Ideas On How To Replace A Trap – Checking for Leaks and Drainsramish / May 15, 2018
A slow draining sink or tub can be very annoying. More often than not, the problem causes itself to get worse with time. The fact is most slow drain problems can be fixed without having to call a plumber.
Let’s take a look at a bathroom sink with a very slow drain. A bathroom sink has to deal with a lot of things besides soap and water. Hair from shaving and brushing goes down the drain. Tissue paper may find its way into the drain, as well as toothpaste caps (and even tooth brushes). Kitchen sinks are the most commonly used (and clogged) sinks. They have other factors like grease build up and food. The same techniques apply there as well.
Under the Sink
Open up the cabinet and take a look under the sink. Note any water stains. If the cabinet is in terrible condition due to water damage, replace it before you work on the sink. Water stains alone don’t merit replacing the cabinet, but if the wood is crumbly, consider changing out the unit.
Fixing Slow Drains A typical trap like this is what you’ll find under the sink. The purpose of a trap is to prevent gas from coming back into the room from the sewer line. A small amount of water remains in the trap to seal off any gas. When you turn on the faucet, gravity forces the water through the trap and down the drain. When you turn off the faucet, the water in the trap equalizes and seals, preventing air from passing through the trap.
Removing the Trap
Get a small bucket that will fit underneath the pipes. Put it in place before you loosen the fittings. This will catch the water that is trapped in the pipe. Because of the bending in the pipe, the trap is the most common place for debris to collect. Compression rings are used to seal the pipes. You’ll probably want to pickup some new ones at a hardware store so that you can replace the old ones.
Loosen the fitting and slide it away from the joint. You’ll need to remove the fittings from both ends of the J bend. Then slide the bend down and off of the main drain pipe. Inspect the bend and remove any debris. It’s also a good idea to run hot water through it; not with the faucet you’re working on ;).
Empty your bucket down the toilet and put it directly under the main drain. If you can’t see down the drain (because of the stopper) you can turn the water on slightly and make sure it flows easily down the straight drain.
Replacing the Trap
If you found a lot of debris, you’ve probably fixed your slow drain problem by removing it. Typically, in all sorts of water systems, the steps to apply is to replace the compression rings by taking careful note of the direction of the angles. The fitting slides on first, then the ring. Slide the J bend back onto the main drain pipe and then line up the other end. Bring the compression ring into contact with the J bend and then tighten the fitting. If you have PVC parts, be careful not to over tighten, as they can crack easily.
Checking for Leaks
Leave the bucket in place just in case, and turn the water on. Have a dry towel handy to wipe the pipes dry and check for any leaks. You have to follow any water lines to their source. Pipes may drip in one place, but actually leak in another, so follow inspect carefully. If water is leaking from a fitting, tighten it a little more and wipe it dry. If it continues to leak, disassemble the junction and reassemble it. If you don’t have any leaks, congratulations!
If this did not fix your slow leak problem then the problem is further down the pipe chain. This may require a snake. A snake is a tool that extends down the pipe and is twisted to clean out any debris. We’ll discuss that topic in another article.