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Removing Clogs By Cleaning The P-Trap

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It is not an uncommon problem to have drains that clog up and drain very slowly. A clog in a sink can happen in a bathroom or kitchen sink when you are trying to brush your teeth or wash your hands and the sink will not drain quickly enough. Sometimes these issues may be serious enough that you will have to call in a plumber to fix the problem. Other times, you may be able to fix the clog without calling a plumber. One common place for clogs to occur below a sink is in the p-trap. This is a simple fix and one that most people can complete on their own.

How to Clean a P-trap

  1. What is a p-trap? The p-trap is a curved piece of piping that pools water so that gases from the sewer cannot enter through the plumbing. However, because they are curved, they can also trap hair, dirt, and other debris.

  2. Turn off the water. The first thing you will want to do is to turn off the water to the sink. There are usually 2 knobs under the sink that you can turn all the way off by simply twisting them.

  3. Remove the p-trap. Fortunately, it is quite simple to remove the p-trap for clogs. Simply go under the sink and find the p-trap. It will be the curved pipe that is secured by two nuts that you should be able to easily remove. You may need a monkey wrench if your hands are not able to undo the nuts. The p-trap will then come out of place and can be completely removed.

  4. Clean the p-trap. Once the p-trap is removed, you will be able to see if there is anything clogging it. If so, you can run it under water and use a hanger, screwdriver or other object to dislodge the clog. You can use warm soapy water to clean the p-trap and then replace it. This will often get rid of the clog and fix the problem.

Of course, there are the other common ways of trying to fix your drain. Using a vinegar and baking soda mix, using a hanger, and trying a drain cleaner may do the trick, but they often fall short. If the p-trap also falls short, it may be time to hire a professional plumber that can come in and isolate the clog and take care of it.


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