Air pipes

Discolored vent pipes could be a sign of a household gas problem

There are several benefits to owning. You don’t have noisy neighbors above or below you like you might live in an apartment. Plus, if the day comes when you decide to sell for whatever reason, you’ll ideally get some of that money back and hopefully more that you can then spend on your next home purchase, unlike life. in a rental apartment or house where you’ll never see the rent you pay each month again. That said, unlike renting, when something breaks or goes wrong, it’s up to you to fix it. And, there are several things that can go wrong. Some of them could cause serious damage to your home or be dangerous to you and your family if you don’t pay attention to the warning signs.

Discolored vent pipes could be a sign of a gas problem

High efficiency modern AC heating unit on brick wall background


Most, if not all, homes are built with vent pipes that allow the gases created by the combustion process inside your furnace to be safely dispersed outside your home. These pipes usually come out of a wall outside your house or on the roof and can be metal or PVC. As Princeton Area Firefighters Union Local 1634 noted in an article on their facebook page recently, it is important to take a look at it from time to time. If they are normal white (if PVC) or silver/grey (if metal or aluminum), you are fine. However, if they have turned a brownish color or are otherwise discolored, you have a potentially dangerous problem on your hands that requires professional attention as soon as possible.

According to their article, the discoloration is caused by the aforementioned gases from your furnace. Specifically, a leak somewhere along the way that causes excessive heat in the vent pipe and essentially cooks it.

Why is it a problem

dangers of discolored vent pipe


If these gases are not traveling their intended path (i.e. the vent pipe) into the outside air, that means they are staying inside your home, and it goes without saying that It’s not good.

Gas buildup could cause a fire or carbon monoxide poisoning which could be fatal (they don’t call it the “silent killer” for nothing).

what you should do



If you notice a discolored vent pipe, the Princeton Area Firefighters Union advises that you call a heating and air technician or your local fire department so they can come to your home and test the air quality. . If carbon monoxide or another gas is detected, you will obviously need to call a technician to find the source of the leak and fix it.

Although they don’t mention it in their post, it would also be a good idea to invest in a carbon monoxide detector for your home. Carbon monoxide doesn’t have a smell, so if it’s slowly building up in your home, you might not notice it until it’s too late. the Environmental Protection Agency recommends mounting a detector at least five feet above the floor or ceiling. In my house, it’s on the wall at the top of the stairs near our bedrooms.

They usually cost between $20 and $35 and are well worth the investment.

Here’s what a discolored hose looks like according to the local Princeton area firefighters union so you know what to look for.

[Source: Princeton Area Firefighters Union Local 1634 on Facebook]

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