drain trap problem

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by brianv, Oct 10, 2012.

  1. brianv

    brianv New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Fresno, CA
    I have a leak at the union of the drain trap to the pipe from the wall. I've tried using one washer, two washers, teflon tape. No matter what I try I still have a leak. I almost got new washers but that doesn't make sense as the ones I have are in good shape. Now I'm thinking of getting a different trap but I don't see what difference it would make. I'm frustrated. And yes I'm a plumbers worse nightmare an amateur diy'er.
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,820
    Location:
    New England
    The order in which you tighten the slip joints and compression seals in a tubular trap can make a difference. If it is twisted when you try to tighten it, it may not seal. If the taper is pointing the wrong way, it will never seal, either.
  3. brianv

    brianv New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Fresno, CA
    None of the washers packed with the trap when I got it were tapered.
  4. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,798
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Is this a metal or a plastic trap?
  5. brianv

    brianv New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Fresno, CA
    plastic trap.
  6. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,798
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Most plastic traps don't have a washer on the swivel joint.
    Loosen all three nuts, and then start by tightening the swivel nut first. No dope, no tape.
    Then tighten the other two slip joint nuts.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2012
  7. brianv

    brianv New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Fresno, CA
    There are only two nuts.
  8. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,798
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Then you better post a picture. Sight unseen is kind of tough.

    I install p-traps that have a slipjoint at the wall, one on the swivel and one for the tail piece.
  9. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,308
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    Isn't the third nut attached to the trap adapter? I haven't done that many P trap connections and none for sometime and I don't have perfect memory, but it does seem to me that the trap adapters I bought had a nut on them.
  10. brianv

    brianv New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Fresno, CA
    I will try to be as specific as possible. I have a metal elbow coming out of the wall that bends down at a ninety degree angle. It is 1.5 inches diameter. It is not threaded at the end pointing down. I also have a plastic pipe coming straight down from the drain. It is 1.25 inches diameter. I have a plastic trap with three nuts an assortment of washers and two plastic adapters. I have put the plastic trap on and I have a persistent leak from where the plastic trap slips over the metal elbow even though I have used a washer and tightened the nut. Everything else seems to be fine. Neither of the two plastic adapters fit over the 1.5 inch metal elbow. I have even tried to fit a washer down in the plastic trap to the point where it goes down to 1.25 inches but that hasn't worked. I'd like to be done with this, this is the third day I've been at this. If I have to go buy more stuff I will but I think I have everything I need.
  11. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,798
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    So in other words, you have a combination of parts from different manufacturers all cobbled together.
  12. brianv

    brianv New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Fresno, CA
    Yes. I don't even know if I can get the metal elbow from the wall to come off so I can start over from there. I know I would have to break the wall to do it.
  13. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,073
    Location:
    Maine
    You can't go from the plastic U bend to the metal elbow. You either need all plastic or all metal.
  14. Obama the Plumber

    Obama the Plumber Plumber

    Messages:
    47
    Location:
    Washington DC
    I think you're going to have to break down and buy some new parts there pardner. Don't worry. It will keep the economy going if you splurge on some new fittings. If you have a plastic pipe coming out of the wall, that's where you would glue a trap adapter. Buy some glue, it will buy someone lunch somewhere, and all that good karma will come back to you. Pick up a plastic trap that uses the trap adapter near the wall. check to make sure the tailpiece is going to work with it too. If this is for a lav, that would be 1.25". Some p-traps have two slip joint washers for the tailpiece, one for 1.5 and one for 1.25. Either way, you're going to be good buddy.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2012
  15. kreemoweet

    kreemoweet New Member

    Messages:
    371
    Location:
    Seattle. WA
    Most plastic p-traps are made to use a beveled washer at the swivel joint. You can get nylon or "rubber" beveled washers at any hardware store.
    Mix-and-match doesn't usually work too well with tubular drain parts.
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