Printer Friendly

Piping be gone: using air admittance valves can save hundreds of dollars per house.

FOR STAN LUHR, IT'S AN EASY choice. Venting a home's plumbing system through air admittance valves, rather than piping, "reduces builders' risk and cost at the same time," says Luhr, president of Quality Built, a Poway, Calif., firm that inspects new homes for builders.

Traditionally, a home's plumbing system is vented to the outside through pipes that run through the house, into the attic, and through the roof. These vent pipes "allow a little bit of air into the sewer system when someone is flushing a toilet or draining a bathtub," Luhr explains. Air admittance valves do the same thing but without the extra piping, fittings, or labor. They are installed directly into the plumbing system--typically inside the sink cabinet--and open and close as needed.

And they do it for a lot less money. Luhr estimates that using the valves, which are manufactured by Studor Inc., and list for $20 to $40 each, depending on size, saves $300 in plumbing and labor costs per house. The valves also reduce the chance of construction defects (like a leaky root) from improperly installed venting.

There are some challenges. Plumbers, who install the valves, don't necessarily like having their job downsized. And, despite the fact the valves have been used in Europe for 30 years and approved for U.S. use since the 1990s, local building departments can be wary, so builders should talk with them first. But Luhr says the payoffs for using the valve warrant persistence. "We've seen many litigation claims from dry vent problems, from damage done during or after installation," he says. "Even if a valve fails, you just unscrew it and put in a new one."

COPYRIGHT 2003 Hanley-Wood, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2003 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Cost Cutter
Author:Rice, Alison
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2003
Previous Article:Movable mortgage: E*Trade introduces a portable mortgage for buyers concerned about rising interest rates.
Next Article:On the move: transit-oriented development is making waves in two of this country's most traffic-challenged cities: Los Angeles and Atlanta.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2019 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters