Remove Your Running Trap Before Disaster Strikes

 In Home Plumbing

Today we’re going to tell you all about running traps. These devices are outdated, ticking time bombs that need to be replaced as soon as possible.

Running traps, sewer traps, main drain traps, building traps, these devices go by many names. They are an outdated plumbing implementation that was built into a lot of buildings before the 1950s.

They are named traps because they trap a bit of water in the pipe creating a seal between the sewer and the building. This reduces the risk of sewer gases or small rodents coming back up through the sewer. The problem is that they are nearly impossible to keep clean, meaning they can become clogged, allowing raw sewage to back up into your building.

What’s Wrong With Running Traps?

Cleaning these traps out is impossible. Clogs are inevitable, and dealing with the problem usually requires excavating.

Sewer traps are still found on many buildings that have yet to have them removed, however, international plumbing code forbids the installation of them on any new buildings. The reason is that nowadays there are better traps installed on every plumbing fixture that could need them. These new traps are easier to clean, and render the old main drain traps obsolete. The only thing they can do for a building now is cause problems. That’s why we recommend getting rid of them wherever they are found.

Why Did People Use Them?

Usually, sewer main traps were used when the sewer line also linked into the storm drains. They were meant to prevent certain problems, like rats or snakes coming through the pipes, or seepage of unwanted gases into a home. However, they are now known to be easy to plug up. This is very bad on a main drain, since a plugged main drain means that your waste has nowhere to go except back into your building.

Not very nice.

Another common problem with traps is that they tend to break or burst. Old traps are usually made of older, inferior materials such as clay or terracotta, so they cannot handle much pressure or build-up. Sometimes they just break apart from the pressure of the soil above them. All around, “house traps” are bad things to keep around.


What To Do If You Have a Running Trap?

So what do you do if you discover that your building still has a main trap? Call up your local plumber in Toronto and have it replaced. Since these traps are nearly impossible (and sometimes actually impossible) to clean out, sooner or later you are going to experience a sewage back-up.

We replace all running traps, and make sure that a proper backwater valve is hooked up to prevent back-flow of sewage. If you are unsure of whether your home or office has a main drain trap, call a plumber to come out and inspect your drain system. Main traps can be identified by any skilled plumber.

Replace Your Running Trap Now

Replacing a trap can be a fairly simple or a more complex process, depending on the location of the trap and the materials covering. Sometimes a trap is just underneath a basement that has a dirt floor. These are very easy to dig up and replace. However, if the trap is underneath several inches of concrete, the replacement process takes a bit longer. Either way, clogged or broken main traps are a major cause of sewage back-up and basement flooding.

Usually the trap is just removed and replaced with a more suitable piece, like a length of PVC pipe. The process itself isn’t very complicated; the hardest part is the digging. Upon digging up traps, we often find that the piece itself has become rusted and developed holes or splits, and has been leaking sewage into the soil. This causes environmental problems, as well as being a health and safety concern.

Raw Sewage Is Always An Uninvited Guest

Raw sewage backing up into your building can cause a ton of damage. It can ruin whatever you have in your basement, and even cause your building to become condemned on the basis of safety. If you are the victim of constant sewer clogs and basement flooding, you should definitely look into having your main trap removed. Building main trap removal is a specialty at Absolute Draining & Plumbing, so give us a call.

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