If you’ve ever looked down under your kitchen or bathroom sink, you may have noticed the pipe bent in an unusual shape. This bent pipe made of PVC plastic or metal is known as a plumbing trap.
What is a plumbing trap?
A plumbing trap is a U-shaped section of pipe that is installed in the drainpipes under sinks, toilets, bathtubs and other fixtures.
What is the purpose of a plumbing trap?
The purpose of a trap is to prevent sewer gas from escaping into your home through the drains. Without a trap, these gases can safely escape into the atmosphere. However, traps should be regularly cleaned to prevent them from becoming clogged and ineffective.
What are the different types of plumbing traps?
- Intercepting Trap (also known as a Buchan trap)– Intercepting traps are generally used for sinks, showers, and bathtubs. They have an inlet at the bottom to connect to the fixture drain, and a vent on each side of the U-bend.
- Concentric Trap – Concentric traps are commonly used in toilets and urinals. Like intercepting traps, they have an inlet at the bottom to connect to the fixture drain. However, the vent is located on the top of the trap, in the center of the U-bend.
- Nahni Trap – Nahni traps are used in floor drains. They have a large, round basin that collects water and sewage from the drain. The water then flows through a small hole in the center of the basin, into the drainpipe.
- P-Trap – P-traps are one of the most common types of traps. They are used in sinks
- Gully Trap – Gully traps are used in floor drains to catch debris and sewage before it enters the drainpipe. They have a large, open basin that collects water and sewage from the drain. The water then flows through a small hole in the center of the basin, into the drainpipe.
- S-Trap – S-traps are used in sinks and toilets. They have an inlet at the bottom to connect to the fixture drain, and a vent on each side of the U-bend.
- Bottle Trap – Bottle traps are similar to P-traps, but the inlet and outlet openings are at right angles instead of on the same side. They are often used in bathroom sinks and showers.
- Grease Trap – Grease traps are used in commercial kitchens to catch grease and oil before it enters the sewer system. They have a large, open basin that collects water and sewage from the drain. The water then flows through a small hole in the center of the basin, into the drainpipe.
What does a plumbing trap look like?
Plumbing traps come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but they all have one thing in common: a U-shaped bend. This bend allows the trap to retain a small amount of water at all times, which creates a seal that prevents sewer gas from escaping.
Are plumbing traps required?
Traps are required by code in most jurisdictions, and they must be installed correctly in order to function properly.
Do shower drains have plumbing traps?
Yes, shower drains typically have a trap built into the drainpipe to prevent sewer gases from entering the home. The trap is usually located just below the floor level of the shower.
Do toilet drains have plumbing traps?
Yes, all toilet drains have traps. The specific type of trap used will depend on the type of fixture and drain it is connected to. Some common types include P-traps, S-traps, and bottle traps.
How do I know if my toilet is S-trap or P-trap?
If your toilet has a U-shaped bend in the drainpipe, it is a P-trap. If the drainpipe has an S-shaped bend, it is an S-trap. Also keep in mind that an S-trap exits the floor on the backside of the toilet, while a P-trap exits on the side or front.
What are common problems with plumbing traps?
- One common problem with plumbing traps is clogs. Over time, debris and other materials can accumulate in the trap, reducing its effectiveness.
- Another issue is when your trap dries out. This can happen if there is a leak in the drain pipe or if the water in the trap evaporates. Without water, the trap will no longer be able to create a seal and sewer gas will be able to escape.
- Finally, improper installation can also lead to problems with plumbing traps. If a trap is not installed correctly, it may not work properly and sewage gas may be able to escape. This can pose a health risk, as well as cause foul odors in your home.
How can a plumbing trap lose water?
There are several possible reasons that a plumbing trap can lose water. For example, the seal on the drain may become damaged or worn over time, allowing water to leak out. Additionally, sediment or other debris in the pipes can clog the opening of the trap, reducing or eliminating its ability to hold water. Other factors that can affect trap performance include improper installation, changes in water pressure, and improper venting. To ensure that your plumbing system is working properly and efficiently, be sure to have regular inspections and maintenance performed by a licensed plumber.
Does a dirty plumbing trap slow water drainage?
A dirty plumbing trap can slow water drainage because it can become clogged with debris over time. This can reduce the effectiveness of the trap and cause problems with your drainage system.