Soil Vent Pipe Fixtures in Hampshire

Soil Vent Pipe Fixtures in Hampshire

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    What is a Soil Vent Pipe ?

    This is the pipe that normally runs vertically up to the top of a property from the underground drainage channel, just above the level of the roof gutter. It is also known as soil stack pipe, a vent for drain waste or a ventilated discharge outlet. Soil vent pipes can also be installed within buildings. They are most commonly connected to the exterior wall of new low-rise housing. Soil vent pipes were mostly constructed from cast iron in older buildings, and some also contained asbestos, which now needs very close treatment during their maintenance. The bulk of conventional soil vent pipes are made of plastic.

    What is a Soil Vent Pipe

    How Does a Soil Vent Pipe Work ?

    A soil vent pipe is built in the underground drainage system to collect wastewater from the upper floor showers, baths, and sinks. The pipe is ventilated to facilitate the escape of odours from the wastewater and solids into the atmosphere. The vent also means that the air pressure is maintained otherwise a partial vacuum will build up behind the wastewater as it passes down the pipe when a toilet is flushed or a drain is drained. It will result in water being squeezed out of the u-bends of toilets and drains, causing odours and gasses from the foul drain to move up the pipe and into the house.

    Where is the Vent in a Soil Pipe Placed ?

    Building regulations regulate the location of a vent inside a soil drain. It is often located in the pipe above the largest inlet of wastewater. A ventilation is typically placed above the building, and odours and gasses can escape harmlessly without harming the residents or neighbors of the house. Construction rules specify that in a building within three meters of the outlet, the opening of ventilating pipes must be placed at least 900mm above each doorway. In fact, a wire cage or a perforated cover must shield the vent to avoid debris or birds from reaching it.

    Air Admittance Valve

    An alternative to installing a ventilator in a soil pipe is to mount an air intake valve. It will immediately open when water reaches the soil outlet and closes as the water goes into the main drain. An advantage of this device for internal soil vent pipes is that it helps avoid loss of heat from the property through a continuously open ventilation. This also reduces the chance of condensation accumulating on surfaces around an internal vent row. This happens when cooler internal air cools on contact with a stack that holds cold air pulled in. A vent may be mounted somewhere in the drainage system of the land where an air entry valve is used. This vent can be located some distance from the house.

    Soil Vent Pipe Blockages

    One of the most common maintenance problems with the soil vent pipes is blockage. In recent years, the danger of plugged soil vent pipes has escalated with the invention of wet wipes that many people frequently, deliberately or accidentally, dispose of down toilets. Wipes, including those marked by manufacturers as flushable, will snag and get stuck inside of soil vent pipes. More wipes and solid waste material will then pile up behind them until the pipe is filled in part or even completely.

    What Increases the Risk of Soil Vent Pipe Blockages ?

    If the soil vent pipe is faulty, the chances of blockages increase. 

    The pipe may be broken, for example, in which case there is also a possibility of leakage of the wastewater. 

    There may be a poorly designed or misplaced joint where the soil pipe is connected by a lateral waste pipe, or where it may curve. 

    In all cases, the steady and quick flow of wastewater can be disrupted, causing a build-up of solid waste. Also, the iron-cast soil vent pipes can be more vulnerable to blockages. That is how they rust, leaving internal pipe walls rugged and making items such as towels, sanitary goods and toilet paper more likely to snag and get stuck.

    How do I Know the Soil Vent Pipe is Clogged ?

    A sluggish flow of water out of baths and sinks is a typical tell-tale indicator of a blocked soil vent drain. 

    Another is the buildup of water in a toilet tank until it eventually flushes off.

    Blocked soil drainage pipes may also create bad odours, both inside and outside the house, especially as water runs into sinks and toilets, where seals are briefly broken. 

    Modern soil vent pipes also have inspection points at which a cover can be withdrawn from the pipe to display the inside of the pipe. This could help find issues with the blockage.

    Hampshire Plumbers Professional Maintenance of Soil Vent Pipes

    It is best for landowners to seek help from professionals if they have damaged or faulty soil vent pipes or wish to ensure the pipes are managed properly. This is because the testing, repair or unblocking of a soil vent pipe without qualified equipment may require operating at height, which is potentially hazardous. 

    Drainage specialists have equipment that enables them to inspect, unblock and rehabilitate the soil vent pipes remotely. It involves mini CCTV video survey cameras which are directed through soil vent pipes for monitoring and evaluating their state. We also carry specialised tools for washing and unblocking. This includes hoses for water jetting and electromechanical washing devices. 

    Soil vent pipes that are severely corroded, leaking or have displaced joints, can often be filled with resin-filled glass-reinforced plastic (or fibreglass). This creates a smooth, solid, waterproof double layer of pipe and extends the lifespan of the pipe by several years and dramatically reduces the likelihood of future problems.

    Contact Soil Vent Pipes Experts

    Contact Hampshire Plumbers today if you have trouble with your soil vent pipes, or require qualified assistance to repair them. We have the skills, experience, and resources to help.



    Regulations require vent pipes to be located within 3m of an opening window and must end at least 900mm above the eaves. For a two-story building, that implies that the open end of the pipe will be higher than the eaves. To avoid such a high-level installation an air admittance valve can be used at the top of the pipe. This allows air to be drawn in to counter any negative pressure while keeping in foul gases.

    The difference is only in name. The Vent Pipe signifies the highest wet part of the system – where water can flow normally. The pipe itself is the same, as well as the joints and fittings.