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What You Need to Know About Sink Traps

Open the cupboard directly under the kitchen sink, and check out what’s in it. Provided that the kitchen sink plumbing was set up very well, you will see a pipe go straight down from the sink, bend upward, and then go downward or go horizontal. The strange bend you saw? Plumbers call it a P-trap or J-trap, and it’s there to hold water between the sewer pipe and the sink drain pipe. This plug of water prevents unpleasant-smelling sewer gas from moving out to the home. But that’s not all you need to know about the sink trap. Highlighted below are more things you need to know about them:

How exactly does a trap prevent odours?
Each time the sink is used, water held in the trap is flushed down the drain and replaced with new water. This water traps air coming from the sewer which the drains in your home are connected to. Without this plug of water, the smell produced by sewer bacteria will be allowed to enter and do harm to the home and the people living in it.

Trapping a wide range of debris
This plumbing fixture also traps small things that may have been washed down drains for some reason. Without it, the debris can go freely down the drain pipe and accumulate in a spot that is very difficult and costly to reach. But with a trap attached to drain pipes, many blockages happen within it, and since it can be easily removed, it can be sorted out right away.

This leads to the next point…

Maintaining a Trap the Right Way
After some time, soap, hair, and other debris can accumulate in the drain, clog it, and make it run slowly. If you find that wastewater no longer goes down the drain fast, wait for the water to go down the drain before switching off water to your home. Then remove the trap and its contents before putting it back.

The couplings can be removed using a crescent wrench or with your hands, provided that you wrapped a cloth around a coupling before applying pressure. Put a bucket under the trap before you start doing this, however, so that any water that spills out is contained.

After having done the above, run water through the trap, then force a cloth through the trap and drain pipe to clean the trap completely. Reinstall it afterwards.

Another way to maintain the trap is by pouring bleach down the sink drain and letting it sit for ten minutes. This kills the bacteria that have grown deep in the trap.

A third way of maintaining a trap is by snaking it from time to time to remove clogs that have accumulated down it. If you do not have a drain snake, you can do the steps stated above or call a plumber if you do not have enough time to do them.