Hair clogged sink not draining properly? You've come to the right place. How to Clean out a P-trap!
If you have a clogged sink then you might need to clean out your p-trap. The p-trap catches hair clogs and debris before it goes deeper into your plumbing.
The first thing that you should know:
What is a P-trap?
A p-trap is a trap between your drain and the plumbing
that stops gasses from coming back up through your pipes into your bathroom or kitchen and also traps dirt, debris, hair, and other objects from getting down into your drain pipes. If you drop your wedding ring or something else down the sink you can simply remove your
p-trap to find it.
The way that a p-trap works is quite simple. The p-trap is shaped like a U as can be seen from the picture to the left. This U shape holds a small amount of water which keeps gasses from coming back through your pipes and also provides a place for small objects to collect before they go deep into your plumbing under the floor.
If these objects went past the p-trap then they could cause serious problems in your pluming such as hard to clean-out clogs. It is good to clean out a p-trap about 4 times a year or more depending on how many people use the specific sink. In houses with 6 or more people using the same sink it may be necessary to clean out the p-trap as much as once a month.
How to clean out a p-trap
The first thing that you need to do is clean everything out from under the sink.
Once everything is out you will need to locate the p-trap and the joints that hold it in place.
Next you will want to place a bucket or pan under the p-trap to catch any water that spills when you remove the trap.
Gently loosen the first joint by twisting it in a counter clockwise direction (lefty-loosey). If it has been a long time since someone has cleaned out the trap this joint might be pretty tight, but a little pressure should do the trick. Sometimes I have to hold the pipe with one hand and turn the joint with another. When a joint is extremely tight I place a rag over it so that I do not get a blister when I put a lot of pressure on it to break it loose. Turn the joint until it comes off and slide it up the pipe and out of the way.
Once you have removed the first joint you can move on to the second.
Once this second joint comes loose you should start to get a little water, so be prepared to catch it in the pan. After you have the joint completely off you can take the p-trap down. There might be some hair or debris caught inside the trap, so you might have to give it a slight tug, but don't pull too hard as you will risk damaging something.
Remove this joint and then set the p-trap down in the pan. You have successfully removed the p-trap. Now simply remove the hair and debris inside the p-trap with a pair of pliers or your fingers. Be careful if you use your fingers as you never know what has been dropped down the drain. You can also remove any hair left in the pipe connected to the sink and wall at this point.
The last thing you will want to do is to replace the p-trap. This is quite simple, and you should just put the p-trap back in place and tighten the joints. Be careful not to put the joints back on cross-threaded. An easy way to avoid this is to simply spin the joint counter-clockwise until you feel it seat on the threads and then start to spin it in a clockwise direction.
You have successfully removed, cleaned out, and replaced your p-trap. Your sink should drain a lot better now. Congratulations!
I hope this was helpful!!