Why S-Traps Are No Longer Used

A white pvc s trap pipe

Why S-Traps Are No Longer Used

The drain trap is an essential part of your plumbing system. Under your sink (as well as shower and toilet), you’ll see a curve in the pipe. This isn’t just to make it fit better but is a specific design to prevent sewer gas from being released back into your home. Without it, you could be exposed to a harmful pollutant.

Today, we use a p-trap, named for its shape. But the standard used to be a different shape called an s-trap. These devices are no longer used due to one crucial flaw.

How Drain Traps Work

Drain traps are used to stop the reverse flow of air within a pipe. The trap is a curve in the pipe, with one end extending upward into your drain and the other end extending horizontally and continuing into your main sewer or septic line.

The curve in between those ends collects water, which in turn creates a seal, holding back the air that may have gotten through.

The S-Trap’s Major Flaw

The S trap did this and usually worked, except the design, with one end going up to the drain and the other end creating a second curve by leading downward, could create a problem. The “s” design could cause a water siphon, removing the water built up in the curve, opening the seal, and allowing sewer gas to pass through.

This flaw is whys-traps are no longer allowed in plumbing code and should be replaced if you have one.

The P-Trap

P-traps, the modern upgrade, remove this issue by having the opposite end extrude horizontally, preventing siphoning of the water in the curve. Check your drains to ensure this design is present, and have a qualified plumber replace the trap if it isn’t.

The Gold Standard for Plumbing Service

Brownie's Septic and Plumbing, LLC has been central Florida’s trusted name in plumbing service for decades. Contact our team today at (407) 890-0116 to learn more about how we can help your home or business.

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