I see a lot of posts on here about AAV's failing, but how many times have you actuall

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by diecastdawg, Sep 27, 2010.

  1. diecastdawg

    diecastdawg New Member

    Jan 18, 2010
    I see a lot of posts on here about AAV's failing, but how many times have you actually experienced one failing?

    What percentage of the time (installations) have you seen them fail or have direct knowledge of one failing? 50%? 25%? 10%? 1%?
  2. geniescience

    geniescience Homeowner

    Nov 27, 2005
    humid summers hot, humid winters cold
    anecdotal evidence is what you are asking for. Like asking how many people you know personally who got electrocuted. After all, it doesn't really happen very often now, does it? Sewer gases can be undetected by the human nose, and can kill you. If you ask how many people really have died from sewer gases, you would find it happens every year.
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  4. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Dec 28, 2009
    "retired" and still building and troubleshooting
    northfork, california
    If its a top quality rubber, or composite with a good SS spring, I'll bet they last the life of the fixture or room until the next remodel. Approved use of them would save millions in roof holes and materials wasted.

    Unless you sleep inside your island cabinet, I doubt anyone will ever die from a bad one.
  5. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Aug 17, 2004
    Bothell, Washington
    I've experienced a bad AAV before, that bathroom smelled pretty bad.
    So yes, like "any" mechanical device, it does happen.
    You know the rubber flappers in toilets? Those get replaced.

    When a homeowner has a smelly bathroom or kitchen, do they have enough knowledge to trouble shoot the problem? No. Not really, so when these problems do occur, they aren't reported or repaired.
    The reason plumbers like a "real" vent in the wall and up through the roof, is that they don't need to be "fixed". They are pretty much install and forget.
    Not that AAV's don't have their place, but for the same money in parts, and an insignificant amount of installation time, it makes way more sense to run a solid vent.
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2010
  6. Basement_Lurker

    Basement_Lurker One who lurks

    Jun 21, 2007
    I smash things and demand money.
    Victoria, BC
    AAVs are no substitute for a proper open vent. And don't forget, sometimes the best way to snake a line is through the roof vent...having AAVs everywhere would eliminate that option, and require ugly access panels everywhere!
  7. dlarrivee

    dlarrivee New Member

    Jun 28, 2009
    Yeah, you might as well install something with a spring and some rubber rather than an open ended pipe through a roof... Give your head a shake, it's obvious which is the better solution.
  8. aavguy

    aavguy New Member

    Sep 22, 2010
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Aren't sewer gases typically pretty strong smelling? I bought one of these First Alert alarms that detects methane gas because I am paranoid.. anyone know if these work well?
  9. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Aug 31, 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Never heard of one detecting sewer gas. The problem with them is that they can go bad, but no one knows about it for a long time.
  10. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Aug 31, 2004
    San Diego, CA
    Nope...can't say I have seen a bad one. The problem that worries me is , they are often installed below the flood rim, so on occasion if there is a bad backup, that rubber seal area is vulnerable to being fouled. Who know what happens the next time?

    I would say they have become a fact of life, and just one more thing to deal with.
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