How Plumbing Traps Work

You’ll notice a U- or S-shaped curved pipe coming down from the drain opening if you look beneath your kitchen or bathroom sink. The drain trap is this. Until you understand the function of this part, that may seem like an odd name for a plumbing part.


When a sink drains, a plumbing drain trap is designed to hold a small amount of water in the bottom of the curved portion of the trap, which seals the drain and prevents sewer gasses from escaping and entering your home. Every drain has a trap because any connection that leads to the drain system can also be a sewer gas outlet. Even your toilet’s porcelain configuration has an internal trap shape that serves the same purpose.


Strange Smells

If you notice a strange odor in a room with a drain, check to see if the trap is dry. The sewer gas can escape if a drain trap is dry, causing the odor. This is usually a simple fix that involves running water down the drain and refilling the trap with water. Hydrogen sulfide, also known as sewer gas, is produced when organic waste decomposes. The odor is mostly an annoyance; while a high concentration could cause health problems, this is unlikely.


Location of the Drain Trap

The drain trap is usually easy to locate. Standing water in your toilet, for example, indicates the presence of a drain trap. The curved shape of the drain through which the water exits can be seen on the backside of the toilet.


The drain trap is usually hidden in a cabinet under the sink in other plumbing fixtures, such as the kitchen or bathroom sink. The standing water is not visible when looking at the sink, but if you follow the drain lines, you can see the required U or S shape where the water is held to block the sewer gas.


Sink traps have the added benefit of catching small objects that fall down the drain and are relatively simple to remove. If you drop a ring or something valuable down the drain, don’t worry—it’ll most likely be safe in the trap. Hair, sand, and other debris are collected by traps, which also limit the size of objects that can pass through into the rest of the plumbing. Most traps can be disassembled for cleaning, or they may have a built-in clean-out feature.


Drain traps are also found in large plumbing fixtures such as showers, tubs, and washing machine drains, but they are hidden beneath the floor or behind walls, making them difficult to see. Traps in tubs and showers are more difficult to access, requiring either crawling under the house or cutting a hole behind the tub or shower and digging out the trap’s location. Washing machine drain traps are usually located in the wall, and accessing them necessitates cutting into the wall.


Maintenance of Drain Traps

To keep water in the traps, all drains should be used at least once every couple of weeks. Showers, toilets, tubs, showers, bathroom sinks, kitchen sinks, washing machine drains, and other fixtures are included. Allowing the trap to dry out will not harm you, but you may notice some unpleasant odors in your home.


Some people cover drain openings with plastic wrap before going on vacation or leaving the house for an extended period of time to prevent sewer gases from entering the house while the fixtures are not in use. A toilet can be turned off and emptied, and the toilet bowl can be loosely stuffed with a plastic bag if you go this route. Don’t forget about floor drains and shower drains; if you leave the house long enough for the standing water to evaporate out of the trap, a sheet of plastic placed over the drain and weighed down will seal the drain.


If you feel overwhelmed and need help finding Plumbing Services Near You, give us a call.


Smart Living Home Repair Services

244 Madison Avenue , #1019

New York, NY 10016

(888) 758-9103

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