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Plumbing Traps (And Why You Need Them)

You may have heard your plumber reference your grease traps, p-traps or s-traps before, but maybe you never knew what a plumbing trap actually does? Learn more below about how plumbing traps are used.

What is a plumbing trap?

Sewage waste systems produce some pretty putrid odors, and some of them can even be dangerous. A plumbing trap creates a barrier between the plumbing fixture and sewage waste system that protects us from those foul fumes!

How do plumbing traps work?

Every time a plumbing trap is used, it holds a small amount of liquid. The retained liquid, called a trap seal, prevents odors and gases from entering your living space. The most common type of plumbing trap is the p-trap, which is used it is used on kitchen, bathroom and laundry sinks.

Where are plumbing traps located?

Because any drain can lead to an outlet for sewer gases, there should be a trap located at every drain in your home.

What are the parts of a plumbing trap?

A plumbing trap is made up of a tailpiece, trap, and drain extension. The tailpiece runs from the sink drain to the P-trap, and the P-trap then connects to your drain extension, which extends from the end of the trap to the drainpipe outlet in the wall or floor. The trap itself is the curved section of pipe that holds the water, somewhat in the shape of the letter “p” oriented horizontally.

If a plumbing trap has become clogged, blocked, or lost its seal— it can cause leaking, unpleasant odors, and back-up. If you are experiencing problems with your plumbing trap(s), call ARS®/Rescue Rooter® today at 1-800-277-9400.
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