What Is A Kitchen Plumbing P-Trap

The Kitchen Plumbing P-Trap Explained

If you've ever encountered problems with your sink's drain, you've probably heard the term "P-trap" thrown around here and there. While the P-trap is a simple device, few homeowners understand how it works and why it matters. Here's a quick overview of P-traps that you can reference when sink-related plumbing issues arise.

What Is a P-Trap in Plain English?

In a nutshell, a P-trap is a U-shaped bend in the waste pipe that connects a sink's drain to a home's septic tank or to a municipal sewer system. Under normal circumstances, P-traps always contain a certain amount of water much like the trapway of a toilet.

Why Are P-Traps So Important?

The most critical task of the P-trap is to prevent noxious gases such as methane from making their way into a home. P-traps also allow homeowners to quickly and easily recover small items that fall down the drain. Long story short, P-traps are an integral part of responsible modern plumbing design.

P-Trap Problems You're Likely to Encounter

By far the most common issue associated with P-traps is the accumulation of debris in the bend. Over time, things like hair, food, grease and mineral deposits build up and reduce the diameter of the drain pipe. Eventually, the drain will clog up and have to be thoroughly cleaned out.

The other big problem with P-traps is that they can eventually vent sewer gases into a living area. This usually occurs because the water in the P-trap evaporates over the course of several weeks and isn't around to capture expanding gases. Fortunately, this problem can be remedied by periodically running water through drains that are seldom used.

3 P-Trap Cleaning Techniques

If you have a sink that's draining slowly, the simplest way to deal with the problem is by running a drain cleaner through the pipes. Drain cleaners attack and destroy grease or mineral deposits on the walls of a pipe to increase water flow through the P-trap assembly.

Another great way to deal with a fully or partially clogged drain is running a "snake" through the conduit to dislodge obstructions. Snakes are simply flexible cables that are inserted into drains for the purposes of scraping pipe walls. Good snakes have a handle on them that allow users to rotate the cable to grind off deposits.

If a chemical cleaner or a snake won't clear a clogged pipe, physically removing the P-trap and cleaning it by hand is the only solution. Once removed, P-traps should be scoured thoroughly to ensure that waste water flows through efficiently. Care must be taken when reinstalling the P-trap to guarantee that no seals or PVC welds leak.

What to Do When P-Trap Problems Arise

When drainage issues plague a sink in your home, it's likely that a P-trap problem is to blame. Bringing in an a local Denver plumber to assess and rectify the situation is highly recommended. Doing so will save you time and money when all is said and done.

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How Much Can A Low Flow Toilet Save Me

How Much Can I Save By Using A Low Flow Toilet?

Investing in a low-flow toilet saves water and money. You may think that a low-flow toilet will not flush as good as your old toilet. But the truth is that the low-flow toilet today does not resemble the original model that was first manufactured in 1994. At that time, a low-flow toilet used less than 2 gallons per flush while a standard toilet might have used up to 7 gallons. Unfortunately, the small amount of water used in low-flow toilets performed in an inefficient manner.

Step into the Modern World Filled with High-Efficiency Toilets

Today, low-flow toilets flush with a greater sense of accuracy even though they still do not use excessive amounts of water. Consequently, think about purchasing a high-efficiency toilet (HET) when it is time to update your bathroom. You may save at least $90 on your water bill every year. If you have several bathrooms, multiply the $90 in annual savings for each toilet.

Shop for a Toilet Bearing an Approved WaterSense Label

Shopping for the right HET toilet is easy when you look for a WaterSense label identifying the toilet as a certified HET receptacle. The WaterSense certification means that an independent laboratory certified the toilet. Each HET toilet has a specific Maximum Performance (MaP) rating. The MaP figure lets you know if the toilet's low-flush also removes waste in an acceptable way. For instance, you can find toilets with MaP ratings as low as 250 grams and as high as 1,000 grams. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the minimum acceptable number equals 350 grams while the gold standard number equals more than 500 grams.

Select your Preferred Flush Option

Similar to an older low-flow toilet, an HET toilet has various flush mechanisms. Each flush option has a different price tag and noise level. Plus, you need to decide how much of an impact you want your toilet to make on the environment. A gravity-flush toilet features the standard type of flush mechanism relying on the water's weight. A pressure-assist toilet relies on compressed air created at the top of the toilet tank. Unlike the gravity-flush option, a pressure-assist mechanism increases its flush capabilities based on the amount of compressed air. Plus, the pressure-assist option performs each flush with less than 1 gallon of water.

The drawback associated with a pressure-assist flush is that its annoying sound is too loud, especially for youngsters. If you do not want to hear a noisy sound each time the toilet flushes, choose a gravity-flush HET toilet. You can also find tankless HET toilets. An example is the Kohler Hatbox toilet that flushes via an electric pump in lieu of gravity or pressure. The problem with this type of toilet is that you need to use electricity every time you press the flush button. Plus, the toilet is more expensive to maintain.

Consider the Amount of Money you will Save on an Annual Basis

If you want to cut down on the amount of water used in your household, a new HET toilet will help you reach your goal. Boasting approximately 27% less usage, you will save an admirable amount of money on your utility bill each month. With an average life span exceeding 20 years, you may eventually end up with an additional $2,000 in your savings account. Furthermore, the city or state in which you reside may offer a special discount or rebate if you purchase an HET toilet. Some cities even provide homeowners with free HET toilets. Nonetheless, you will use less water in comparison with your older toilet that does not offer a low-flow feature.

Think About Installing a Dual-Flush HET Toilet

Additionally, you have the option to install a dual-flush HET toilet featuring two flush buttons on the toilet's tank. You can select the half flush button or the full flush button. If the toilet only contains liquid, choose the half flush option. Otherwise, select the full flush button. Caroma is a toilet manufactured in Australia featuring two flush buttons. In Australia, the law stipulates that HET toilets must feature two flush options. The Caroma brand has also been sold in the United States for about 10 years and currently features approximately 12 different dual-flush designs.

Remember to do your Research

Look at online reviews before you buy a toilet. Read about different models and maintenance costs. Study positive and negative reviews. Check out the prices at various online vendors. Calculate the shipping costs and read the vendor's policy regarding returns. You can also buy a more elegant model for an additional price. However, remember that your new toilet is designed to last a long time. Accordingly, choose an HET toilet featuring practicality, convenience and appearance so that every person in your family enjoys the luxury of a modern receptacle. When you've got your new toilet and are ready to have it installed, give our Denver plumbing company call and schedule a plumber to come out!

The 3 Best Types of Plungers

The 3 Best Types of Plungers

Clogged drains are a common problem that most people in Denver can solve on their own without professional assistance. There are a wide range of home remedies available for unclogging drains in Denver, but using a plunger is the most popular method. With the exception of the initial purchase price, there are no costs associated with using a plunger. Additionally, plungers can release tough clogs if you are willing to put in the elbow grease necessary to fix your drain.

If you are facing a challenging clog in your home, you should compare some of the plungers that are available to decide which product is likely to be effective in your situation.

Cup Plunger

Cup plungers are the most common plungers found in today's homes. You can buy a cup plunger for only a couple of dollars at local discount stores. Cup plungers are most widely used for unclogging toilets because they have a long handle that allows you to push your body weight into a clog that is at floor level. You can also use cup plungers to remove certain types of bathtub clogs, but these plungers are not effective for removing hair that tends to build up over time in bathtubs. Additionally, cup plungers are not ideal for fixing clogged sinks because their design does not enable you to apply much pressure to elevated drains.

Accordion Plunger

As with cup plungers, accordion plungers feature a long stick with a plunging mechanism attached to one end. Accordion plungers are, however, more advanced than conventional cup plungers. Engineers have designed accordion plungers for maximum water output to enable you to push more water into a clogged drain. When a higher volume of water is pressed into a drainage pipe, the chances of a clog being successfully removed increase exponentially. Accordion plungers are ideal for unclogging toilets because their narrow design enables them to fit snugly around the entry hole of a toilet drain.

Flange Plunger

Flange plungers combine the best features of both cup plungers and accordion plungers to give you optimal versatility and maximum plunging power. Although cup plungers have a similar look, flange plungers include an elongated rubber flap that enables more pressure to be forced into a clogged drain. Unlike with ordinary plungers that dissipate pressure into the area around a drainage pipe, flange plungers make it difficult for water to escape when it is pressed down into a drain. More pressure, therefore, is applied directly to a clog, and this makes it easier to remove stubborn debris.

How To Improve Plunging

When using a plunger, ensure that it is completely submerged in water before pressing down into a drain. Moreover, you should always press a plunger down at the same angle as your drain to avoid losing valuable plunging force. In many cases, you will need to plunge a drain dozens of times before you finally start to get results. You may, however, come upon a tough clog that no plunger can remove. For the most difficult clogs, you should get in touch with our Denver plumbing specialists for a professional solution.