What Is a P-Trap?

When you use your kitchen or bathroom sink, you probably don’t think about all the parts that help this plumbing fixture do its job. However, knowing about these various parts and how they work can be helpful.

One of the most vital components is the “P-trap,” which is that sleek, u-shaped pipe beneath your sink. You’ll find the P-trap connects your kitchen or bathroom sink drain to your municipal sewer system or septic tank. This simple device is usually hidden beneath your cabinet and far out of sight, but it has an important job that’s worthy of your attention.

So, what is the purpose of a P-trap? Let’s answer this question and more below!

What Is the Purpose of a P-Trap?

P-traps are the new standard for bathroom and sink drains. Some older homes may still have S-traps, which are shaped more like an “S” than a “P.” However, these S-traps have been prohibited by most plumbing codes.

Now that you know what a P-trap is, you’re probably wondering what it’s supposed to do. Simply put, a P-trap works by preventing smelly and harmful sewer gases from entering your home. The P-trap is meant to contain a small amount of water at all times. This water seal creates a barrier between your living space and the sewer system.

P-Traps & Preventing Drain Blockages

Although a P-trap stops sewer gases from bubbling up your drain, it also has another responsibility. You might be pleased to know that this small but mighty device can also help prevent a severe clog in your drain line.

P-traps typically contain small cleanouts that allow you to remove any debris that may have collected inside it over time. This is incredibly helpful, as all you have to do is empty the cleanout, and the water flow should be restored. There’s no reason to worry if your P-trap doesn’t have a cleanout. Removing the P-trap to clean it out is also an option.

Of course, you don’t have to handle drain blockages alone. If you don’t feel comfortable removing or cleaning the P-trap, don’t hesitate to contact our plumbers for a professional drain cleaning in Greensboro, NC.

What Happens When a P-Trap Is Clogged?

Now that you know what a P-trap is and how it works, you may be worried about a clog appearing out of the blue. Fortunately, there are various warning signs that indicate that a blockage is present.

For starters, you’ll most likely notice that the water isn’t draining out of your bathroom or kitchen sink. There’s a good chance that standing water will collect in your sink, as the water will have nowhere to go. You might also notice foul odors coming from the affected drain.

Your P-trap can also experience other problems that may require your attention. As we mentioned, the purpose of a P-trap is to contain a small amount of water to stop sewer gases from entering your home. Unfortunately, the P-trap can also become dry over time, which makes preventing sewer gases from rising up an impossible task.

Fortunately, you can fix a dry P-trap relatively quickly. In most cases, all you have to do is pour a gallon of water down the affected drain to restore the water seal. You can also prevent this problem by regularly running water from the tap.

Keep Your Plumbing Running Smoothly With the Pros!

“What is a P-trap?” If you were asking this question, hopefully, you now understand how this small but mighty plumbing device works. Knowing what the purpose of a P-trap is can help you keep up with its needs.

As you can see, your plumbing system has many components that allow your sinks, drains, and various other fixtures to work without a problem. Unfortunately, there may come a day when an issue appears. If that time has come, turn to Go Green Plumbing, Heating, & Air!

Our professional plumbers specialize in everything from repairs to water service in Greensboro, NC, and the surrounding areas. Whether you need help with your kitchen and bathroom sinks or your water lines, our experts will get the job done right. Contact us today!

Go Green Will Be Closed on Monday, September 4th for Labor Day. Emergency Services Are available for Members Only.