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About Trap

In plumbing, a trap is a device shaped with a bending pipe path to retain fluid to prevent sewer gases from entering buildings while allowing waste materials to pass through. In oil refineries, traps are used to prevent hydrocarbons and other dangerous gases and chemical fumes from escaping through drains. In domestic applications, traps are typically U, S, Q, or J-shaped pipe located below or within a plumbing fixture. An S-shaped trap is also known as an S-bend. It was invented by Alexander Cumming in 1775 but became known as the U-bend following the introduction of the U-shaped trap by Thomas Crapper in 1880. The U-bend could not jam, so, unlike the S-bend, it did not need an overflow. The most common of these traps is referred to as a P-trap. It is the addition of a 90 degree fitting on the outlet side of a U-bend, thereby creating a P-like shape (oriented horizontally). It is also referred to as a sink trap because it is installed under most sinks. Because of its shape, the trap retains some water after the fixture's use. This water creates an air seal that prevents sewer gas from passing from the drain pipes back into the building. Essentially all plumbing fixtures including sinks, bathtubs, and showers must be equipped with either an internal or external trap. Toilets almost always have an internal trap. Because it is a localized low-point in the plumbing, sink traps also tend to capture dense objects (such as jewelry or coins) inadvertently dropped down the sink. Traps also tend to collect hair, sand, food waste and other debris and limit the size of objects that enter the plumbing system, thereby catching oversized objects. For all of these reasons, most traps may be disassembled for cleaning or provide a cleanout feature. Where a volume of water may be rapidly discharged through the trap, a standpipe may be required to minimize impact to other nearby traps.


This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Trap (plumbing) , which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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