Clogged Sink? How to Clean Out a Sink’s P-Trap
Have you noticed that your kitchen or bathroom sink is clogged or drains slowly? You may be able to handle this plumbing fix yourself. Watch as home maintenance expert See Jane Drill shows you a step-by step guide to cleaning out and re-attaching your sink’s p-trap.
LEAH: Hi everybody, I’m Leah of See Jane Drill.
LEAH: And I got to tell you, there’s a misconception about a p-trap.
LEAH: A lot of people think that your p-trap is there to retrieve jewelry that somehow finds its way down the drain.
LEAH: Or, maybe your drain is stopped up because of a hair clog in your p-trap, and you’ve got to remove it.
LEAH: And the truth is, there’s another function for a p-trap, and it’s a very important function.
LEAH: It keeps you safe.
LEAH: You know that water that collects in a p-trap.
LEAH: Well, it prevents hazardous fumes from entering the house through the sewer.
LEAH: Now, here’s another interesting thing, p-traps, you can find them on every fixture in your house where there’s a drain.
LEAH: Like your shower.
LEAH: Your toilet has a p-trap.
LEAH: It’s not just the kitchen sink, and it’s not just the bathroom sink that has a p-trap.
LEAH: Now, that you know what a p-trap is for, let’s re-attach it, because there’s some things that you need to know.
LEAH: And it doesn’t matter if you’ve got a metal p-trap or a plastic one like this, there are components that you need to be aware of, if you’re going to get a nice snug tight fit that doesn’t leak.
LEAH: Now, this right here is our coupling nut. Well, this coupling nut attaches our p-trap to our tail piece, that’s what this is.
LEAH: Now, I can tell by the way our washer looks, I’m going to pull this out here, that it needs to be replaced.
LEAH: And, it’s just a good practice to keep spare washers around.
LEAH: This way, you’ll have a washer just when you need one.
LEAH: Now this washer here, that’s for a metal p-trap, and this one right here, these are made for the PVC p-traps.
LEAH: So, before you put on your washer, just make sure that there’s no debris in the threads of that coupling nut.
LEAH: You also want to check the threads on the p-trap, and make certain that those are clean there, too.
LEAH: Now, I’ve got a little bit of debris there that I need to clean up, because I want to make certain that the threads are nice and clean, so I get a nice, tight connection.
LEAH: This is a coupling nut as well, and if we slide down a little bit here to the end, you’ll notice that there’s also a washer there too, that we’re going to pull off and replace.
LEAH: So, I’ve installed the new washer. There’s our coupling there, I’m going to rest it there.
LEAH: So, this is where it’s very important to make certain that everything lines up perfectly.
LEAH: You want your p-trap, again that’s this piece here, to seat very well.
LEAH: And, what I mean by seat well is you don’t want it tipped to one side, or tipped to the other, because you certainly don’t want to cross-thread, and just want it to be a nice, secure tight connection.
LEAH: So, what I’m going to do is pull this down, I’m going to make certain that everything is lined up, my back piece is lined up with my coupling nut, and my front piece is lined up.
LEAH: Now, what I’m going to do is, I’m going to move this bowl out of the way, because it’s not necessary.
LEAH: Now, it comes time for us to re-attach our coupling nuts.
LEAH: I’m going to slide this down, and now I’m going to just tighten it by hand, and that’s really all you need. You don’t want to overtighten it, OK.
LEAH: You just want to tighten it by hand. And, now we’re going to do the back one.
LEAH: And, remember what I said, you just want it hand-tight.
LEAH: Now, it’s time to check our connections.
LEAH: And the way we do that, I’m going to put this bowl back underneath, OK.
LEAH: Now, we’re filling the sink with water, we’re not just running the water, because you want to do is you want to really test those connections, you want a big rush of water all at once.
LEAH: So, here we go.
LEAH: Now, we’re going to test our connections there at the coupling nuts.
LEAH: And, they’re nice and dry. And, that’s just what you want.
LEAH: Now, you know what a p-trap really is for, it’s not just for retrieving jewelry that finds its way down the drain.
LEAH: You know it keeps those sewer gasses from entering the house.
LEAH: Now in today’s video, we showed you how to take one apart, and how to reinstall it properly, so it’s water tight and you don’t get any leaks.
LEAH: This is Leah saying you can do this. See you next time.