Replacing Drain Traps

Drain traps – those U-shape pieces of drain pipe underneath your sink – do a lot of dirty work. Occasionally, they leak, become corroded, or get plugged with years of accumulated soap and grease. When that happens, replace an old trap with nice new ones. Traps are made from ABS (black), PVC (white), or brass (either chrome plated or natural colored.) Replace your drain trap with the same type of trap you remove. Traps come in 1 1/4 inch or 1 1/2 inch inside diameter sizes. Be sure you get the right size replacement.


Completely remove the old drain trap assembly. Don't try to salvage any parts -- it's not worth the aggravation. Replace them all with new ones.


Put a tailpiece washer into the flared end of the tailpiece, then attach the tailpiece by screwing the slip nut onto the sink strainer. If necessary, you can cut the tailpiece to fit with a hacksaw.


If you're working on a sink with two basins, use a continuous waste-T-fitting to join the tailpieces. Attach the fitting with slip washers and nuts. Make sure the beveled sides of washers face the threaded portion of the pipes. Putting a little pipe lubricant on the slip washer will ease installation and ensure a tight fit.


Attach the trap arm to the drain stub-out, using a slip nut and washer. Remember to keep the beveled side of the washer facing the threaded drain stub-out. If necessary, the trap arm can be cut to fit with a hacksaw.


Attach the trap bend to the trap arm, using slip nuts and washers. The beveled side of the washers should face the trap bend. Tighten all the nuts with a pair of slip joint pliers. Never use teflon tape on white plastic pipe threads and fittings.





Clearing Sink Drains with a Plunger


Fixing Leaky Sink Strainers


Clearing a Fixture Drain Line


Unclogging a Sink Drain Trap

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