2 Important P-Trap Removal Tips

Posted on: 17 April 2015

If you have a clog in one of your sinks, then you may try to use a plunger, snake, or a commercial clog remover to get rid of the formation.  If these methods do not force the clog loose, then you may need to remove the p-trap underneath the sink.  This trap sits underneath your sink so that dangerous sewer gasses do not force their way up and into your home.  The trap is also the perfect shape to collect larger pieces of dirt and debris.  When you remove the trap from your sink, make sure to remember the tips listed below to make your life easier.

Do Not Lose Rubber Gaskets

When you start to remove the p-trap underneath your kitchen or bathroom sink, you will usually have an easy time releasing the fitting that connects the p-trap to the long and straight plumbing sections.  A regular wrench or a plumbing wrench can help you remove the fitting, and so can a specialized plumbing tool called a strap wrench.  Once you remove the fitting, you will notice a small plastic o-ring or gasket that sits inside the piece.  Do not lose it, because this piece creates a tight seal that keeps water from leaking out of the fitting.

Before you secure the gasket, make sure that it is solid and free of nicks and other damage before you replace it.  If the device is in a state of disrepair, then purchase a new one.  You will need to bring the o-ring or gasket to your local hardware store to find the correct sized replacement.  O-rings can be made out of a variety of materials, like silicone, nitrile, propylene, polyurethane, vitron, teflon, and rubber.  For plumbing purposes, rubber is your best option.

If you have lost the o-ring or if you have decided that a replacement is necessary, then put your sink back together while you purchase the piece.  You can temporarily prevent leaks by securing a layer of self-adhering silicone tape.  Stretch the tape out as much as you can when applying it to the plumbing section and add three or four layers of the material.  When you are ready to replace the o-ring, use a razor blade to cut the tape away.

Wear Protective Gear

You can place a bucket underneath the p-trap as you loosen the plumbing fitting, so the dirty water and the clog drops directly into the container.  The water and the clog are likely to splash up into your face though.  This can cause a great deal of damage to your skin if you have used commercial drain cleaners to try to remove the clog.  These cleaners contain hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid, lye, or sodium hydroxide.  Hydrochloric acid has a pH value of zero, while sulfuric acid has a value of one.  Lye and sodium hydroxide have pH values that are extremely high on the scale with values of thirteen and fourteen.  These extreme values mean that the chemicals are highly corrosive.

To make sure that you do not injure yourself, make sure to wear a pair of work gloves made out of neoprene, nitrile, rubber, or butyl materials.  All of these types of gloves offer good protection against the common chemicals used in clog removers.  Mare sure that the gloves you buy are elbow length.  Also, wear heavy fabrics like denim when completing the plumbing work to make sure that your skin is as protected as possible.  Denim is one of the most tightly woven materials you can wear, and this will prevent direct contact if a chemical splashes near you.

If you need to remove the p-trap from your drain to get rid of a highly congested clog, then make sure that you work to also keep o-ring connectors safe and keep yourself protected from chemicals. For more information, visit a website like http://lowryservices.com.

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