All drains in your home, regardless of the size, have some sort of p-trap that help prevent sewer gases from seeping into your home. You may need to replace a p-trap at some point if it is broken and leaking water. Regardless of the location of the p-trap, the process of replacing it is the same. Don't try to stop a leak with using plumbing putty, caulk, or other quick fixes. Here are some tips for getting this simple plumbing task completed on your own and forming a watertight seal that won't leak.
Prepare The Area
There is not an easy way to disassemble a p-trap and not make a mess, since water is inside the trap to prevent gases from getting into your home. That's why it helps to place a bucket or large bowl beneath the p-trap to catch any water that falls out. You should also have towels on hand to soak up water that gets in a vanity that may miss the bowl.
Disassemble The P-Trap
Chances are that the p-trap can be disassembled by loosening the connections by hand, which is common with PVC p-traps. Meanwhile, metal p-traps may need a wrench to loosen the bolts that are secured tightly. As you disconnect the pipe going out to the sewer, water should start spilling out of the p-trap. It will help to put a rag into the pipe leading out to the sewer to prevent those gases from getting in while you are working on the p-trap.
Assembling The P-Trap
You can purchase a new P-trap kit from your local home improvement store, which should have all of the pieces you need to install a new p-trap. Start by removing the rag from the sewer pipe and preparing the long metal pipe that connects to the sewer and faces downward. There is a flange that must go over the pipe that connects to the sewer, followed by a nut that goes behind it and screws onto the pipe. Place it loosely on the sewer pipe for now.
Connect the curved part of the p-trap to the bottom of that outgoing sewer pipe, making sure to loosely connect the pipes with a nut. Twist the pipe so that it is no longer underneath the sink drain, and attach the straight section of pipe that connects to the sink. Twist the trap so it is lined up with the sink and loosely connect it.
Secure The P-Trap
Once you have all of the pipes in the right position, you can start securing the nuts that hold everything in place. If you are using PVC pipe, do not overtighten the nuts, or else you may cause the PVC pipe to break. Run some water through the sink and test the trap to make sure it is not leaking.
Don't want to do this job on your own? Reach out to a plumber for assistance.