done well. It is because your hygiene and the health of your family depend on it.


Here are some frequently asked questions that are related to the topic.

Q. Should Vent Pipes Have a Cover?

Yes. A cover that can let the air out of the vent pipes is good. It lets the vent pipe do its job without any drawbacks. The cover with holes also makes sure no small animals can get in the pipe.

Q.  What Material Is a Vent Pipe Made of?

Vent pipes are made of iron, steel, and PVC. The most common ones are PVC vent pipes.

Q. What Happens If Water Gets in the Vent Pipe?

Nothing, actually, because the vent pipe is directly connected to the sewage system or the septic tank. So, water just flows directly to the sewer if it is functioning properly.


To sum it up, why would there be water in a vent pipe? It happens because the vent pipe is clogged or not fully functional. If that is the case, cleaning the vent pipe or seeking professional help is the best solution.

If you have read the article, you now understand what water in your vent pipe means. You also know how to deal with the situation and how it can hamper your daily life. So, if you see anything that makes you suspect your vent pipe is at fault, deal with it quickly.