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Polylok Poly-Air activated Carbon Odor Control Vent Pipe Filter - FAQ's

How do I install the Polylok Poly-Air Carbon Filtration Device on my Vent Pipe?

Simply slip the coupling end of the device over the existing vent pipe. You are basically coupling pipe together, except you do not need to glue the filter as the connection is a snug fit. For detailed instructions please review the information that came with your order, download Polylok charcoal odor control vent filter installation instructions or review text instructions below. The instructions are also listed on our Poly-Air Product Information Page.

Polylok Poly-Air Activated Carbon Vent Filter Installation Instructions:

1. Remove contents from box:

      • 1 Odor Control Filter Housing
      • 1 Lid
      • 1 Screen
      • 2 Screws
      • 1 bag of activated carbon pellets

2. Cut one corner of the activated carbon pellet bag to make a pour spout. Pour the pellets into the filter housing. Shake the filter housing occasionally while pouring to settle the activated carbon filter pellets. (NOTE: Do not pack the activated carbon pellets in)

3. Align the screen's 2 screw holes with 2 screw holes on the filter housing. Using the two screws provided, screw the screen down to the filter housing.

4. Twist lid clockwise onto the filter housing. Lid will click when locked into place.

5a. If using Poly-Air odor control vent filter on a 4" or 3" vent stack pipe simply align filter housing to top off vent stack pipe and press down firmly to lock in place.

5b. If using Poly-Air vent filter on a 2" or 1.5" vent pipe, take the pipe reducer and spread glue on the outside perimeter. Slide reducer into the bottom of the filter housing. Align filter housing to top of vent pipe and press down firmly to lock into place.

Polylok Poly-Air Odor Control Vent - Maintenance Instructions:

1. Remove Poly Air odor control carbon filter by pulling it up from your roof vent stack pipe.

2. Twist lid off counterclockwise from filter housing.

3. Unscrew the (2) screws holding down the screen to the filter housing. Remove screen to access the activated carbon pellets.

4. Dump out the old pellets and pour in the new pellets

5. Follow the installation steps 3-5 to complete assembly of the vent stack odor control filter.

Back To Questions

My plumber installed a vent pipe extension. Do I remove the extension or place the Charcoal Filtration Device over the vent extension?

Remove the extension. We have found that when the Vent Stack Charcoal Filtration Device is placed over an extension, the whole extension and device assembly act as a "sail" in the wind. The assembly will begin to oscillate in the wind. This could potentially damage your rooftop vent flashing and create a leak in your roof.

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Do I need to order replacement carbon with my initial order of a 3" or 4" Charcoal Filtration Device for my vent stack?

Not typically. In cases where the carbons may become saturated quickly you might, e.g. commercial or restaurant applications. The device comes ready to install on your vent pipe.

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How do I know when to replace the activated carbon in the vent stack filter?

Your nose will tell you. When you begin to smell the hydrogen sulfide or "rotten egg" smell, it is time to either replace the unit, or purchase a replacement bag of carbon.

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Can the homeowner change or replenish the charcoal in the filter?

Yes the homeowner can. You may purchase bags of replacement charcoal for the for these vent stack filter units. We do not recommend that you come in contact with the saturated charcoal.

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What is the expected life of the activated carbon sewer vent stack filter?

The activated charcoal can only absorb so much hydrogen sulfide, the gas that causes the "rotten egg" smell. Once the activated carbon has reached capacity then the "rotten egg" odors will pass through the vent carbon filter.  When you smell the odors it is time to change the carbon.  We recommend noting how many months it took for the activated carbon to reach capacity and mark on your calendar for the next carbon change.  The sewer vent filters will last between 1 and 5 years depending on the gas concentration coming from your sewer vent or septic vent system. For example, if you put them on a restaurant vent stack they may last 2 years. If you put them on a residence they may last 3-5 years or more.  Once you have a timeline you can easily change before the sewer odor is present again.

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For what situations is the Charcoal Vent Filtration Device filter intended?

  • For situations where the sewer or septic gas odor (hydrogen sulfide or "sewer gas") is coming out of the plumbing vent pipes on the roof.  This odor can often be a nuisance when spending time outdoors.
  • Can also go on vents that are directly connected to the septic tank.
  • In some instances, city-sewer connections bring sewer gas back into the home’s plumbing vents. The device filter has proven beneficial in those cases too!
  • Can be used on septic holding tanks.
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In what situations will the Charcoal Filtration Device filter not work?

The Charcoal Filtration Device will NOT solve your odor problem if:

  • The odor is originating from inside the house
  • The odor is originating from the septic system drain field
  • The odor is originating from any leaks in the septic tank or plumbing system
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Will the Vent Stack Charcoal Filtration Device Filter odors to help indoor septic odor at all?

Only if the outdoor odor from tile roof vent pipe is being pulled in through windows or roof top air-conditioners. If you have just indoor odor, call your plumber. Check to see that all drains have traps installed. Check to see that all the traps have water in them to hold back the gas. When the water in a trap dries out, it lets the gas through. The plumber may have to do what’s called a "smoke test" to see where the septic gas is coming in. If the odor is coming from around the toilet, it could be a dried out wax ring under the toilet. Again, we’re not plumbers. We’re filter makers. We’ve heard and read about many problems or reasons for indoor septic odor, that need a plumber to fix.

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Do I have to get a filter for every plumbing vent on the house?

Yes. Our experience has been that if you filter only one of the roof vent stacks, the gas will find the path of least resistance and exit the un-filtered plumbing vent instead of going through the filtered vent.

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Why do some homes have this problem and others do not?

We believe it’s due to air currents. Sometimes a "temperature inversion" puts a layer of air over your house and prevents the sewer gases from being carried up and away. Another scenario is if you live on the down-wind side of a hill, then the downdrafts might bring the sewer gases down to ground level.

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Can I paint my Charcoal Filtration Device to match the color of my house?

Yes you may paint your carbon vent filter housing to match your roof. Our black vent pipe filters normally look fine on the roof without painting them.We suggest you try it out before painting it, as we cannot make a refund for painted or modified units.

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Do the Charcoal Filtration Device filters freeze up in extreme cold?

Even 3" vent pipes with no filters can occasionally clog up with frost if it is cold enough for long enough. This is called "hoarfrost" and you can read about it. For cold climates (Northern US and Canada) where extended weather of sub-zero temps are likely, we recommend the black ABS models which will absorb a little more heat.

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Who uses your activated carbon odor control vent filters?

Homeowners, businesses, schools, and restaurants use our vent pipe odor control Charcoal Filtration Device. The vast majority of devices are installed on sewer vents or septic tanks.  For larger applications including wastewater treatment lift stations then our 6" model with 5 pounds of carbon would be a better Charcoal Filtration Device for those applications.  We also offer stainless construction and larger vessels for industrial applications.

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How tall and wide are the filters?

Please review the product technical specifications and drawings on our site and note that the opening of the roof vent goes into the bottom coupler of the Charcoal Filtration Device filter, so the "additional" height above the vent will be less than the height indicated above.

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I have installed the Charcoal Filtration Device, now I am getting the odors inside my house, why?

The carbon vent does restrict a minimal amount of airflow. This restriction is so slight that it should not interfere with the normal venting of the plumbing system. If you do not have a completely sealed venting system this restriction may expose those leaking points. We have found that there may be a variety of reasons why this is happening.

  1. The wax rings under your toilets may have become crusty due to age and are allowing the gases to leak through.
  2. While installing a picture on a wall, a screw or nail that is too long may have penetrated a vent pipe and thus damaged the venting system.
  3. PTraps under sinks or in the floor have gone dry and need to be filled with water to seal the venting system.
  4. If you have an odor after installing the Charcoal Filtration Device in the basement from a floor drain, your floor drain may not have a ptrap installed. If this is the case please go to This product should seal the odors out from floor drains.
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