Why Are Your Pipes “S” Shaped Under Your Sink?

Pipes under your sink are shaped like an "S" to help keep you safe. Find out why.

Did you ever wonder what the purpose is for the “S” or “U” shape of your pipes under your sink? Wouldn’t it make more sense to have the pipes go straight down, borrowing the power of gravity to help push the water through?

There is actually a very good reason for the shape of under sink pipes. The “S” shape is called a P Trap and every sink in your house should have one. Your toilet has a P trap built in and your shower, bathtub and floor drains should have one as well.

When water goes down your drain, some of it gets trapped in the “U” portion of the pipe. This water stops sewer gases, smells and even vermin from coming through your pipes and into your home. Although the smell alone would probably drive you from your home, it is the sewer gases that are dangerous. These gases contain methane which can be deadly. Symptoms of methane poisoning can include dizziness and headache but the biggest problem is methane displaces the oxygen in your home and can cause you to pass out from lack of oxygen. If you don’t get out of the house and get medical attention, you can die.

Methane gases are also highly explosive. If methane gas has leaked into your house, a small spark can ignite it, causing a major explosion. These explosions are not limited to only where the methane gas is strongest but anywhere the gas has leaked.

If any of your sinks don’t have a P trap, contact a plumber to make sure one is installed. If you are buying a house, check every sink to make sure there is a P trap underneath.

Platinum Plumbing & Heating, Inc. can install P Traps in your home. Call 610-409-6500 to schedule an appointment.


This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.


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