AugerPros Plumbing Blog

What is a P-Trap?


What is a P-trap? P-traps are part of your sink plumbing. Found under kitchen and bathroom sinks, these question-mark-shaped pieces of plumbing serve an important purpose…They prevent odorous gas in plumbing drains and sewers from rising up through a toilet, sink or floor drain into a home or business. It is made of either PVC or Stainless Steel.

How the P trap got its name?

A P-trap gets its name because it combines two 90 degree joints with a horizontal overflow pipe and gives the entire unit the shape of the letter “P.” One of the 90 degree joints exits the drain of the sink and then is joined to another which contains a water seal system that allows for water to flow into the overflow pipe, but not to flow backward toward the sink. 

What does a Plumbing P-Trap do?

  • They help protect against Loss of Valuables: Not designed to be their main purpose-although super helpful, if wedding rings, necklaces, or other small, treasures accidentally slip into the sink drain, the P-trap may catch these valuables.
  • They stop toxic sewer gases from leaking into your home: Structurally designed to prevent sewer gases from rising up from pipes into your home. Prolonged exposure to these gases, which can include methane, hydrogen sulfide, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, ammonia, and more, are much more than just a smelly disgusting frustration. Prolonged exposure can cause health problems such as headaches, fatigue, irritability, loss of appetite, memory issues, light-headedness, sinus infections, bronchitis, and even pneumonia. Exposure at high levels, such as those found in city sewers and sewer plants can be fatal, however, levels this high are typically not found in residences. If you notice a sulfurous ‘rotten egg’ smell in your home – Call a plumber to get to the bottom of it.
  • Prevents Clogs & Traps Debris: If you notice a slow drain, it is likely that the P-trap has collected debris to become clogged. To prevent food waste, hair, and other things from further clogging up your plumbing system, the bottom of the P-trap contains a small cleanout used to clear clogs the P-trap has contained. More often than not, you can remove these with a plunger. However, if those pesky clogs won’t get unstuck, it may be time to call a plumber who can jet the line with high pressure to get that bugger unclogged.

Call Auger Pros Plumbing & Drain Today at 214-206-6580 if you have a stubborn clog!