Learn How to Check a P-Trap for Clogs

Learn How to Check a P-Trap for ClogsTrap plumbing is an ingenious invention that’s been around for more than two centuries. Traps are bends in the plumbing that retain water, forming a seal and preventing sewer gases from connecting pipes from entering the home. There are U-, S- and J-shaped bends, but the one found under most sinks is the P-trap, which is a U-bend with a 90-degree fitting added to the outlet side.

Because of their location at the low point of the draining process, these traps tend to catch heavier objects that fall into the sink, like hairpins, jewelry or tweezers. The traps can also become a repository for dirt, hair and even sludgy deposits of soap and liquids such as lotion (which should never be dumped into the sink). Quite often, these foreign objects or the sludgy deposits can form a clog and stop up the drain.

Clogs in the Sink Drain

Sooner or later, most homeowners will have to deal with a clogged sink drain. If the clog is located closer to the drain opening, you may be able to dislodge it. Start by pouring a half cup of baking soda, followed by a half cup of vinegar. Let the mixture sit and bubble for a few minutes, then wash it down the drain with hot water. If that doesn’t work, try running a drain snake down the drain, rotating it to see if you can break up the clog. Sometimes you can catch materials from the clog on the snake or a coat hanger and pull the substances out of the drain.

Remove the P-Trap

If neither of the above remedies works, you may need to remove the p-trap. Put a bucket under the trap and loosen the nuts with adjustable pliers. Remove the nuts and empty the trap into the bucket. Stuff a wet cloth into the section of pipe near the walls so sewer gases don’t escape while you thoroughly clean out the trap.

To learn more about dealing with a p-trap clog, contact Geisel Heating, Air Conditioning and Plumbing. We’ve served Greater Cleveland for more than 75 years.

Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues. For more information about p-traps and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or give us a call at 440-345-8795.

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