How to Replace a Kitchen or Bathroom Sink P-Trap | Shelly Rhoades’s Guide

Under your kitchen or bathroom sink, there is a pipe which consists of U-bend shape, but the other U-arm is bent in a horizontal manner. It is known as P-Trap. It looks like a simple trap in a plumbing system, but it has its own benefits which most of us don't perceive.

Some people think water should drain from the sink straight away.

They don't comprehend the curves like P-trap in it. However, the thing which they should know is it actually keeps their home safe and smelling clean. It has several purposes which other straight pipelines don't offer.

For example,

  • It prevents odor gas in plumbing drains. This is something which you can't have through a straight pipe. Besides, it is especially effective in the bathrooms. It doesn't let the smell rise up through the toilet and keep your bathroom in a fresh state.
  • It also doesn't let the clog form deep inside the plumbing system. Mostly, the issue stays inside the P-Trap. You don't have to worry about the main pipelines. All you need is to replace it or clean it to keep the water flowing freely.
  • It comes in both PVC pipe and steel. However, these days, you will often find it in the steel version. It looks more attractive and it is considered safe too. Besides, in the steel pipes, the issue is slow draining, not the leakage which is possible in the PVC pipes.

In case you are thinking about how this design actually works, it has two 90-degree joints.

Both of them play an immensely important role, because of their shape, to let the water flow back to the sink. The P-trap design pushes it towards the overflow pipe naturally.

Furthermore, the best thing about this design is there is often a small clean tap at bottom of it. In order to remove the clog, you don't have to open the entire pipeline. Just open the tap and clean out the clog it contains. It will make the draining system work properly again.

Should You Change the Material of P-Trap?

This is a very common question.

Especially, people with metal drainage pipes ask it a lot. Since metal P-trap corrodes. It is perhaps not the first time they are replacing it. It can compel them to invest in it time and time again. However, before you plan to change it, there are a few things you must know.

Well, first, if the sink is specifically made for metal pipes, you shouldn't change it. It isn't recommended. And, second, if PVC pipes don't corrode, they can have leakage issue.

So, in a way, the issue is on both sides.

If it is still necessary for you to change the material of your kitchen or bathroom sink P-trap, it is better to consult a professional plumber.

He is the one who can guide you in the right direction. In addition, after assessing the model of your sink, he will reveal whether it is possible or not.

Steps to Replace a Sink P-Trap

Below are a few steps to replace a sink p-trap.

Before we begin, make sure you have a small basket which you can place under the sink. It is because P-traps are filled with dirty water. Removing them can make the floor dirty.

So, place the basket under the P-trap so that it can contain the spills.

Step #1:

Disassemble the P-trap. You can do that comfortably by unthreading the slip nut at both ends of the trap. First, ensure that water valves are off. If there isn't any turn off option under the sink, you need to shut it off through the main pipeline. Otherwise, the water can run inadvertently and make the entire situation difficult for you.

Step #2:

Once it is removed, check whether the other sink plumbing pipes are old. If they are not in good condition, you need to change them as well. Otherwise, replacing the P-trap only won't work. Now, separate the components of it. This will assist in finding and buying the identical components from the hardware store. For example, there can be extensions, nuts, and fitting, that are required for replacing the P-trap.

Step #3:

Test fit the new p-trap to ensure that it is lining up perfectly with the tailpiece and wall pipe. Usually, it is fit and you don't need to touch anything, but sometimes you need to cut the length of the trap arm. It can be an issue if the material is steel. Therefore, always buy the right and exact size from the store. As it lines up perfectly, assemble the whole thing again in a reverse process.

Step #4:

After replacing it, turn on the sink faucet to check the leaks. In case there is any joint leak, tighten the nuts more. This will resolve the leakage issue.

Concluding Thoughts

Replacing a kitchen or bathroom sink P-trap doesn't require special plumbing knowledge.

Just remember to have necessary tools before replacing it, such as a screwdriver, hacksaw, tape measure, and pliers.

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