The construction work of your new bathroom is going on at a good pace. To expedite the job further, the contractor has suggested avoiding installing a vent for the shower. He thinks it’s unnecessary. Now you are also thinking about whether a shower drain needs a vent or not.
Shower drains need to have a vent, otherwise, molds begin to grow within the wall. Eventually, the environment of the house becomes unhealthy. Vent pipes get the gases and air out of the system. Or else, shower water cannot be drained out properly, resulting in waterlogging.
However, in this article, I will explain why you should install a vent for the shower drain and will provide you with many more about venting a shower drain.
Every water flow of your bathroom needs to have a ventilation system. Because if the air and gases are not allowed to get out of the drainage system, they will remain in the pipes. And if they remain in the pipes, the water will not be able to flow. The result is ultimate water-clogging. Here are some specific reasons why you should make a vent for the shower drain:
1. Prevent Molds In the Wall
While you take a shower, all the dirt of your body, chemicals of the soap, and other cleaning agents get into the drainage system with the water. Eventually, the dirt and chemicals produce some gas in the drainage pipe.
If the gases are not allowed to get out of the system with proper ventilation, they remain in the walls of the bathroom. Gradually molds begin to grow within the walls of the washroom. Ultimately, you need to rebuild the walls if you do not ensure ventilation for the shower drain.
2. Prevents Diseases
When molds are formed in the walls of the bathroom in the absence of a vent of the shower drain, the whole house becomes unhealthy. Molds are proven to be dangerous for patients with allergy problems. They are very dangerous for asthma patients.
So, the vent of your shower drain is helping you keep your family members healthy and away from unwanted diseases.
3. Prevents Water-Logging
So, your drainage system stops working if you do not attach a vent with the shower drain.
4. Increases The Life Of The Pipes
Drain pipes become rusty and need to be changed much earlier than they are claimed to last if there is no ventilation. Because the air and gas create a chemical reaction on the surface of the drain pipe. So, not connecting a vent with the shower drain will cost you extra money too.
On the other hand, if air, water, or gas are not stuck in the shower drain pipes, they will work smoothly for a long time.
5. It’s a legal issue
In most of the states of the USA, it is illegal to not connect a vet to a shower drain. You will be penalized for not having a vent in your bathroom.
Having ventilation for the shower drain has an impact on your health. That is why government agencies take interest in the issue. There are different regulations for venting shower drains in different states of the USA.
Now let me share some tips about ventilation of the shower drain. I believe they might be useful for you while installing a shower drain:
Mind The Size Of The Vent
Generally, people use a 2-inches pipe for the drainage of the shower. If your shower drain also uses a pipe of that size, you should use a vent pipe. which is at least 1½ inches wide.
If you want to be oversure about the venting, you may use a vent pipe, which is 2 inches wide for a 2-inches drain pipe.
Know Local Building Code
In most cases, local municipalities adopt and apply local codes for constructing a building. Which may include directives for installing a vent for the shower drain. Before constructing your bathroom, make sure you know your local building codes.
Maintain The Distance
The distance between a shower trap arm and the vent should be measured cautiously. Because there is a limitation about the distance. You cannot place the vent just wherever you like it to be.
Generally, the maximum distance between the shower trap arm and the vent is considered to be 5 feet. For some municipalities, it can be up to 8 feet. But any vent that is more than 8 feet away from the shower trap arm is considered useless.
If you do not vent a shower drain properly, the drainage system will not work properly, resulting in waterlogging. Besides, molds will grow within the bathroom walls.
Growing molds will put the health of your family members in danger. The drain pipes will wear out sooner than you expected if there is no venting system. Your overall maintenance cost of the bathroom will increase if you do not vent the shower drain.
You can use the same venting system for a shower and a toilet at the same time. But you have to make sure that the width of the venting pipe is enough for the ventilation of the two systems at the same time.
Expert plumbers believe it is always helpful to attach the toilet with the venting system at the last stage of the installation.
There are two options to run a shower vent. One is to tie the vent with the main stack of the bathroom, after cutting a tee into the stack. The tee should be 3 inches x 1½ inches in size.
The option of running a shower vent is to attach it with an existing tee. This process is applicable when you are replacing a shower with a new one. In that case, you have to use a coupling to connect the vent with the shower drain.
For that, you have to cup the wall open at the point where the tee is located.
A cheater vent is an alternative to typical venting systems. Without using any pipe, the air or the drainage system gets out of the house with a cheater vent.
If you are installing a new shower vent to the existing shower, using a cheater van would minimize your construction cost. Other than that, if you are constructing the whole bathroom from scratch, using a cheater vent will only increase the construction cost.
The shower vent does not need to go through the roof. Though plumbers get the vents through the roof in most cases, there is no hard and fast rule about it.
You can get your shower vent out of your house through the walls. The general rule is vented should run higher than the highest window of the house.
There should be no doubt in your mind on whether a shower drain needs a vent or not. It is mandatory to connect your shower drain with a vent pipe.
It will minimize your bathroom maintenance cost. It will also help to ensure a healthy environment for your home. Besides, it may be against the law to not have a venting system in your shower drain.
I am James Martin, An professional plumber with more than 16 years of experience. The main purpose of my writing is to share my experiences of helping others. Be with me and explore bathroom plumbing, installation, cleanness ideas, and many more.