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Everything You Need to Know About P-Traps

Published on October 20, 2018

Ever wonder what that U-shaped pipe is under each of your sinks? That pipe is known as the “P-trap”. We’re here to explain to you why it’s there, what it does, and what you should do if it isn’t working properly.

Keeps Rotten Gases Away from The Home

There are many significant purposes that a p-trap serves. Firstly, it prevents sewer gases from spreading in your home. A P-trap can easily keep toxic gases from the sewer out of your home, including hydrogen sulfide, sulfur dioxide, methane, ammonia, and others. Not only do they smell bad, but they are detrimental to one’s health. Exposure to one of these gases can give you symptoms such as nausea, headache, loss of appetite, fatigue, bronchitis, pneumonia, and other harmful illnesses and side effects. How the P-trap works is by simply having a bed of water rest inside the curve. If you notice water inside of this P-trap, it’s supposed to be there, and this keeps your bathroom and kitchen from smelling like rotten eggs. If no water is in the P-trap, and you have tried to add water yourself, contact plumbing contractors Sacramento.

Traps Debris and Stops Clogging

If you are concerned if the P-trap gets clogged of debris, you don’t have to be. The curved section of the P-trap can easily allow you to clear any clogs that you may experience with a kitchen or bathroom sink. This means it’s easier to deal with a clogged pipe with a P-trap than without one. To tell if your pipes are clogged, you might realize a slow draining process. In many cases, you can use a plunger to break these clogs up, but if that doesn’t work, it is best to call your plumbing contractors Sacramento to help you with your unfortunate circumstance.

Saves Valuables from Going Away Forever

While P-traps were not primarily designed for this purpose, they can trap jewelry and other small valuables from being lost and gone forever. If something like a bracelet were to accidentally fall into the drain, the P-trap might catch these valuables if they are heavy enough to not be forced away by the water pressure. If something like this were to happen to you, you should turn off your water supply and remove the P-trap to retrieve your lost item. You should also consider hiring a qualified plumbing contractor if you are having trouble removing the P-trap yourself.

Other things That You Should Know About P-Traps

For homes that are used infrequently, such as abandoned or seasonal homes, the water inside these P-traps can evaporate. Usually, you can simply run water with your sink to prevent such a problem, but if you are not there for months to do this, then sewer gases will enter the home and it will smell bad. If you are planning to leave the home for an extended period of time, you should use a tap seal primer. This primer will produce water inside the P-trap so that a watery seal can be produced in times of dryness.

Drains without the right ventilation will be slower to empty, such as in the case with cabins and older houses. If you hear a “glug-glug” sound coming from one of the drains in the house, this is the primary indicator of improper ventilation. Insufficient ventilation in such drains will look to be released through adjacent lines, and this will force the gas through working P-traps while emptying their water. In such instances, you should have a plumber install new pipes in that particular home.

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