How to Clean a Drain Trap

Drain trap labels

Your drain trap is really good at catching and holding debris. Unfortunately, this will lead to a slow draining sink or backups into the sink basin. Fortunately, your drain trap is easy to remove and clean so you can get your sink draining well again in no time.

Step Away from the Wrench!

If you’re lucky, you might be able to clear your clog without removing anything, so try these steps first before you start taking apart pipes.

  1. Pour some baking soda down your drain and then pour boiling water down after. Sometimes this will clear the clog.
  2. Use a plunger on your sink drain to try to force the clog out of the trap.
  3. If these don’t work, then you probably have a larger clog, and it’s time to take off your drain trap.

Removing your Drain Trap

  1. Find your drain trap – It should look similar to the “J” shaped portion of the pipe in the image above.
  2. Find something to catch water – Place a bucket or a large bowl under the drain trap to catch the water left in the pipe when you remove it.
  3. Unscrew the slip joint nuts – You should be able to get these off by hand, but if they don’t budge, then you can wrap a rag the nut to protect and loosen it with a pair of channel lock pliers.
  4. Remove the trap – Make sure that you have something in place to catch the water because there will be water left in the pipe.
  5. Check the o-rings – Look for cracks or signs of wear in the o-rings that sit underneath the slip-joint nuts. If they are damaged, you should replace them while you have the drain trap off before they cause leaks.
  6. Clean the trap – Bang the trap out inside your trash can to remove large debris. Then you can use a bottle brush to scrub the inside to remove buildup on the walls of the pipe.
  7. Reassemble the trap – Once everything is clean, you can reinstall the trap. Make sure that you get everything back on in the correct order. The slip joint nut should go back on the pipe first, then slip the o-ring onto the pipe and then put the trap back on and tighten down the slip joint nut. Make sure not to overtighten the slip-joint nuts. They are easy to crack if they’re put under too much pressure.

Contact Us For Help Today!

You’re done! Not too bad, right? You’ve now officially learned how to clean a drain trap. As always, if you feel uncomfortable doing any repair, it’s best to call in a professional from Albuquerque Plumbing Heating & Cooling. Remember, improper maintenance can damage your pipes, which is the last thing you want.

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