Is this toilet vent OK?

mikeb33September 13, 2010

I'm doing a complete bathroom remodel, including moving all the plumbing. My plumber has the toilet flange in and I am questioning his vent pipe. Here is a picture. I think he is going to reduce the 3" to 2" and run that up into the attic and connect to the existing 3" that goes out the roof. Is this OK?

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    Bookmark   September 13, 2010 at 7:31AM
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NO- He could install a cleanout cap or a line to another fixture from that Wye, but he may not attach a vent there.

Also check the perf strap hanger. If that is plastic perf strap it is okay but if it is metal perf strap it would be prohibited.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2010 at 12:56PM
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Where should the vent be attached?
That is a metal strap and we will change it.

Thanks for the help.


    Bookmark   September 13, 2010 at 3:25PM
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He now has attached the vent and clean out.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2010 at 7:37AM
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Does anybody have more specific advice please? I have no problem having him do it over, correctly (it is my house), but I would like to precise in my criticism.

Thank you,


    Bookmark   September 14, 2010 at 7:14PM
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What is connected to the 2nd 3" riser in the back of the photo?

    Bookmark   September 15, 2010 at 12:27AM
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That is the 2" vent pipe. It will connect to the 3" in attic, then out the roof.
I asked this question on another plumbing forum and all I got is smart ass guys suggesting I hire a "real" plumber.
I really would like to know what won't work with this setup and why. Please.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2010 at 3:53AM
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Under the IRC and IPC plumbing codes, what the plumber did is a code violation.

Vents are required to connect to horizontal drain pipes above the center line of the drain pipe...or at 45 degrees above horizontal.

This vent connects at horizontal and therefore a prohibited vent section known as a 'dead end'.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2010 at 3:56AM
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What the plumber should have done was connect a 1 1/2" or 2" vent pipe directly from the top of or at 45 degrees from vertical from the 3" drain downstream of the WYE...then run this vent pipe back to the the location where it would go up into the attic.

What was done would fail inspection in my region.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2010 at 4:01AM
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mikeb33 I've paid plumbers to do things and they have made mistakes, which they fix the next day when I question them.

What was just explained to you above is so clear that it also makes it clear that you have a serious problem.

Plumbers are not liars because they install systems that affect public health. It is as serious as electricity.

The level of knowledge and the level of disclosure of the person you have hired is inadequate. Your own level of knowledge is so low that you are not asking the right questions.

What we see in your first photo is so clearly not the right geometry that it makes one wonder whether the person building that configuration is lying to you about being a licensed plumber. It makes one certain that no-one could claim to have been temporarily confused, or claim that he had no choice because of space requirements. It makes one fairly certain that the person building simply didn't know enough, and therefore to say it to him gently, he "was unclear about the concept".

In many places one can write an open book exam in half a day and get a plumbing license for a limited set of operations. Drain plumbing is the most difficult part of plumbing system planning. Only a Master Plumber has the right to design and build this part of your house. After several years apprenticeship and many exams spread out over many years they are legally allowed to design and build DWV.

The person who installed your DWV system we see in your first photo has made more than one mistake. The second photo shows more than one additional mistake. All told, there are more than three mistakes but it gets silly advising on them because they may all be irrelevant once you rebuild to fix the first mistake. However you still have a liar acting as a plumber in your house and making you believe he is qualified. This is fraud.

At this point, it makes sense NOT to tell you which fitting would be appropriate to "fix" the way it is in the second photo. At the other web site where you got the scalding or dismissive remarks, your question was which fitting to use to "fix" the second photo. It is the wrong question to ask.

You and your "man" don't have the skill knowledge or ability to ask questions to get the proper information needed at the right time. You are hoping to get internet strangers to tell you precisely what needs to be done. This is all wrong. It is legally also a serious problem for anyone who would intend to help you. You are not a good correspondent to correspond with.

I've paid plumbers to do things and they have made mistakes which they fix the next day when I question them.

If you are in luck, someone who is articulate will post to explain very well what will need to be done, in general. Someone who teaches plumbing and has a license and has experience describing things in terms that are precise and understandable. Then you will have learned a little bit more, technically, about what to look for when Version #2 gets built. I'm not going to attempt this feat because I am not a master of the terms and concepts. What I have pointed out to you in this post is the notion that your "man" on site has not been a good advisor / designer / operator / installer and that his mastery of the Body of Knowledge in this field is too low to be acceptable.

Hope this helps you seek out the real expertise you need.


    Bookmark   September 15, 2010 at 4:52AM
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I appreciate the time spent on your response.
He showed me all the PVC from the old toilet that was a few feet away. It was nearly identical, except the vertical vent was only about 2 feet away. It worked for 30 years, so I can see why he was just mimicking what we had.
We are redoing it to be like this:

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   September 15, 2010 at 11:23AM
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There are several changes (that all look right to me). In the diagram the Wye has been rolled so that the vent is going upwards instead of horizontally; it's visible because of the nearby bend, but it's still hard to see in the diagram. It is important. The vent being 2" is the right size, and the WC line being a straight line is good too.

A repair plumber is allowed to replace things as they are. Not lengthen pipes, and not rebuild DWV systems.

If anyone wishes to contradict anything I have written they are welcome to do so.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2010 at 11:52AM
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The proper solution is so blatantly obvious that Ray Charles could see it.

Begin by removing the WYE & Offset and install a 1/4 bend under the closet flange. That would move the 3" line over to the left where it would be directly under the vent line, which could then be attached to the line via a WYE & Street 1/8bend from the top of the pipe.

The W.C. itself will satisfy the requirement for a cleanout on the upstream end of the 3" line, however if you still desire a cleanout in the basement you could install a Wye slightly downstream from the 1/4 bend under the closet flange and put the cleanout cap on the side opening of the WYE.

Once the line passes the vent it could then be offset to the right to line up to the existing line position.

Remove the metal hanger straps and install plastic perf strapping or plastic pipe hangers and the job is done.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2010 at 1:50PM
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Sounds like something a Master Plumber could do. Even with the hyperlink (two posts above) as a conceptual guide, I wouldn't trust a repair plumber to be sure of himself. There is a lot that is new.

The post above about the "solution is so blatantly obvious" is a bit scary. It's dismissive and disrespectful to say that anyone can see this solution, when no-one so far has seen it, neither as "obvious" nor as a work in progress. Furthermore the post is written by someone who has not designed built and installed DWV systems professionally, i.e. is not a Master Plumber, has not done the apprenticeship and has not written the exams. But the tone is all-knowing and superior. Thinking of this kind can lead to mistakes. Previous mistakes have been documented in this forum in recent months. There is a history of making mistakes and acting superior. Watch this.


    Bookmark   September 15, 2010 at 5:23PM
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There may be an even simpler answer:

If you are under the IRC or IPC plummbing codes NO VENT is required for this water closet provided there is at least 1 vent on the waste line.

P3105.1 (IRC) and 906.1 (IPC) Exception both state: "The developed length of the fixture drain from the trap weir to the vent fitting for self-siphoning fixtures, such as water closets, shall not be limited."

In short, the vent as installed is completely unnecessary provided at least one 1 1/2" vent extists for the plumbing system.

You need to check with your local code office before you or your plumber make unnecessary work for yourselves.

You may not need the vent or cleanout at all.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2010 at 7:16PM
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I don't know where Davidro1 gets his information, but for the record having completed both a 4 year apprenticeship and the prescribed four year course of study I am a certified "Residential & Commercial Plumber" and would be more than willing to send copies of my documentation to anyone.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2010 at 9:00PM
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