How Improper Trap Vent Installation Can Be A Plumbing Disaster

5 June 2017
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The plumbing underneath a sink is somewhat complex in its look but is rather easy to understand. Unfortunately, many homes have an improper trap vent installed. This is a problem that, while not dangerous, can be a major inconvenience. 

The Nature Of The Trap Vent

The trap vent underneath a sink is a crucial part of a home's plumbing system. It exists to trap a little bit of air and to keep water and gases from escaping the sewer. Think of the curved elbow pipe at the bottom of a sink's plumbing area. This area always has a little water in it to keep out gases. The trap vent hooks up near this area and works to keep that water from evaporating.

However, it was once common to install homes without this trap vent. While it isn't a home-threatening kind of plumbing mistake, it is one that can cause many different plumbing concerns. These are outlined below, as well as a repair procedure for this problem.

The Problems Of Improper Trap Venting

Early forms of trap vents were installed improperly because plumbers and home installers didn't realize the importance of the trap. Typically, a small section of pipe (the trap arm) must be connected to the curving pipe at the bottom by a T-connection pipe. The other two sections of the T-connection attach to the home's drain pipe. Without that trap pipe in between these pipes, gas from the sewer are more likely to end up in a home.

Another problem that can be caused is a loss of water in the trap, as the water in the bottom of the pipe will dry up and evaporate. As a result, it is important to install a new trap vent to properly deal with this situation. However, this can be a challenging process for many to do on their own.

Installing A New Trap Vent Can Be Very Hard

The difficulties inherent in this repair are incumbent on the structure of a sink's plumbing. For example, a sink without a trap vent has pipes that have likely been attached directly to the drain. To get the trap vent between these pipes, it often requires a little work. Sometimes, it may require a complete removal of many of the pipes and a replacement.

That's why the best way to avoid this problem is to install an auto trap vent when installing the sink the first time. If that is not an option and you must work with an old piping system, removing the old trap and drain pipes is a necessary step here. It is then necessary to add new pipes in such a way that the trap arm can be installed between the elbow pipe and the drain pipe.

Explaining the full process here would take up over a dozen different steps. While an amateur could probably do it on their own, it's a better idea to have a professional do it instead. They'll ensure that no other plumbing mistakes ruin the sink's effectiveness. Click here to learn more about plumbing services.