If you’ve ever had your plumber tell you something is wrong with
your “trap,” you may be a little confused. Isn’t a trap the
last thing you want in your plumbing line, since it implies that it’s
something that water gets stuck in? Well, yes and no. A “trap”
is actually an extremely important part of your plumbing system, but they’re
also a part that could potentially cause a lot of problems. To help you
better understand what they are and what they do, our Bartlett plumbers
will give you a brief introduction to plumbing “traps” on
Traps: A Brief Introduction
First things first: what actually is a “trap?” The answer is
quite simple: a trap is a small spot in each drain pipe where the pipe
itself bends 180 degrees, creating a spot where water actually has to go
upward, back against gravity. This U-shape segment “traps” water
in the plumbing bend, creating a natural seal between your sewage lines
and the drain above them, blocking odorous gasses in your sewer lines
from being able to travel back up your pipes and into your home.
Possible Trap Problems
Virtually every drain you have, be it a shower or bathtub, sink, or even
your toilet, has a trap, so they’re pretty important. But like virtually
every other part of your plumbing system, they’re not without their
vulnerabilities and problems. For example: when your drains are smelling
particularly bad, this usually means there’s something wrong with
your plumbing trap, keeping the water level low enough for the gasses
to get through and enter your home.
Likewise, your plumbing trap is an area where water will naturally try
to come to rest, and won’t escape unless more water from the drain
itself pushes it out. This means a trap is where debris can become stuck,
settle, accumulate, and create clogs. So it should come as little surprise
that plumbing traps are where the overwhelming majority of drain clogs
Plumbing Trap Maintenance
If you do experience a problem with your plumbing trap, what can you do
to resolve it? Here are a few of the most common fixes to plumbing trap problems.
There are two dead giveaways that you have a problem with your plumbing
trap: water under your sink, and foul odors coming out of your drain.
The leak may be slow or it may be large, but in either case it’s
important to get it fixed quickly to prevent further damage to your home.
If you can locate the leak, the best thing to do is to use some form of
seal to try and stop the leak to the best of your ability in the short-term,
but keep in mind this is just a temporary solution and the problem will
return soon. You should also call a Bartlett plumber as soon as possible
to have your trap professionally repaired to ensure the problem goes away for good.
When you’ve got a clog, you may be tempted to use a strong liquid
drain cleaner to try and eat away at the blockage and get your drain flowing
Do not use chemical drain cleaners to try and remove a clog! These chemicals are extremely harsh on your plumbing, and could eat away
at the walls of your pipe, potentially causing even more damage. Instead,
you can use a drain snake or plumbing auger to remove the clog without
damaging your plumbing walls.
Don’t own a drain snake or plumbing auger? A wire coat hanger bent
straight with a small hook on the end will also work. Simply lower the
hooked end down into the drain, spin the hanger to get the hook to grab
onto as much of the clog as possible, and then gently pull it back out.
This should make a huge difference in your drain’s functionality.
For more information or to schedule a service for your plumbing trap issues,
call Smith’s Plumbing Service at (901) 290-1110 today!