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What is your plumbing stack and why you have one

Learning new terms is useful because when we broaden our language, we can understand and manipulate concepts more easily. It’s especially useful when it comes to repairing things –  in order to know what’s gone wrong, you need to know where it’s gone wrong. That brings us to the plumbing stack –  basically, the main artery of your home’s drainage system. Being the main artery, problems with the plumbing stack can cause problems with the rest of the plumbing in your home.

A Three-Part Stack

The plumbing stack is, essentially, a really big drain that takes in waste from all the other drains in your home be it sinks, toilets, you name it. You’ll rarely hear about plumbing stacks from plumbers because that term refers to the whole long pipe. Instead, you’ll hear about vent stacks, drain stacks, and, occasionally, soil stacks. The vent stack is above the top most drain of the home and it allows air to enter into the whole plumbing stack. The drain stack starts where the top most fixture starts draining into the plumbing stack and ends where the lowest fixture drains into the plumbing stack. The soil stack is everything below the lowest fixture and is connected to the sewer.

Why A Vent Stack?

You can understand the vent stack by thinking back to something that you probably did as a kid (or, if you’re like me, as an adult). Put a straw in some liquid, cover the top of the straw with your finger, then pull it out, still covered. You’ll notice that the liquid doesn’t quickly pour out. Instead, it stays trapped in the straw. You can follow the link for a more thorough understanding, but the basic idea is that by covering the straw, you’re getting rid of air pressure that would push the liquid down. The same goes for your plumbing stack; without the vent stack, there would be no pressure to push the liquid down and allow it to drain.

Plumbing Stack Problems

Clogging in your plumbing stack is tricky because it will often look like clogging in your fixtures. That’s because all of the fixtures drain to the plumbing stack, so if it’s clogged, your fixtures will drain slowly. One of the best ways of being able to tell if the plumbing stack is the root of the problem is by checking if many of your fixtures are draining slowly. If they are, it could very well be a problem with the plumbing stack.

Plumbing stack problems are tricky in the home but they’re even worse in commercial operations because you’ll likely have quite a few more fixtures being drained. If your home or business is experiencing slow drainage from all of your fixtures, contact Son Plumbing we’ll get to the root of the problem and see to it that your business isn’t disrupted.