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Checking the PVC sink trap connections for leaks after a repair (C) Daniel Friedman InspectApedia.comPlumbing Interceptor / Trap Materials
Plastic, metal plumbing traps & interceptors: types, properties

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Plumbing drain trap or interceptor materials of construction:

This article describes the different materials from which plumbing traps (also called plumbing interceptors) are made, such as plastic, brass, cast iron, and we discuss the different properties of each of these plumbing trap materials.

This plumbing traps (interceptors) article series describes plumbing traps (interceptors) and how to diagnose, find, and cure odors in buildings including septic or sewage or sewer gas smells or "gas odors" in buildings with a focus on homes with a private onsite septic tank but including tips for owners whose home is connected to a sewer system as well.



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Plumbing Trap Materials: Metal vs PVC Plumbing Traps & Interceptors

ABS plastic plumbing trap (black plastic) (C) Daniel Friedman InspectApedia.comPlumbing traps are constructed of any of a number of old traditional materials, principally metals, occasionally wood, or of newer plastic materials.

[Click to enlarge any image]

This photo series will permit you to identify the type of plumbing trap or interceptor material at an installation.

Here we also discuss the leak risks that differ depending on the plumbing interceptor or trap type and material that was used.

Keep in mind that when replacing a plumbing interceptor or plumbing trap, you can usually opt for a material of your choice.

Just be sure that you match the proper size and fittings of the old trap when buying a replacement plumbing trap.

[Click to enlarge any image]

ABS plastic (black plastic) plumbing traps - durable, widespread, 1975-present, shown above.

Brass plumbing trap (C) Daniel Friedman InspectApedia

Brass plumbing traps / interceptors - traditional, widespread use 1900-present, including thicker-walled cast brass (above and in real trouble) or thin-walled brass, possibly chrome plated that we'll show below.

You might note that most of the plumbing interceptors we show here are suffering in some way, askew, broken, loose, corroded, leaky.

Note: At InspectApedia many or our building component photographs were originally taken to document real-world, in-service conditions that are found by trades people, plumbers, for example, or by building inspectors, contractors, home inspectors, or chartered surveyors. These images show conditions rather than showcasing products even when the products are ones we love.

Cast iron plumbing trap at the building's main drain exit point or house trap (C) Daniel Friedman InspectApedia.com

Cast iron plumbing traps (shown above) are more-likely to be found as the house trap or main building drain trap at point at which the sewer piping exits from a building.

You'll recognize cast iron drain/waste/vent piping (DWV) by the thick heavy pipe edges at the pipe hubs and cleanouts [click to enlarge the image] and you can confirm the use of cast iron with a magnet - which will adhere to the pipe surface.

Chrome plated brass plumbing trap, badly corroded, leaky (C) Daniel Friedman InspectApedia.com

Chrome-plated brass plumbing traps / interceptors - traditional, widespread use world-wide, 1960's - present. Shown above, a leaky chrome-plated brass thin-walled plumbing trap below the author's sink in Mexico. This trap appeared to be leaking but the water was actually from a corroded leaky sink strainer assembly above the trap itself.

[Image needed: galvanized iron plumbing trap] Use the page top or bottom CONTACT link to send us photos for comment or contribution.

Galvanized iron plumbing traps, traditional, 1920 - 1970

Building main drain trap on sewer line, PVC (C) Daniel Friedman InspectApedia.com Checking the PVC sink trap connections for leaks after a repair (C) Daniel Friedman InspectApedia.com

Plastic or PVC plumbing traps - widespread, world-wide, 1977 - present. Some plastic plumbing traps are also silver coloured and may be chrome plated. Shown above, first photo: a PVC building sewer line trap providing drain cleanout openings at the foundation wall of a U.S. home. Second photo, a typical white plastic PVC plumbing interceptor or drain trap below a kitchen sink. I'm feeling for wet spots or leaks after having installed new parts.

Below is a photo of a do-it-yourself home-made plumbing interceptor made out of PVC plumbing parts. This trap may not work properly as its dimensions are "non-standard" and also because it's not a P-trap - there is no connection to a plumbing vent.

Plumbing trap home made out of PVC drain piping and a cleanout tee (C) Daniel Friedman InspectApedia.com

We discuss this cute home made plumbing trap again at PLUMBING TRAP LEAKS & MISSING INTERCEPTORS.

Below is another home-made or "expedient" plumbing trap that is not a trap.

Photograph of a car radiator hose used as a plumbing drain trap

Rubber plumbing traps (shown above made of an automotive radiator hose) found on some home-made systems didn't work, but rubber traps might be used successfully in other forms. This one, providing no trap, allows sewer gases right up into the building. And it leaks too.

Bottle trap style plumbing trap, nickel plated (C) Daniel Friedman InspectApedia.com

Stainless steel plumbing traps, and nickel plated plumbing traps offer extra corrosion resistance. Some of these are nickel-plated such as the bottle trap ( a small drum trap) I'm holding in the photo above.

Details about where leaks occur on plumbing traps of all types are at PLUMBING TRAP LEAK POINTS.

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PLUMBING TRAP MATERIALS & PROPERTIES at InspectApedia.com - online encyclopedia of building & environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, & problem prevention advice.

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