What Is A P-Trap & How Does It Work?

Plumbing Traps

As the name implies, p-traps, or plumbing traps, are shaped like the letter “p”, combining two 90-degree joints with a horizontal overflow pipe. One of these joints exits the drain of the sink and is joined to another containing a seal system that allows water to flow into the pipe but not flow back into the sink.

What Do P-Traps Do?

P-Traps, have a few different functions. First, they prevent harmful sewer gases and odors from entering your home by forming a water barrier within the trap.

Second, they are designed to trap debris from plumbing fixtures before they form clogs that make their way further down your sewer line. P-traps are most often installed under bathroom and kitchen sinks.

Lastly, if your wedding ring slips off your finger and down your bathroom sink, there is a chance the p-trap caught your valuable so you can retrieve it.

Why Does My P-Trap Smell?

Unused or improperly vented p-traps can cause a sewer smell in your home. If you begin to smell a sewer odor, a good place to start pinpointing the location of the smell is checking all drains that contain a p-trap. These include kitchen sinks, bath sinks, shower drains, floor drains and toilets. 

A p-trap must have a supply of water flowing fairly regularly through it in order to do its job. In most instances, a sewer smell comes from a p-trap that has lost its water. So once you find the drain that is the source of the sewer smell, it’s an easy fix to correct it. Simply run the water for a few minutes or pour a gallon of water down the drain to fill it back up. Then, you should notice the smell will disappear. 

Get Help From Drain Experts!

If you have any questions about p-traps, suspect you have one that’s clogged, or need drain cleaning services in the Crete, IL area, call the experts at Reid & Pederson Drainage today!

South Suburbs
NW Indiana
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