Your home's plumbing system is designed so both air and water can flow through. When you flush the toilet, air fills the pipe as water is moved out. Then, the air has to move on through so water can flush again. This action is made possible by using vents in the plumbing system. The main vent is on the roof of your house, and it's where air and sewer gas are released to the outdoors. If this vent gets clogged, your plumbing system won't work as designed. Here are signs of a clogged roof vent and what a plumber may do about it.

A Clogged Roof Vent Can Cause Gurgling

A common sign of trouble with the roof vent is when your plumbing gurgles after you flush the toilet. The gurgling noise is made by air that's trapped because the vent isn't working properly. If air can't flow out through the vent, then it has to come out a drain. When you flush the toilet, you might hear gurgling in the sink drain.

Another problem that can happen with a clogged roof vent is sewer gas flowing into your home. This happens because sewer gas usually flows up the vent and if it can't escape through there, it could possibly flow up a drain or the toilet.

How A Clogged Roof Vent Is Unblocked

A plumber checks the inside of the vent to pinpoint the trouble. A vent can be clogged by rodents or bird nests. It might be clogged by leaves if a tree overhangs the roof. It might be necessary to run a sewer camera down the vent stack to see the clog, and then the plumber may clear the vent with an auger and hose. An auger can break apart the clog and a hose will wash it on through, and if water flows through, it's a sign the clog has been eliminated.

If the plumber finds that leaves are the problem for the clog and there's a chance the problem will repeat because you have a tree nearby, the plumber might put a cap over the vent. The cap allows air and gas to escape, but it blocks leaves, rats, and birds from getting in the vent pipe.

Another thing that can cause problems with the vent stack is ice that forms and creates a clog. Your plumber might put insulation around the pipe to reduce the risk of this happening. This not only prevents gurgling problems, but it also eliminates the need to work on the roof in cold weather.

For more information, contact a local plumber.