Plumbing Traps: Their Purpose & Importance

San Jose Plumber working on P-trap under sink

Plumbing Trap Basics

A Plumbing Trap, or P-trap as it is commonly referred, is the u-shaped bend in the pipe under most sinks. This trap stops sewer gasses from passing back up the pipes and entering your home. These include methane gas (which is explosive) and hydrogen sulfide gas (which carries potential health hazards).

An added benefit of the trap is that heavy objects like rings will usually get captured in them, thus preventing that gorgeous wedding set you accidentally knocked into an open sink drain from getting lost in the city sewer. But make no mistake: their main purpose is to trap the sewer gasses and prevent them from getting into your dwelling. For your home and your health, it is of the utmost importance that the traps are installed correctly and inspected for any issues.

Plumbing Trap Problems

Several problems can occur with (or without) P-Traps:

  • There is no P-trap. If there is no u-shaped bend in the pipe, there is no plumbing trap. This situation leaves the homeowner vulnerable to sewer gasses leaking into the home and significant clogs deep in the plumbing system, which may require major repairs.
  • Improperly installed P-traps. This problem often occurs when a dishwasher is added into the kitchen sink drain, allowing sewer gasses to enter the home through the dishwasher. Additionally, if it is not joined to the PVC pipe correctly to create a tight seal, leaks will occur.
  • Improper material used for P-traps. In a pinch, homeowners have used everything from rubber hoses to old metal cans to serve as P-traps. While these may be necessary short-term options at 2:00 am, in the long run your plumbing requires proper materials. You need to have a full plumbing repair as soon as possible. Luckily, Gogo Rooter is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for emergency plumbing issues.

San Jose Plumbing Repair Experts At Your Service

Gogo Rooter can address your P-trap problems and other plumbing needs. We have an A+ rating with the BBB and 5-star reviews from our satisfied customers. If you suspect your trap is clogged, call today at (408) 282-7026 to schedule an appointment.