Home Improvement Ideas Plumbing Installations & Repairs How to Install an Air Admittance Valve to Fix a Slow-Draining Sink Discover everything you should know about air admittance valves (AAVs) and how you can install one yourself to save time and money. By Caitlin Sole Caitlin Sole Instagram Caitlin Sole is the senior home editor at BHG. She is a writer and editor with nearly a decade of interior design expertise. She has vast experience with digital media, including SEO, photo shoot production, video production, eCommerce content, print collaboration, and custom sales content. Learn about BHG's Editorial Process Updated on May 26, 2022 Share Tweet Pin Email Photo: Jay Wilde Project Overview Total Time: 2 hours Skill Level: Beginner A common problem in plumbing remodeling is how to run new vent lines when a structural element blocks access to the existing drain-waste-vent system. It might seem like all hope is lost, but don't let that minor roadblock get in the way of your dream kitchen makeover. One solution is an air admittance valve or AAV. These valves are gravity-operated devices that respond to the negative pressure of draining water and open to let air in. Then gravity closes the valve, keeping sewer gases out of the room. Depending on the valve and the size of the vent, AAVs can support one or multiple vent lines. However, before you begin installing an air admittance valve, check with your local building inspections office, as local codes govern the use of AAVs in place of vents. BHG / Michela Buttignol What You'll Need Equipment / Tools PVC saw or backsaw Miter box or power miter saw Deburring tool Felt-tip marker Materials Primer and cement for your type and size of pipe P-trap Air admittance valve Drain pipe Instructions PHOTO: Illustration by Art Rep Services, Inc. PHOTO: Illustration by Art Rep Services, Inc. Understand How Air Admittance Valves Work Before you install one, it's important to understand how AAVs work. Air admittance valves are operated by gravity. When water and waste move down a drain line, it creates negative air pressure in the pipe. This negative pressure lifts the sealing washer and lets air in, which allows the waste to drain away freely.When the negative pressure ceases, the sealing washer falls back in place. Earlier versions of this device were spring-operated. Such units are still available but are unreliable and don't meet code in most areas. Illustration by Art Rep Services, Inc. Determine Placement Air admittance valves are typically placed between the P-trap of a fixture and the drain line. They're usually mounted on one leg of a sanitary tee, with the other leg going to the drain. The unit must be placed per local codes and the manufacturer's instructions. Install PVC Drain Line Install the PVC drain line, the sanitary tee, and the P-trap for the sink. The appropriate coupling for the AAV (glued or threaded) attaches to the tee. Check the manufacturer's instructions and local codes to determine the proper height for the AAV above the drain. How to Draw a Plumbing Plan for Your Next Remodeling Project Attach Air Admittance Valve Depending on the type of fitting, glue or screw the AAV in place. Look to the manufacturer's directions if you need additional assistance. Check Work Depending on local codes and the AAV model, the completed installation should look like this. AAVs must always be installed vertically and should be unobstructed from items under the sink.