Saturday, March 22, 2008

Texino vs The P Trap

 That thing is called a P Trap.  If you have a drain in your home you have one.  If you kitchen sink is slow to drain there is likely an obstruction in the U shape part. In the old days before PVC a plunger tool might be a help, however if you have PVC (plastic) pipes coming out of your sink, a plunger is not a good idea and here's why.  There will be a pipe coming out of your sink  and another pipe will go between it and the part of the P trap thats sticking straight up in the air.  OK?  Fine.  Now all that is holding that pipe to the bottom of your sink is a plastic washer that holds a plastic nut that screws onto one end of the connecting pipe and then the same thing happens at the bottom.  Now everything gets right and tight but are no threads on the piece of pipe coming from the sink just the washer is holding it by compression.  A good hefty plunge can pop that sucker lose and give you a sink full of water right underneath in the cabinet.  Ugh.  Speaking of sinks full, I should add that there is always water in the P trap because not only is it used for catching diamond rings and such, but it also serves to keep poisonous sewer gases from coming in through the pipes and killing you.  I am telling you about the water because the very best way to clear up the drain situation is to simply take the P trap out and clean the junk out or it.
Your modern P trap can be handled by simply unscrewing the plastic  nuts an making sure you have something to catch any excess water remove the U shaped part and take it out sir and run a hose though it till it is clear.  Then replace the washers and put it back together.  They sell all the stuff at the hardware store and a P trap replacement is pretty much a one trip deal.  Some of you may have a chrome plated brass P trap.  It will be held in place by nuts but they will take a monkey wrench or slip joint pliers to get loose.  They may have washers, but teflon tape is a must here.  Just wrap some around the threads and you will not have to over tighten the nuts and damage the washers.  It is important to understand that when you see mental pipes you may be dealing with professional plumbing which is hard work and requires special tools.  So be prepared to make at least three trips to the hardware store if metal is involved, and you might as well get a couple of things to keep handy.  One, a water shutoff tool. Its a metal bar with a t handle that lets you shut off the water at you meter because you various valves are probably corroded and if you break one it will be easy to fix if the water is not spraying all over.
You also need two pipe wrenches, a gee flash or work light, some kind of propane torch and a big long lighter for relighting water heaters.  Those things and a tool for undoing the plastic nuts on flexible supply tubing for toilets and sinks and you are ready to plumb.  You would be surprised what you can do.  I got my dual sinks draining like Niagara falls and in only cost me .29 cent for each washer.  Less that $5.

So even if you are suffering from strange medication changeover.  Don forget. Fixing stuff is what we are good at, so before you spend huge money ask me or just google what you want to do and do it.


Ms. Moon said...

Thanks, Texino! Now I know how to fix my drains- call you.

myuglyface said...

Be sure to don low cut hip hugger trousers before tackling any plumbing project so as to affect the authentic "plumber's crack" look.