What do fashion and plumbing have in common? They both have trends that come and go. If you’ve ever seen an olive-green toilet that was all the rage in the 1940s, you know what we mean. One outdated plumbing trend that can be more troublesome than nostalgic is the house trap.
What is a house trap?
House traps were a common plumbing device in homes that were built up to about 1989. Basically, it’s a U-shaped piece of pipe that is installed with the sewer line that runs underground from the home to the municipal sewage main. The downward bend of the pipes collects a small amount of water, which prevents sewage gases from venturing up through the sewer line and into the home.
Problems caused by house traps
In theory, the house trap sounds like a good idea. In reality, however, they have proven to cause serious plumbing issues. In addition to poor design, old house traps were made of metal and have rusted over the decades. So instead of blockage sewage gases, the trap could not be now holding waste in the bend.
If contents that go down the drain in your home get blocked in the sewage line, it can result in a host of issues, including:
- Harmful sewage fumes entering homes
- Slow or clogged drains (including toilets) throughout the home
- Sewage backflow into your home (typically the basement)
- Increased chance of a sewer line break
A better, update approach
If you have an older home and haven’t had work done to your sewer line, there’s a good chance you have a house trap. As long as everything is flowing smoothly, there isn’t anything immediate to have to do. However, if you notice any of the signs we mentioned earlier, it’s a good idea to have your sewer line inspected.
Should we determine you have an outdated and poorly functioning house trap, we can replace it with a new-and-improved method called a sewer clean-out. Instead of the U-shaped device, a sewer clean-out is a vertical pipe that goes from the sewer line to the surface of the ground. This allows sewage gases to vent up instead of finding their way into your home. Sewer clean-outs are also easier to check and clean out the sewer line if there’s a blockage. Plus, we use more modern materials that won’t corrode or break down like older pipes.
Sewage clean-out installation in New Haven and Fairfield County
Don’t let your plumbing system get stuck in the past. An old sewage line with a house trap could be a health risk to your household and create a costly, messy situation. Contact Rick’s Plumbing for a sewage clean-out consultation. Call us today at (203) 874-6629.