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Old 02-03-2012, 08:47 PM
 
Location: Madison, WI Metro Area
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Post House w/ no sewer vent through roof

Several months ago a house went through inspection in my area that my retired parents were thinking about buying. The inspection revealed NO sewer vent through the roof at all on a newer house built in 2000. This was in a rural area and the house had an outdoor septic system. The other issue was a furance vent exhaust on the exterior of the house that was right above the deck level. Both were in violation of code according to the inspector. The owners had windows in the basement opened and this was in November. They must have known what the issue was. My question is how common is it for houses built to completely lack a proper exterior sewer vent on the roof? How expensive is the problem to correct? They ended up not being interested in the house due to other problems including a failing roof that would have needed fixing due to a lapsed warranty.
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Old 02-04-2012, 04:06 AM
 
Location: State of Superior
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Very common. First off you need a vent valve high up on a wall,cover it with grill or picture. You still need some sort of final exterior vent. I put mine in a sidewalk ( I hate holes in the roof). This way you can get by with only one stack or exterior vent for multiple bathrooms. I put mine very high on the Side exterior can not notice it unless you look very hard. ( warning, I do not have soffet venting)
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Old 02-04-2012, 03:00 PM
 
Location: Knoxville
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There must be at least one vent pipe that vents to the exterior (usually thru the roof). While you can use mechanical vents at fixtures, ONE has to go thru the roof. If you use mechanical vents, they must be accessible. Makes no difference if its septic or sewer.

The exhaust vent for the furnace also has to vent to the exterior, away from window and door openings, which can be above the roof line. They don't HAVE to go above the roof, but can't be close to windows or doors. How close they can be from a window or door depends on the type of appliance and what the manf. says.
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Old 02-04-2012, 05:32 PM
 
Location: Madison, WI Metro Area
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darstar View Post
Very common. First off you need a vent valve high up on a wall,cover it with grill or picture. You still need some sort of final exterior vent. I put mine in a sidewalk ( I hate holes in the roof). This way you can get by with only one stack or exterior vent for multiple bathrooms. I put mine very high on the Side exterior can not notice it unless you look very hard. ( warning, I do not have soffet venting)
How expensive is it to bring up to code if it is lacking a vent entirely? It seemed like they vented all the gas through the open windows in the basement. Isn't that rather dangerous?
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Old 02-04-2012, 05:35 PM
 
Location: Madison, WI Metro Area
15,193 posts, read 20,714,966 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barking Spider View Post
There must be at least one vent pipe that vents to the exterior (usually thru the roof). While you can use mechanical vents at fixtures, ONE has to go thru the roof. If you use mechanical vents, they must be accessible. Makes no difference if its septic or sewer.

The exhaust vent for the furnace also has to vent to the exterior, away from window and door openings, which can be above the roof line. They don't HAVE to go above the roof, but can't be close to windows or doors. How close they can be from a window or door depends on the type of appliance and what the manf. says.
The inspector never physically got up on top of the roof. He made a notation that the sewer vent was absent.
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Old 02-04-2012, 07:01 PM
 
Location: State of Superior
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GraniteStater View Post
How expensive is it to bring up to code if it is lacking a vent entirely? It seemed like they vented all the gas through the open windows in the basement. Isn't that rather dangerous?
It all depends if you have access to your plumbing, like a basement over head instal. The air valve is only a few dollars,so is the pipe( PVC). You can not vent gas into the basement.Methane is a highly explosive, and it's very unstable. The inspector should have condemned the house because of the danger. Laws vary between states,counties, and cities as to responsibility issues once the default is known.
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Old 02-04-2012, 07:20 PM
 
Location: Knoxville
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The inspector would not have to get on the roof, all you have to do is look for pipe penetrations on the roof. If there aren't any, then the plumbing isn't vented properly.
Its very likely there is a plumbing vent pipe inside the attic. All you would have to do is extend it out the roof. A piece of PVC pipe, a flashing boot, and a few nails.
The exhaust for the forced air heating system is another thing.
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Old 02-05-2012, 05:05 AM
 
Location: State of Superior
8,018 posts, read 8,030,959 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barking Spider View Post
The inspector would not have to get on the roof, all you have to do is look for pipe penetrations on the roof. If there aren't any, then the plumbing isn't vented properly.
Its very likely there is a plumbing vent pipe inside the attic. All you would have to do is extend it out the roof. A piece of PVC pipe, a flashing boot, and a few nails.
The exhaust for the forced air heating system is another thing.
I can not imagine. Putting a vent stack in an attic? I guess it could wort if the attic was well vented , which brings up other concerns about how the house was constructed. I for one think a cold attic is not the way to build.
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Old 02-05-2012, 07:32 AM
 
Location: Knoxville
3,293 posts, read 10,411,264 times
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I see it often in homes I inspect. The plumber may have had intentions of taking the vent thru the roof, but didn't finish the job. Maybe they were waiting for the roofer to do it? Who knows.

The result is a plumbing vent that is left open in the attic, and no pipes going thru thew roof. I have attached a couple photos from a recent inspection. One of the things I look for is roof penetrations: 1. to make sure they are there, and 2. to check the condition of the flashings.

You never want to have a plumbing vent exhaust inside the house, OR in the attic, no matter how well its ventilated. Sewer gas is methane gas, not a good thing to breathe, AND its flammable.
Attached Thumbnails
House w/ no sewer vent through roof-p1150401.jpg   House w/ no sewer vent through roof-p1150418.jpg  
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Old 02-05-2012, 09:19 AM
 
3,211 posts, read 2,846,235 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barking Spider View Post
There must be at least one vent pipe that vents to the exterior (usually thru the roof). While you can use mechanical vents at fixtures, ONE has to go thru the roof. If you use mechanical vents, they must be accessible. Makes no difference if its septic or sewer.

The exhaust vent for the furnace also has to vent to the exterior, away from window and door openings, which can be above the roof line. They don't HAVE to go above the roof, but can't be close to windows or doors. How close they can be from a window or door depends on the type of appliance and what the manf. says.
----------------------------------------------------------------------

Quote:"While you can use mechanical vents at fixtures...."

Depends where you live. Here in the 'Live Free or Die' state, (and maybe it is just the towns I have houses in here), they are illegal. As I am sure you know, the mechanical 'vents' are actually one-way air valves that stop a vacuum when water flows through the trap (air admittance valves), and eventually they fail.
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