In the United States of America, every home should have a trap on their drains. The trap is one of the most important parts of your home plumbing system. It’s also one of the most often forgotten when DIY plumbers try to replace pipes without understanding what the trap does.
Where does the trap come from
In 1775 a British inventor by the name of Alexander Cummings invented the first modern plumbing trap. His trap featured an S-shaped bend in the pipes that was later updated the U-shape by Thomas Cooper in 1880. Cooper was in London at the time and the river Thames was being used as a sewer. Because the smell was disturbing the members of the Houses of Parliment London soon adopted a closed sewage system and drain traps became incredibly popular.
But, what does the trap do
The trap in your plumbing system exists for one reason. To make your house smell better. It’s surprisingly simple. The bend in the pipe literally traps water in your pipes and prevent your home from backfilling with sewer gases. The more common trap you can find these days is the P-trap. As opposed to the original S-trap, the P-trap makes drain cleaning a lot easier and helps your drains work more efficiently. The P-trap features a curved pipe connected to a straight pipe, which leads into your drainage stack. The original S-trap had the water follow an S shape in the pipes which would cause a significant build-up of materials and make drain cleaning difficult.
Commercial plumbing services will work with the plumbing system installed in your home. And whether they are offering leak repair or drain cleaning, they will inform you if your home is missing this vital component. Actually, on average 10% of homes in the US have leaky plumbing systems which waste more than 90 gallons of water per day. If you have a leaking pipe calling a professional is important. When you DIY something as important as plumbing you can miss things, like the sink trap, which will ultimately end up costing you more in the long run. Not having a trap in your home isn’t a call for an emergency plumber, but it is something you want to take care of as soon as possible. Drain traps improve your home air quality and the effectiveness of your drain system.