Common Air Admittance Valve Issues and How to Troubleshoot Them
Air admittance valves are an essential part of plumbing systems, and they play an important role in eliminating the need for conventional roof and pipe venting penetrations. Although they are typically durable and reliable, they can occasionally suffer from common problems such as rodent holes, clogging, and sewer odor. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the most common air admittance valve problems and how to fix them.
One of the most common air admittance valve problems is rodent damage. Rodents can easily chew through an air admittance valve, resulting in air loss and reduced suction. If you notice that your air admittance valve is not functioning properly, check for any visible holes in the material or evidence of rodents in the vicinity. The best way to address the problem is to stop the rodents from returning, usually with the help of an exterminator, and then replace the valve.
Another problem with air admittance valves is clogging. Clogged valves can block the release of air and lead to a sewer odor. If your valve is leaving clogs and emitting a nasty odor, check to see if the valve is clogged. If it is, you can attempt to remove the clog yourself, provided you know what you’re doing. If not, it is probably best to replace the valve.
Finally, some air admittance valves may fail even without any visible damage or clogging. In this case, returning the valve to the store or manufacturer may be the best solution. Air admittance valves are typically tested to last between 20 and 30 years, so a valve failing after only a few years is likely defective.
In summary, the most common air admittance valve issues include rodent damage, clogs, and a failure to last the expected lifespan. If you notice any of these problems, the first step should always be to inspect the valve for signs of damage or clogging. If you suspect rodent damage, seek the help of a pest professional to keep the problem from recurring. If the valve is clogged, you can attempt to unclog it yourself, but it is probably better to replace it in most cases. Finally, if the valve simply fails without any apparent cause, return it to the store or manufacturer. In all cases, if you are having difficulty, it may be best to contact a professional plumber for assistance.