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Drain Vent Stack problem

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Iowafun
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 955 Central Iowa
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2005-02-18          106347


My house is a modular unit (not mobile, but built in 4 sections and brough together). There are 2 different drain stack vent sections that rise verticlaly into the attic. In the attic, they tied the two stacks together with PVC pipe and a joint. That way there is only one roof opening. Last year, the joint leaked and caused a ceiling problem. I fixed the joint and had the drywall repaired.

Now, we are having the same problem at the new joint. So I have damaged drywall ceiling their. In addition, something has gone wrong at one connection to the vertical stack as that bathroom is getting fumes from the stack pumped into it somehow. I've closed the drains on the tub and sink. But with the p-traps, I doubt that's the cause.

I'll go up and look at it tonight. But is it common to link two vertical drain stacks together like that? I think as the house shifts (I don't know if the foundation is substandard or not) during the winter freeze/thaw routine, the connection sections are getting pulled apart and the joints are failing.

Is it common to link them together like this? If it is getting pulled apart, is the best solution to separate them and put a new opening in the roof?

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Drain Vent Stack problem

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7155 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2005-02-18          106349


First of all, either I am missing something, or you are not explaining the situation clearly.

The vent stack is just that, a vent, that pipe does not contain any liquid (other than a couple drops of rain maybe) and so cannot leak.

Generally speaking, if done properly horizontal runs in the vent are no problem at all.

I suspect the problem you are having is condensation, not 'leaking'. The warm air in the sewer pipe is causing condensation in the cold attic.

If that is the case merely insulating the pipe will help a bunch, so will adjusting the horizontal sections of the vent so that any condensation that does form will run down the drain rather than building up in the vent.

As for shifting, if the house sections were moving by more than most minute distance you would see huge cracks in the walls and ceilings and windows & doors wouldn't open or close properly.

Best of luck. ....

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Drain Vent Stack problem

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Chief
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 4285 Southwest MiddleTennessee
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2005-02-18          106352


Have you checked the seal around the pvc pipe where it come through the roof? Those seals can get dry rotted due to exposure to the sun and weather and leak. A few of mine were leaking too so I just sealed them up with a bead of cauking around the pvc pipe where it meets the seal. ....

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Drain Vent Stack problem

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7155 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2005-02-18          106355


Your comment about fumes in the bathroom in the snake thread, leads me to believe your problem is condensation.

When the warm moist air rises, cools, and condenses, it can actually accumulate to the point where ice starts to build up in the vent, eventually it build up to the point where it completely blocks the vent.

The simple, although not convenient way to diagnose it is to either put your ear to the pipe and have someone flush, you should hear gurgling and runningwater. Another way is to put a shop-vac set to blowing instead of vacuum in the pipe opening, there should be absolutely not backpressure against the blower. If you do not hear anything, or there is pressure, you have a blockage in the pipe.

Best of luck. ....

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Drain Vent Stack problem

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harvey
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 1539 Moravia, NY
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2005-02-18          106360


You have a couple of good starting spots from Murf and Randy. I'd also look for a low spot in the vent. The other posibility could be a bad joint in the wall, not glued and pulled apart.

Is the water damage 1st floor or 2nd?

Good Luck Harvey
....

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Drain Vent Stack problem

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Iowafun
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 955 Central Iowa
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2005-02-18          106390


Well, first off, the horizontal run is buried under the insulation in the attic so there should be no ice. There is condensation/water in the pipes because that is what is leaking out and wrecking the ceiling drywall.

As for house movement, some sections have cracks in the walls and in winter, the bathroom counter top pulls away from wall at least 1/16" to 1/8". I had caulked it in fall when we repainted the bathroom. It has pulled the caulk off the wall.

The flange around the pipe in the roof is not a problem as there is no water evidence of it getting in there.

Finally, ice is not going to be the problem as the air temp has been consistently above freezing the last couple of weeks. I wish you guys could see some of the cheap-ass problems I have found since I bought the place. Frustrating, really.

I think I'm going to split the connection and run the other one up through the roof on it's own. But I'll check it out first to see where th fumes are coming in at. I'll let you know what I find. My wife has the camera for a baby shower so no photos.

....

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Drain Vent Stack problem

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MIFarmin
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 34 Michigan
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2005-02-18          106425


I had a modular put in last year. A plumber did all the drain work in the basement. He did not hook up to all the pipe that was in the house when it was built at the factory. He capped two pipes in the basement that were connected to the vent. I don't think he knew where they went and he really didn't care. They eventually filled up with water from rain or condensation and started leaking through the joints on to the wall and floor. I had him come back and we figured out we didn't need those two pipes and cut them off from the vent, which solved the leaking problem. My point is, find out where the pipes go and if they are being used properly. Sometimes the factory and the plumber have different ways to do things. ....

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____________________________________________________________________________________
Drain Vent Stack problem

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Iowafun
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 955 Central Iowa
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2005-02-22          106612


Well, I'm not sure what is going on with that drain stack now. The one bathroom is still getting fumed bad. But the kicker is the toilet won't flush properly now. It fills up and then drains down. You can hear the water draining out. So something is clearly messed up. I hope something didn't crawl in there and die. ....

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Drain Vent Stack problem

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jimharr
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 7 Minnesota
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2005-02-22          106619


If the toilet won't flush, the vent must be plugged. An alternative connection that will allow some movement would be a Fernco coupling. It is a flexible rubber tube with a hose clamp on each end made for plumbing joints. Not sure what codes might dictate. ....

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Drain Vent Stack problem

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Xpress
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 14 NJ
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2005-03-10          107716


I have a modular home that had similarly odd venting connections. A three inch vent ran from the crawl space to the second story. We ran our own venting but when we smoke tested, found other connections. I recall the plumber saying we could not just seal the ends but had to cut all connections to prevent accumulating condensation. I will call him to get my story straight and maybe then I will be able to offer something useful. ....

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Drain Vent Stack problem

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brokenarrow
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1288 Wisconsin
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2005-03-12          107879


Can you get up on the roof with a fish and try and see how far down you can go? If the only room that is having a problem is that bathroom it may not be too far from there.
We are talking the pvc plastic vent pipe right? This is interesting. ....

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Drain Vent Stack problem

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funchy
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 128 north eastern corner of Maryland
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2005-03-12          107886


My house is also a 2 story colonial modular (built from 4 sections). It was built about 7 yrs ago and it has also settled. None of the settling should've opened up sections of the vent stack, though.

I am not totally clear on your problem. There should not be any water in the vent pipes. Where my pipes leave the roof, there is a big rubber gasket. Could you have water slipping in there and dribbling down the back of it to drop off at the first sharp turn?

Is the water really coming out of a seam in the ventstack? Or is it appearing beside the piping from an unknown source?

....

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Drain Vent Stack problem

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richardx
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 10 West Virginia
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2005-08-23          115323


You only need a vent if water won't drain or it bubblers and clugges,,they got in line vents,,you put them under house,,it lets air in,,keeps stink out,,helps draiun lines drain,,the same as the little hole on a gas jug,,lets you pour out gas,,,,,you might be able to deal all out of roof vents out... thing ....

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