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Question DetailsAsked on 7/29/2017

What is the cost to replace a bathroom roof vent?

I think my vent from my upstairs bathroom has a crack or a split in the pipe. Because when the pipe expands in the heat of the day, we can smell sewer gas in our upstairs room.

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The heat of the day thing may have nothing to do with the pipe - may just be because the rising, thinner hot air is letting more sewer gases flow out of the vent pipe - they commonly exhaust more in the heat or the day and sometimes even take air in during the cooler times, with the cold air settling down into the sewer lines and flowing to the street sewer mains. This is called "sewer respiration" and is a common cause of obnoxious odors coming out of street manholes and such.

If sewer vent odor is getting into your bathroom vent, could be a loose or missing vent cap or possibly a split open duct above the roofline - you might be able to see yourself if up to getting up on the roof, or possibly with zoom camera or binoculars from the ground.

Could also be your bathroom vent is too close to the vent pipe (minimum 3' apart horizontally by most codes, I advocate 6' minimum and also putting the vent pipe near the ridge) or the vent pipe is not tall enough so eddies of air around the roof cause the odor to drop down rather than blow away.

One other possibility is the sewer gas is getting into the ridge vent or other roof ventilation vent (if you have one) then dropping through the attic and coming in around the bathroom fan, which commonly has a wide gap around it at the ceiling drywall cutout - which you can solve with foam weatherstripping.

Otherwise, here are a couple of articles about required vent heights:

For a contractor to look at / fix this, Heating and A/C would be a common vendor Search the List category, as would Plumbing. Or Handyman if you know one who is reliable and pretty competent.

Cost of copurse depends on what the problem is, but for all but exotic issues I would expect $150-250 - maybe more like $75-200 in very low cost labor areas or if using a Handyman.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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