That u-shaped piece of pipe under your sink is called a p-trap. They can get clogged which requires replacing or cleaning out the p-trap.
Since you are already pulling it out, you should install a no-clog p-trap so you won’t ever have to worry about the replacing or fixing your p-trap again.
What is a P-Trap
A p-trap has two purposes:
First, to allow the water from the sink to flow out and keep noxious gas from coming in, and second, to catch items that might go down the drain (wedding rings) before they are swept away.
Over time this p-trap can become plugged with hair, dirt, and other debris and the sink will start to drain very slowly.
There is a new product we saw at this year’s International Builders Show called the PermaFLOW. This p-trap promises keep your drain and pipes clear from debris by implementing a dial that you can turn externally which moves a paddle inside that will help clear your p-trap if it’s clogged.
It’s also clear so you can see if you’ve got missing rings or valuables that may have fallen down the drain without tearing apart your plumbing.
If you don’t have a Permaflow you have other options to clear your p-trap or replace it.
Draino or liquid plumber can sometimes help dislodge a small blockage but a better option is to use a snake or something called a Zip-it. We don’t recommend using a plunger as that can push the blockage deeper into your plumbing. When you’ve exhausted these options you should check out the p-trap.
In less than an hour, you can remove the trap, clean it, and re-install it.
Follow these steps to replace your p-trap
- Turn off the shut-off valves to water.
- With a bucket underneath, remove the p-trap by loosening slip nuts at both ends. Be careful not to twist or turn the pipe arm that runs from the wall.
- Install new p-trap by tightening slip nuts at each end from the sink to the wall.
- Turn the shut-off valves back on.
- Turn on the faucet and check for leaks.