What is a P-Trap?

When it comes to your home, knowing your plumbing system can come in handy. One of the basic pieces of the plumbing puzzle is the P-trap.

A P-trap is a drain line that has various functions. There are four basic facts you should know regarding a P-trap:

It Traps Debris: The "P" shaped piping traps the debris that gets down in the drain. The trap will prevent the pipes from becoming clogged with things like hair and food that may have been shoved down the drain.

It Filters the Water Source: Before the water hits your faucet, filtration happens. The P-trap filters out harmful gases and liquids from the sewage system.

The Function of the Seal: The sealant outlines the curve of the P-trap and is a vital piece of the system. The seal is the lifeline in the filtration process as the water moves to your faucets and sinks. If the seal ever becomes damaged or begins to corrode, harmful chemicals and gases can reach your faucet.

The Shape is Important: The P-trap was not designed to pay homage to the 16th letter of the alphabet. The shape was formatted to intentionally bring together two elbows or joints at a 90 degree angle. The elbows helps with the water flow and filtration process before it reaches your sink. The joints also help with making sure the backflow from your drain exits the tailpiece.

A Few Things to Remember

The P-trap is one of the most important pieces to your plumbing system. Its prevention of harmful chemicals and gases from reaching your sink is essential. Therefore, keeping it in good working order is important. You can do so by:

  • Sticking to Plastic: Metal P-traps do exist and can quickly corrode. Once a P-trap reaches corrosion, it damages the filtration seal and leaves the drain prone to harmful debris, liquids, and gases.
  • Replacing It: If you start to notice a distinct smell or see that your P-trap is damaged, replace it. It is better to be safe than sorry.
  • Cleaning It: Solids and other debris do get caught in the filtration system. Eventually, this will cause a clog and can create a backup. Use a plug to clean out the pipe, and if the problem still persist, it may be time to replace it.

Remember, when in doubt, it is best to call a professional. Having routine maintenance done on your plumbing system will keep your P-trap functioning well. To get a better feel for what your local options are, consider looking into the websites of local professionals, such as http://www.alliedme.com.