Plumbing vent pipe

Published on June 20th, 2018 | by Henri

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Plumbing vent pipe freezes up

Q.  I’m told you are the genius regarding all things for the home. I am plagued with a sewer odor problem. We live in Vermont and our plumbing vent pipe keeps freezing and restricting the discharge of the gas. I’ve looked on line, counseled with hardware and big box stores, and sewer company experts to no avail. My neighbor said he’s had the same problem, but it’s the first time he’s had this problem in 30 years in Vermont.

Any recommendations on how to prevent the upper/exposed portion of the pipe from freezing shut? The best answer I’ve received so far is “Welcome to the north.”

A.  I assume that you are referring to the section of the plumbing stack vent above your roof.

It is possible that the vent’s diameter is too small. If the vent stack is less than 3-inches in diameter, it can be cut off close to the attic’s floor and a new pipe of a minimum of 3-inches in diameter attached to the smaller section with an adapter. This will require a new boot through the roof.

Freezing is also a problem if the section above the roof is too long — 6-inches is best; cut off any excess.

A long run in a cold attic can also be a factor; the pipe can be insulated.

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