Have you heard your plumber talk about a component called the “P-trap” before? No, this isn’t a prank to literally trap something. In fact, the P-trap is a plumbing fixture located underneath sinks, tubs, and even toilets. The point of this device is to catch debris from your drains, and prevent it from forming a clog deeper within your plumbing system. The P-trap also safeguards your system from toxic sewer gasses that can infiltrate your home. Made out of PVC pipe or steel, P-traps are an important part of your plumbing system, and worth knowing about for every homeowner.
How Does a P-Trap Work?
P-traps were given their name because they are made of two 90° joints with a horizontal overflow pipe, giving the entire part a letter “P” shape. One of these joints exits your drain and the other is connected to a seal, allowing water to go into the overflow pipe without it coming back up again. This helps prevent what is known as “backflow,” which is when water accidentally comes up the reverse direction through your pipes. As discussed above, the P-trap also prevents the backflow of gasses.
You can usually access P-traps by looking underneath your sink. There, you can find the cleanout plug, which can be unscrewed counterclockwise to remove the trap. Be careful when doing this, and put a bucket under your sink first, as water will come spilling out of your drain line once your P-trap is removed. The P-traps in your plumbing and bathtub will be located under your flooring, so you will need to call a plumber to access them (the exception to this rule would be if you have a basement with exposed ceilings.)
Why Do I Need to Know Where the P-Trap Is Located?
P-traps are easy to install under your sink, and can be purchased online or at your local home improvement store. It is worth it for homeowners to know where this device is located in case you have drain clogs occur, or if anything falls down your sink. If you do decide to replace your P-trap, keep in mind that no more than three appliances should be attached to one of these devices (this would apply if you had several sinks in your laundry room, for instance). Otherwise, for professional P-trap inspection, as well as drain and sewer cleaning, backflow testing and prevention, and all your bathroom and kitchen fixture needs, make sure to contact Smith’s Plumbing Services.
Call Smith’s Plumbing Services now at (901) 290-1110, or click here to send us a message online. We look forward to serving you!