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What Are House Traps? The Drain Cleaning Experts Explain

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If you live in a home constructed before 1989, chances are high that your main line was installed with a device known as a “house trap.” These obsolete drain components may cause recurring plumbing problems and even unsafe conditions in your home! House traps are known to cause all of the following, so if you notice any of these issues you should call in a 3 Mountains Plumber right away:

  • Sewer Odors in Your Living Areas
  • Multiple Plumbing Fixtures Out of Order
  • Frequent Toilet Back-Ups
  • Drains Leaving Standing Water
  • Back-Flow/Flooding in Your Basement

House traps are an outdated plumbing feature that were originally intended to keep sewer gasses out of your living area. In order to do this, a house trap collects water to block odors from escaping through the drains. Hence the name “trap”: the sewer gasses are literally trapped in the sewer system, unable to return into the home.

The problem with house traps is that, at this point, most of them have become rusted and are creating more problems than they solve. As corrosion sets in on your old drains, the house trap becomes a stopping point that doesn’t allow waste-water to properly pass. It also makes your line difficult to inspect with a sewer camera.

But what are those solutions? At 3 Mountains Plumbing, we suggest installing the more advanced and efficient version of a housetrap: a sewer clean-out.

The Benefits of a Sewer Clean-Out Installation

A sewer clean-out looks like a vertical, capped-off pipe extending from an existing line. They perform the same function as house traps (i.e. preventing sewer odors) but possess the three following advantages:

  • Manual Checking– A sewer clean-out can be manually checked to see if your main line is experiencing a clog: the above-ground cap should always be full of water.
  • No More Drain Problems– Drain cleaning might temporarily clear the clogs and restart your sewer line, but installing a sewer clean-out solve your drain dilemmas for good!
  • Superior Materials– Whereas house traps corrode over time, clean outs can be made with superior, PEX pipe materials that are immune to rust, erosion, and sediment build-up.

Don’t live with recurring drain issues and old plumbing — if your Portland home was built before 1989, call the 3 Mountains Plumbing professionals for an inspection and possible sewer clean-out installation today.

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