In bathrooms where space is at a premium, bulky pipes can be a major inconvenience! What compact alternatives are there to replace your P-Trap and free up more space in your home?
Waste traps are a necessary part of home plumbing. They keep your home free of smells and dangerous gasses from the sewer. However traditional P-Traps take up lots of valuable space under your sink. HepvO traps and bottle traps are two popular alternatives to the P-Trap that will maximize the available space in your bathroom or kitchen!
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Why Are Waste Traps (Like P-Traps) So Important?
It is very important that any fixture in your home with an open-drain has a working waste trap. P-Traps, for example, work by trapping some water in a U-shaped pipe. This blocks the airflow in the pipes.
This water in the pipes will stop unpleasant and potentially dangerous sewer gasses and bacteria from coming up through your drains. It also prevents bugs from making their way through the pipes and into your home.
Traps are also important to collect any large objects or debris. In these traps, debris can be more easily removed and won’t create major clogs in your plumbing.
In very hot or cold months this trapped water helps to insulate your home by preventing cold or hot air from flowing freely into your home through the pipes.
Space Saving Alternatives to a P-Trap
One of the most popular alternatives to a P–Trap is a HepvO trap. HepvO traps are waterless traps. They consist of a straight section of pipe with valves that stay closed unless the water is flowing through.
Because HepvO traps don’t rely on trapped water to function, they can be easily installed horizontally or vertically. This makes it easier for you to arrange your pipes however you want to maximize the space under your sink. You can use small angled adapter pieces to divert the pipes in whatever direction is best for your arrangement.
Another advantage of this waterless trap is that they freeze much less easily than traditional water traps. If they do freeze it is also much easier to fix. All you need to do is pour a small amount of hot water down your drain to unfreeze the valves.
For this reason, HepvO traps are especially great for outdoor or unheated spaces. They are also great for fixtures in mobile homes or vehicles such as RVs or vans, where the pipes are exposed to outdoor temperatures.
The main drawback to a HepvO trap is the price. They typically cost around $30 which is a bit more than the average P-Trap.
Due to the mechanical valves inside a HepvO trap, they can become worn and need to be replaced more often than traditional water traps. This means more money for maintenance in the long run. However, the extra money can be well worth it to save valuable space in your bathroom and avoid frozen pipes in the winter!
Another alternative to the P-Trap is a bottle trap. These trap water in a small chamber. The water flows in through a channel-shaped like an upside-down bottle neck, which is where this trap gets its name.
The water then fills the chamber around the “bottle” and flows out through a horizontal pipe. For this reason, bottle traps need to be installed horizontally to function. This makes it a less flexible option than the Hepvo trap.
Bottle traps are a good option for bathrooms where the pipes will be exposed under the sink. They are elegant and can be found in many finishes to match your other fixtures.
Because of their shape, these traps are more likely to clog than P-Traps. However, they are easy to clean. The bottom of the water chamber can be easily unscrewed so that you can remove any debris that is clogging the drain.
Bottle traps also cost a bit more than the typical P-Trap. Unlike HepvO traps, however, bottle traps will last longer and will not need to be replaced very often if maintained well.
While bottle traps are very popular in Europe, it is important to note that they are not legal everywhere in the US. This is due to the fact that they are not self-cleaning. Bottle traps also rely on internal pieces to function properly which means it is harder to see if it is broken or not working properly.
Before you purchase a bottle trap, be sure to check your local plumbing code. Also check that whichever bottle trap you purchase has some sort of certification (UPC, IAPMO, etc.).
The space under your sink doesn’t need to be monopolized by your pipes! Using the alternatives above you can easily free up this space while making sure your plumbing is effective and safe.