You may have noticed that curved section of drain pipe located under your kitchen and bathroom sinks. What you may not know is that it’s designed with the curve for a reason. The curve traps water that keeps sewer gases from entering the home. It’s called the p-trap.
All works well until the p-trap becomes clogged, which it can be, from any accumulation of foreign substances, be it hair, coagulated soap, lotion and other liquids poured down the drain, hair pins, whatever. So here’s how to find out if you have a p-trap clog, and what to do about it.
Getting Rid of Drain Clogs
Drain clogs can occur from a number of sources, and be located anywhere along the course of the drain pipe. Try dislodging simple clogs by pouring half a cup of baking soda followed by half a cup of vinegar down the drain. Leave it for five minutes, then rinse it with warm water.
If the clog is still there, try using an instrument called a drain snake to loosen the clog so you can flush it away with water.
If it’s still there, you may need to remove and clean the p-trap.
Removing p-traps is not difficult. First, assemble a few things: latex gloves, a couple of old towels and wash cloths, a plastic bucket and adjustable pliers.
Place the bucket under the pipe. Loosen the nuts that hold it in place with the pliers, removing it carefully as you allow the water and sludge inside to drain into the bucket. If you need extra time to clean the pipe so it’s free of sludge, wet one of the rags and stuff it in the drain next to the wall so sewer gases don’t escape in the house. Dry off the section of pipe and replace it, carefully tightening the nuts so you don’t strip the threads. Water should flow easily through the drain pipe now.
Want to learn more about the p-trap? Contact Aggressive Mechanical Contractors. We’ve been family owned and operated in Monmouth County for three generations.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Monmouth County, New Jersey and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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