What’s a P-Trap?

Where is the P-trap located, and why do you need it? These questions and more answers from your friends at Mac Plumbing

The P-trap is U-shaped and is located underneath your bathroom and kitchen sink. It’s a waste pipe that connects the sink’s drain to a septic tank or municipal sewer system.

What’s it good for?

  • The main function of the P-Trap is to keep noxious gases out of your home.
  • Noxious gases include methane which can cause respiratory distress.
  • As a secondary function, it can be useful if you drop something valuable down the drain, and it can be caught in the P-Trap before being washed out to infinity.

Problems with the P-Trap

  • The most common issue with the P-Trap is the accumulation of debris in the bend.
  • Things like hair, food, grease, and mineral deposits build up and will eventually clog the drain.

Cleaning the P-Trap

  • A slow draining sink indicates a clogged drain.
  • There are three solutions to this problem:
    • Pour a drain cleaner down the pipe, which will attack and destroy grease or mineral deposits on the walls of the pipe, or
    • Use a “Snake” to dislodge obstructions.
    • A “snake” is a flexible cable with a handle that allows the users to rotate the cable to grind off deposits.
    • If a chemical cleaner or snake doesn’t clear the clogged pipe, you can physically remove the p-trap and clean it by hand.
    • Care must be taken when reinstalling the trap to guarantee that no seals or PVC welds leak.

Sewer gases

  • As mentioned before, one of the main functions of the p-trap is to keep noxious gases from entering the home.
  • There is usually water in the p-trap that prevents the backflow of gases from entering the home.
  • But, sometimes, the water could lessen if a sink is not consistently used because of condensation.
    • Make sure you run water to seldom-used sinks to keep the water in the p-trap.

If you develop a clogged or slow-running drain,  please call us! Mac Plumbing is here for any of your plumbing needs.Be prepared with a check-up from Mac and if you find yourself with plumbing problems, be sure to contact Mac Plumbing here or call us at (931) 552-5555.