How to Install a Vent for a Septic Tank

The vent for your toilet's septic system plays an important role in proper plumbing in your home.

Vents are needed for toilets to drain because they provide air and a vacuum which is needed to actually flush your toilet. Because toilets will not drain properly without septic tank vents, these vents are installed when the home is being constructed. This also allows easier access to sewer lines and the inside of walls where your vent will run.

Measure the distance from your floor to the roof of your home to gauge how long your vent pipes will need to be. Add 1 foot to that measurement, as the vent pipe will extend 1 foot above your rooftop.

Connect PVC T-joint to your sewer drain lines using PVC glue to bond them together. Make sure the T-junction where your vent pipe will go is facing upwards.

Climb the ladder if need to and cut a circle in your roof with the Skil saw. The circle should be slightly larger than the diameter of your vent pipe. Vent pipes tend to run around 3 to 4 inches in diameter, so the hole you cut should not be much larger than this.

Slide one end of the vent pipe up and through the hole you have cut in your roof. Secure the other end of the vent pipe into the end of the PVC T-pipe that is facing upwards. Use PVC glue to make the bond.

Attach pipe brackets around the vent pipe and fasten them down by placing screws into the stud the vent pipe has been run along.

Climb to the top of the roof using your ladder and slide the roof boot over the installed vent. A roof boot slips over roof pipes to create a seal between the hole cut in the roof and the pipe. Fold the ends of the boot into the cut opening at the base of your roof.

Coat the area with waterproof sealant and replace any lost shingles where the vent hole was cut.

Things You Will Need

  • Tape measure
  • PVC T-joint fitting
  • PVC glue
  • Ladder
  • Skil saw
  • PVC pipe
  • Pipe brackets and screws
  • Roof boot
  • Roofing sealant or tar
  • Replacement shingles

About the Author

Ashton Daigle, a New Orleans native, graduated from Southeastern Louisiana University in 1998 and went straight to work as a journalist. In 2005 he tackled the biggest news story of his life - Hurricane Katrina. Daigle is writing a collection of essays: What It Means to be a Saints Fan.