How do I snake a vent?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by Ian Gills, Jul 21, 2010.

  1. Ian Gills

    Ian Gills Senior Robin Hood Guy

    Messages:
    2,777
    Location:
    USA
    My basement floor drain, on the outside on my walk out basement, glugs every time my washer discharges. I'm thinking it could be a blocked vent.

    How are these cleared? Do I go on the roof or cut the pipe?

    And I know that an outside drain should not be connected to sewer, but it is.

    And grandfathered.
  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,005
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Is the washer vented now, or the floor drain?
    If you can locate a vent, then a clleanout can be cut into it.
    Going up on the roof doesn't seem real safe, and unless it's plumbed with sweep fittings, the snake may not make it down.
  3. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Ian I'm thinking you have a clogged drain...

    Getting a plumber over that does drain cleaning might be a great idea...
  4. shacko

    shacko Master Plumber-Gas Fitter

    Messages:
    561
    Location:
    Rosedale, Md
    In spit of the rash of opinions about clogged vents they are a rare occurrance, I think you should be looking for a partial clog in your sewer line.
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,636
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    The majority of residential floor and area drains are NOT vented, but the drain from the washing machine is at least partially plugged or it would NOT create the pressure to cause the "glugs".
  6. Ian Gills

    Ian Gills Senior Robin Hood Guy

    Messages:
    2,777
    Location:
    USA
    Interesting. Could it also be caused if my trap arm for the utility sink is too far from its vent?
  7. nukeman

    nukeman Nuclear Engineer

    Messages:
    711
    Location:
    VA
    Ian: Is your washer connected to a standpipe or are you dumping it into that utility sink?

    I had this same issue. The floor drain and the washer standpipe connected at a wye before connecting into the 4" main. There was a partial blockage at this wye due to 40+ years of lint buildup from the washer. The water from the washer would hit that blockage and be send back up towards the floor drain. It never flooded, but suds would show up every so often.

    Since I was tearing up a section of the mainline on the other side of the wall (reconfig a bathroom), I also updated the washer standpipe and floor drain while I was at it. There were a couple issues to correct besides the blockage:

    - standpipe was about 48" tall (p-trap below the slab)
    - washer and floor drain were not vented

    It all works great now. It sounds like you have the same issue (partial clog).
  8. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,636
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    It is caused by water from the washer trying to displace the air in the drain. Because it is partially stopped the air cannot move out of the way fast enough so it is forced out of the floor drain. It is a "drain" problem, not a "vent" problem. IF there were a vent on the floor drain, all it would do would be to eliminate the symptoms, NOT the problem.
Similar Threads: snake vent
Forum Title Date
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & Can a 60 year old steel trap rust inside and block a plumbing snake? Nov 16, 2013
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & Cast Iron Drain Plugged (Snake or Jet)? Sep 2, 2013
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & how much is snake and drum worth? Feb 7, 2013
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & HELP reel snake came apart Dec 18, 2012
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & Newbie help requested- bent snake/auger Feb 9, 2012

Share This Page