Checking the P-Trap for ClogsThe traps in your plumbing perform an important function. Traps are the curved section of the drain pipe — S-shaped, U-shaped or J-shaped — that hold on to a small amount of the water that goes down the drain. The water forms a seal and blocks sewer gases from entering through the drain.

P-traps are U-shaped, and are the type that you can see under a sink; traps in other plumbing may be located where they are not visible. When the p-trap becomes clogged, it’s within most homeowners’ abilities to remove the clog. Here’s how.

Cleaning Out the P-trap

If your drain is slow and you’ve tried clearing it with a drain snake and it’s still clogged, try removing the P-trap.

You’ll need a plastic bucket, rubber gloves, some towels or wash cloths and something to clean out the trap.

Loosen the nuts at both ends of the trap. Remove the section and empty water and anything else in the pipe into the bucket, mopping up around the bucket as you work. You may want to stuff a wet rag into the section of open pipe that enters the wall to keep sewer gases from emerging into the home. Clean out the pipe thoroughly before replacing it. Be sure to reattach the nuts carefully so that you don’t strip the threads.

Keeping the Drain Clear

The best way to keep the drain clear is not to put anything in it. Keep a strainer on it if possible so that you don’t allow any foreign objects to fall into the drain inadvertently. Hair pins, tweezers and jewelry can fall into the drain and cause clogs.

Hair, soap and other gunk can collect in a p-trap and form a clog.

Periodically clean your drain by adding a half cup of baking soda and a half cup of vinegar. Let it bubble for a bit, then rinse the drain with hot water.

To learn more about your p-trap and how to check them for clogs, contact Team Bob’s Heating Cooling Plumbing. We serve Traverse City and the surrounding area.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Traverse City, Michigan and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about P-traps and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 231-714-6196.

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