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Serving Bloomington, Champaign & surrounding areas

Serving Bloomington, Champaign & surrounding areas


Pipeworks Inc. Blog

Introducing the P-Trap

In our journey to be informative for our potential customers, friends, and neighbors, we’d like to talk about some important components of a plumbing system.

When faced with the decision of whether to call for drain cleaning in Champaign, IL, or to try and fix a drain clog yourself, it gets easier when you know how your plumbing system is set up.

This kind of information should be freely available, but the truth is that a lot of amateur plumbers don’t even know the basics behind how a drain system works and why things are set up in a certain way.

Talk to any home inspector or professional plumber and you’ll find out how common it is for these small mistakes to be made which end up ruining the space in someone’s home.

So, why does your drain look like a sideways letter P? It’s simple, but an answer that might give you insight on your next drain cleaning appointment.

The Function of a Drain System

Let’s start with the basics. Before we talk about science and how a P-trap works, we need to talk about the system that houses your P-trap, which is the drain itself.

Drains have been around since the beginning of human history. When we use fresh or clean water, we end up with wastewater that is contaminated with particles of food, oils, fats, greases, dirt, and other things.

These aren’t bad for the environment, in fact the environment loves these kinds of things, but drains are the method by which we take that wastewater and send it into a sewer, so it can go to a water treatment plant and head back into the environment.

Drains are just that–a pathway from your sink to the sewer system. Without them, we would just have sinks full of dirty water with nowhere to go.

The Anatomy of a P-Trap

You might be thinking to yourself, “how does my drain head all the way to a sewer system without stinking up my whole house?” That’s a great question, and it’s where the idea of the P-trap comes in.

P-traps are shaped like a sideways letter P with a small amount of liquid being trapped in the big “dip” of the pipe.

Due to some nifty physics, liquid is denser than gas, which means that the liquid at the bottom of your P-trap will stop sewer gases from reaching your kitchen or bathroom, naturally keeping things smelling nice and fresh.

When Routine Drain Cleaning Is Required

While the P-trap is perfect for trapping the right amount of liquid to stop sewer gases from coming up, it’s not designed to keep solids in that area. Solid waste, from hair to food particles, and ruin the whole process and get clogged in the dip of your system’s P-trap. This is where professional drain cleaning comes in.

We have the tools and training required to remove any and all drain clogging elements in a P-trap, or other section of your drain. And, we can do all of this without changing a thing about your plumbing system.

Contact Pipeworks Inc. for drain cleaning services you can trust.

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