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How Does a Plumbing Trap Work?

Certified Plumbing of Brevard - January 28, 2022 - 0 comments

Many homeowners have no idea how most plumbing systems work, let alone specific plumbing parts. However, in particular, one device is helpful to know: the plumbing trap. This device is responsible for keeping plumbing systems running smoothly and keeping our homes safe.

What Is a Trap?

A trap is used to break the “cross-connection” that might happen between two drains or two plumbing systems if they were directly connected. If such a situation were allowed to continue, it would allow contaminated water from one system or drain into another, which could cause health problems for anyone using the cross-connected system.

What Is a P-Trap?

A p-trap is a simple plumbing device that prevents sewer gasses from entering homes. This device, also called a plumbing trap, can be found under almost every bathroom or kitchen sink in the United States.

How Does a P-Trap Work?

The way this plumbing device works is relatively straightforward. The p-trap has an “S” shaped curve in it, so when water flows down the drain, the curve creates a barrier preventing sewer gas from passing through to the inside of your home. Because it only allows the downward flow of water and nothing else, very few other substances are small enough to pass through the pipe walls into your home.

What Can Clog Plumbing Traps?

Over time, primarily if you use harsh chemicals like bleach or drain cleaners in your bathroom or kitchen sink, the p-trap can become clogged with small pieces of debris that are too big to pass through the drain. It’s essential not to use these substances in your plumbing system because they can corrode the inside of your p-trap and cause it to clog eventually.

Sometimes, tree roots or other vegetation invade an exterior plumbing line and make their way into the p-trap. These invading roots start growing within the curve of your pipe, trapping debris against it like a natural filter. Eventually, this build-up becomes so dense that water cannot flow freely down the drain anymore; therefore, sewer gas starts seeping into your bathroom or kitchen whenever you turn on your faucets. 

The best way to prevent tree roots from invading your exterior plumbing lines is by using black corrugated plastic piping instead of standard PVC piping through which water flows freely. This type of tubing is much less inviting for root growth than traditional white PVC because it restricts their access to moisture and oxygen.

How to Unclog a Plumbing Trap

If you have a p-trap that tree roots have invaded, the best way to get rid of them is with a plumber’s snake. A snake is a long, flexible metal cable that a plumber can feed into the p-trap. If clogged, the plumber will send it down your drain until he encounters roots. The plumber will then pull the snake back out of your line, winding up any vegetation attached to its end so you can see it for yourself. After this has been completed correctly, there shouldn’t be any debris left inside your plumbing trap to cause another clog in the future.

Got a Clogged Plumbing Trap?

It would help if you didn’t have to deal with unsafe living conditions because of a clogged plumbing trap. Let us take care of that for you today! 

Certified Plumbing of Brevard is here to help. We are a full-service, family-owned, and family-operated company providing the highest quality service in Brevard County for over 30 years. Our team of highly trained professionals will be able to solve any problem you may have with your home or business plumbing system. We offer 24/7 emergency services and free estimates on all new installations and repairs.

If you’re looking for fast, reliable service from a trusted plumber, reach out to us. Contact Certified Plumbing now by calling (321) 676-0812 or clicking here. We’re excited to hear from you and happy to assist you with your needs today!

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