Understanding Your DWV System and How It Operates

wash water drainagePlumbing can be a complicated subject for someone who has no prior knowledge of how the plumbing system works. There are more than a few pipes in the system, and a large portion of the system is made up of the DWV system. DWV stands for Drainage, Waste, and Venting. This is what helps the sewage and used water flow out of your home without any issues. If you are experiencing a backup, or an odor coming from your drains, chances are there may be a clog located in the DWV system.

In order to understand your entire plumbing system, you should understand how each part of it works. The DWV system works together to help prevent foul odors and to keep the waste moving quickly out of the home. If there are issues with this system, you will surely know it by the smell and slowing speed of water and sewage draining out of the sinks, tub, and toilet.

Breaking Down the DWV System

As previously mentioned, there are three parts to the DWV system, and the letters spell it out, main drain pipe, waste pipes, and vent pipes.

The Main Pipe – The main pipe, also known as the soil stack pipe, is the center of the system. It can be found in the center region of most homes and has a diameter of roughly three to four inches, much larger than the other connecting pipes. This pipe leads to the draining of waste, which provides the “D” in the DWV system.

Waste/Sewage Connection – There are branch lines that help to carry the drained water from the sink, tub, or toilet area, out to the main pipe and down into the sewage pipeline. The main pipe runs from the very top of the house, sometimes connecting to a roof vent, all the way to the bottom, where it connects to the sewage lines. When the sewage pipes take over, this concludes the “W” or Waste portion of the DWV system.

Ventilation – Ventilation pipes are run in the top of the home. They are connected to the drain pipes that are located throughout the home. This helps the waste flow out of the home quickly without the sounds of gurgling. Vent pipes connect to the main stack so that airflow can be obtained through a sole vent stack on the roof of the home.

Another notable section of the DWV system are the traps that are located at each drain in the home. These traps help to keep the odorous gas from retracting back into the drain and smelling up your home. They play one of the most critical parts in this system.

When Your DWV System is In Need of Repair

Experiencing a clog in your DWV system may require the assistance of a professional plumber. Even though you may be able to get out small clogs from the traps and drains, other locations in the system are much harder for the non-certified. The possibility of a clogged vent or sewage line poses health risks among damages to the home, especially if it is continuously backing up. In the event of this happening, contact a professional plumber immediately for assistance.

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