What the HECK is a “Stink Pipe”?

What the HECK is a “Stink Pipe”?


You may or may not have heard of the term “Stink Pipe” before.


If you have heard of it, there is a good chance it was in passive conversation from someone in your circle of family or friends that works in the construction trades.

A “Stink Pipe”, as crude a term as you might think it may be, is a term used quite often in the construction trades to describe the pipe that vents out your home’s sewer gasses through your roof.

The more “technical” term for these pipes are either


‘Plumbing Vent’


‘Vent Stack’


I think those of us in the trades like to use the term ‘stink pipe’ though because deep down inside each of us, a little giggle occurs every time we say it –

Though none of us will admit it




Stink pipes are important because they remove gas & odors from your home as well

as allow fresh air into your plumbing system.

As important a feature as they are to the overall efficiency of your home’s sewer process, they can also lead to an entry point for water to come into the home if they are not properly flashed or if they develop a leak over time.

I have been called out to many leaks at a Client’s home where they cannot figure out where a specific leak may be coming from and after a quick examination, I determine that the leak is stemming from where the stink pipe is protruding through the roof.

In these instances, a correction has to be made by someone with experience dealing with this challenge (as with most things, if not addressed properly, the problem could get worse…).



Quite often, it is a simple matter of re-working the flashing around the pipe and then the mystery is solved as the leak, over time, is found to be neutralized.





So if you did not know before, you know now! Sink pipes are a critical part of your home’s plumbing system and they should be maintained properly in order to ensure that this critical component does not develop a leak at its base as it ages.

If nothing else, you now have a new piece of trivia to

bring up at your next family dinner!




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