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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Christchurch
    Posts
    50

    Default What's this toilet vent pipe thing?

    On the outside of the house is a pipe running straight up from underground, through the eave, and out through the top of the roof. Another pipe connects it at a T joint with the toilet. You probably know what I'm talking about.

    What's it for? Does it need to be there? It seems to be on all older houses and apparently not on newer ones.

    The top of this one above the roof line is all rusted and full of holes. I'm about to get the tile roof fixed up and prep'ed for painting and wondering if I should either remove or replace this pipe first?

    When I replace the toilet, does the new toilet need to connect up to it (if it stays)?

    Cheers

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Wellington
    Posts
    559

    Default

    This is the terminal vent for the sewer drains. It is placed at the highest point of the underground drains. The purpose is to release all gas into the atmosphere. It is a mandatory part of the sewer drainage system as a build up of gas from rotting organic matter could be very dangerous.
    Doug

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    North Shore Auckland
    Posts
    565

    Default

    Sounds like you need a plumber

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    10,309

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rhino View Post
    On the outside of the house is a pipe running straight up from underground, through the eave, and out through the top of the roof. Another pipe connects it at a T joint with the toilet. You probably know what I'm talking about.

    What's it for? Does it need to be there? It seems to be on all older houses and apparently not on newer ones.

    The top of this one above the roof line is all rusted and full of holes. I'm about to get the tile roof fixed up and prep'ed for painting and wondering if I should either remove or replace this pipe first?

    When I replace the toilet, does the new toilet need to connect up to it (if it stays)?

    Cheers
    newer houses have the vent inside the wall rather than outside so you don't notice as much - they still have a pipe with a vent cap that pops above the roof.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Wellington
    Posts
    1,584

    Default

    Check with a drainlayer/plumber. There is a good chance that it's unnecessary and can be removed completely. I've removed many toilet vents when doing bathroom renovations. It means greater choice of replacement pans too as you don't need a vented one.

    I think in the past they used to vent every toilet(which was a bit excessive), but nowadays you only need to vent the end of the line. Even then, you may be able to reduce the height of it so it doesn't go through the roof.

    Obviously you need to speak to someone who knows what they're talking about though.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Wellington
    Posts
    559

    Default

    This sounds as though it is not a toilet vent but rather the drainage system terminal vent which is necessary. I am pretty rusty on this but the regs used to be if there is another terminal vent close by you may be able to remove. Cant remember the regulations but probably within about 2 meters. A toilet vent is only necessary if it is more than a certain distance away from the terminal vent. The toilet vent comes directly off the pan and as Spurner points out is rarely necessary these days.
    Last edited by [email protected]; 21-09-2010 at 11:19 AM.
    Doug

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    10,309

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
    This is not a toilet vent but rather the drainage system terminal vent which is necessary. If there is another terminal vent close by you may be able to remove. Cant remember the regulations but probably within about 2 meters. A toilet vent is only necessary if it is more than a certain distance away from the terminal vent. The toilet vent comes directly off the pan and as Spurner points out is rarely necessary these days.
    and the toilet vent is there so that, as the waste runs down the pipe, it doesn't suck all the water from the toilet trap. The terminal vent does the same which is why a toilet vent shouldn't be necessary unless you have a long run from the pan to the main sewer line with the terminal vent.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    7,525

    Default

    as stated a breather is needed to equalize pressure on stuff going down the pipe and also to prevent sewer gas, odorless, explosive methane, coming up the pipe

    the thinking on location has changed over the years but the need is still there

    just imagine a tenancy where you gave a no smoking clause, so the tenant goes into the bathroom, lights up and before they can open the window the whole room turns blue for a second and the window and door are blown out

    tenant stagers out without eyebrows then calls the fire brigade

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drain-waste-vent_system
    have you defeated them?
    your demons

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    10,309

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by spurner View Post
    Check with a drainlayer/plumber. There is a good chance that it's unnecessary and can be removed completely. I've removed many toilet vents when doing bathroom renovations. It means greater choice of replacement pans too as you don't need a vented one.

    I think in the past they used to vent every toilet(which was a bit excessive), but nowadays you only need to vent the end of the line. Even then, you may be able to reduce the height of it so it doesn't go through the roof.

    Obviously you need to speak to someone who knows what they're talking about though.
    yes - either leave alone or get a plumber (and possibly a permit to remove).

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Christchurch
    Posts
    50

    Default

    Thanks for all the info, sounds best to repair it above roof line and leave be. Hopefully the replacement toilet won't need to connect directly, but I'll discuss that with a plumber.


 

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