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Cleaning a Plumbing Trap

What is a P-Trap and How Do You Clean It?

Your P-Trap is an integral part of your plumbing system. This pipe is U-shaped, and it helps to collect and drain water. This helps to prevent odors and gasses from coming back up the pipes and into your home. Over time, your P-Trap can start to smell due to build-up and you will need to clean it. Cleaning this pipe will help you to avoid costly repairs in the future.

Step One: Gathering Your Materials

The first step you will want to take in cleaning your plumbing trap is to gather all the materials you will need. You will need the following:


You will want a good-sized bucket to collect any debris in your pipe and the water that will come out. 

Pliers or an adjustable wrench

You will more than likely not be able to turn the nut by hand, so you will need an adjustable wrench or pliers to help you.

Flexible wire brush

A wire brush will help you to clean the P-Trap.

Step Two: Turn the Water Off

You will want to shut the water off to the sink by turning the faucet off. You do not need to shut the water off to the entire home. Place your bucket underneath the trap.

Step Three: Remove the Trap

You will now want to remove the trap. You should be able to get it off with a washcloth and your hands, but if not, use the adjustable wrench or pliers. If you encounter resistance to this and cannot get the trap off, you will want to call a plumber to help you. If you try to free the trap, you could end up breaking it, causing extensive damage to your sink’s drainage system.

Step Four: Clean the Trap

You will now want to clean the trap. Start by pulling out anything that is visible. Then take your wire brush and scrub the inside of the pipe well. Clean the pipe with the brush until you see all the debris gone. Rinse with plenty of water .

Step Five: Putting Everything Back Together

Once you have the pipe cleaned, you can now put everything back together. Make sure that you line the pipe up and tighten the nuts back down.

Step Six: Testing The P-Trap

Your final step will be testing the P-Trap once it is clean. Turn on the water for a few seconds and make sure that there are no leaks. Once there are no leaks, you can start the clean-up process and put all your tools away. If you do see any leaks, you will want to retighten the pipes.

How Often Should I Clean My P-Trap?

You should clean your P-Trap every one to three months. This will help to ensure that you do not smell any sewer smells in your home. It will also help to ensure that your drainage system runs as it should.

Call Us Today

If you have an issue when cleaning your P-Trap, please call Robert Bair today. Our plumbers are well experienced with plumbing trap issues. We can help ensure that your drainage system works as it should.