When one drain in your home is clogged, there is a good chance the clog might be located in the p-trap of the drain. A p-trap is an important part of all drains, yet it can also be a troublesome area when it comes to the way a sink drains. Here are several things you should know about p-traps and clogs.
What is a p-trap?
A p-trap is a pipe found below most sink drains and tubs, and it is designed to help trapped sewer gases leave your home. A p-trap is shaped like a "U" and is easy to find if you look below your sink. This shape causes a gap between your drain and the pipes that transfer the waste water out of your home. There should be a small amount of water in a p-trap at all times, because this is what stops sewer gases from rising up and coming into your home through the drain.
Why do clogs commonly occur in p-traps?
Clogs can easily occur in p-traps because of their shape. These pipes drop down slightly, which means water must go down them and back up for it to exit your home. Over time, debris can build up in the traps, and this can eventually lead to a clogged drain. You can try to prevent this by limiting the amount of debris that enters into your drains. A good way to do this is by keeping screens over your drains.
How can you fix the clogs?
If you have a clogged drain, you can check to see if the clog is in the p-trap by removing it. When you do this, place a bucket under the trap before unscrewing it. Next, unscrew the pipes and remove the p-trap. If you do this and discover debris in the trap, you have most likely found the problem. You can then clean the trap out and put it back in place. After that, turn on your faucet to see if the water is now freely flowing. If so, you have fixed the problem.
Fixing a clog in a p-trap is not overly difficult; however, there are times when clogs occur further down the line past the p-trap. If so, you may not be able to fix it yourself. If you are in this situation, contact a company that offers plumbing services to come to your home and clean your drain clog.