Homes are complex, with many components, systems, and appliances required to make them run as efficiently and effectively as possible. Your home’s plumbing stack is one of these systems.
Ever heard of a “plumbing stack” before? It’s okay if not! This isn’t a well-known term for those not in the plumbing industry. However, it can be an important one to know, especially if your home is in need of plumbing stack replacement. Read on to learn more!
What Is a Plumbing Stack?
Also referred to as a drain stack or drain vent, this is a vital part of your entire plumbing system. It is the part that links all the drains in your home with the main sewer line and exterior vents. In the case of whole-house repiping, this part of your plumbing system would definitely be included. However, it’s possible that these would need replacement outside of whole-house repiping, depending on factors like the age of your home and subsequent age of your plumbing system, and the materials used for plumbing in your home.
Drain stacks are very durable and designed to last quite a long time. But just like any other part of your plumbing system, they can wear down. Since they’re responsible for preventing the backflow of wastewater back into your usable water supply, you want to ensure they stay in great shape. So, how do you know if yours needs replacement?
You’re Experiencing Slow Drainage
If you’ve discovered that multiple toilets and sinks have begun to drain more slowly than usual, and your normal unclogging procedures aren’t working (meaning drain snaking or using a plunger–please don’t use store-bought drain cleaning chemicals), then it’s possible you have sediment buildup that is clogging the pipes.
If you’ve discovered orange, brown, or tinged water in your toilet bowl and/or coming from your faucets, it’s possible that your cast iron pipes are rusted… not only could your drain stack need replacement but you may need total whole-house repiping too if this is the case.
Wet Spots on Drywall
If you’ve noticed wet spots on your drywall, it may mean that your drain stack running behind that drywall has sprung a leak. Even the smallest pinhole leak can cause gallons of water loss if left unaddressed long enough… not to mention the property damage that can occur if this isn’t addressed right away.
The plumbing stack is typically an airtight system, with noxious gas being expelled through a vent system in your roof. So if you consistently notice a foul odor in your home, a leak in your plumbing stack may be to blame. This is a potentially harmful problem, lowering the quality of life for household members.
Just like with wet spots on your drywall, mold growth in places where you wouldn’t normally expect it is the sign that there is a leak somewhere, and it can definitely be due to your plumbing stacks.