No Vent. How Serious?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by wandererfan, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. wandererfan

    wandererfan New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    We recently moved into a resale house. It is on a septic system (a first for us). The drains seem to work ok, except that the toilets "burp" a bit sometimes when flushed.

    While rummaging in the basement the other day, I discovered that the vent pipe going up to the roof had been cut off just before it disappears into the walls (with a sawzall or a chain saw, it's pretty rough).

    I know not having a vent is a "bad thing". My question is, how serious is it? Do I need to get it fixed today, or can it wait a few months? Is it so serious that I should be going after the previous owner for concealing a dangerous condition? (looks like he did the plumbing renos himself, I can't see a real plumber doing some of the stuff I've found)

    AAA.
  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,130
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    How about some pictures.

    The vent should continue through the roof. Not so much dangerous, more like living in an outhouse.
  3. kreemoweet

    kreemoweet New Member

    Messages:
    371
    Location:
    Seattle. WA
    So what do you have in the basement that requires a vent? Vents head upwards from near the fixtures they serve, so if
    you currently have no fixtures in use in the basement (there may have been at one time), then you don't need a vent there.
  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,833
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    If it is cut off BEFORE it goes into the wall, and nothing is flooding in the basement, it may be an exraneous vent which no longer has a function.
  5. wandererfan

    wandererfan New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Photos should be attached.

    The cut-off bit is disappearing into an exterior wall below the master bedroom. The horizontal run to the left is coming from the ensuite vanity.

    There is a vent pipe in the attic that goes through the roof above the master bedroom.

    There are fixtures in the basement - laundry tub & washer near the cut-off pipe, and a full bath about 15' away.

    I was blaming the cat for unpleasant smells. Maybe I was too hard on him.

    Tks

    Attached Files:

  6. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,130
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    It makes you wonder if they cut the pipe that used to go downward at a later time to add the vanity.
    They cut the pipe and used the lower part of it to drain the lav.
    It would have made more sense to have added a santee there and keep it all connected. I wonder if they bothered with a vent for the vanity.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2013
  7. wandererfan

    wandererfan New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    The ensuite is not original to the house so repurposing the bottom part of the cut pipe is definitely a possibility. I would bet that there is no vent.

    SWMBO has the ensuite on her rehab list, so I guess we'll find out about the vent went we open the walls (when it's a little warmer).

    Thanks for your help.
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