Looking for comments on bottle traps

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by Scott_V, Feb 12, 2010.

  1. Scott_V

    Scott_V New Member

    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    California
    I'm thinking about using either a Mountain MT2000 or Kohler K-9035 bottle trap drain beneath my vessel sink. Any comments on how well these work vs a traditional J-trap? The drain will be exposed and I like the sleek look of the bottle traps.

    Thanks-
    Scott Vroom

    [​IMG]
    Bottle trap
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 23, 2010
  2. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Codes place certain restrictions on the construction of bottle traps, but any that you see for sale probably comply. I would check the product for some kind of approval such as UPC, IAPMO, CSA, etc. Without such approval, that is a de facto ban under most codes, and also local inspectors may have their own rules.

    I have never seen one in use, so I hope others can chime in here about how a bottle trap actually performs in service.
  3. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,292
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    ALL bottle traps depend on an interior baffle to create the trap. This does several things;
    1. It restricts the flow of water throught the trap, which is a violation of the codes.
    2. They are NOT self cleaning/scouring, which is a violation of the codes.
    3. The baffle is not visible so there is no way to tell it it has failed or not, which is a violation of the codes.
    4. Just because something is for sale, does NOT make it code compliant.
    5. And finally, they are not "adjustable" so the drain opening MUST be directly behind the sink drain's location
  4. Scott_V

    Scott_V New Member

    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    California
    HJ, you bring up some excellent points to consider. I'll check the local codes (Palo Alto, CA) to see if bottle dranis are allowed. The supplier said the 2 models mentioned are "compliant". I'll find out what that means. I'm guessing the concern with the invisable baffle is that it could fail thereby rendering the trap function useless, allowing gasses to enter the bathroom through the unprotectted drain. Is this correct? The lack of adjustability is a concern, however I'm installing a custom teak table for the vessel and had planned to drill the vessel drain hole precisely on center with the wall drain rough out.

    I'm beginning to think the bottle drain may not be a good idea and will begin searching for a high-quality brass/chrome P-trap assembly. Any brand/model suggestions are appreciated. Whatever I put in will be highly visable and must be high-quality and attractive.

    Thanks,
    Scott
  5. Inspektor Ludwig

    Inspektor Ludwig Journeyman/Inspector

    Messages:
    168
    Location:
    In the good ol' UPC
    One thing to watch out for is when someone says that the product is "compliant". Some products like bottle traps are not allowed by code but then you're always told that if it has the UPC or Iapmo mark then it's approved for use. The methodology just didn't make sense, why would the code forbid something then put their label on it? I took the model number of a bottle trap that a customer wanted to install because it had a upc symbol on it and looked it up on the Iapmo website for the listing. What I've found is that a product that has the listing mark on it has been approved but only some small part of the overall product, for example the bottle trap that clearly had the UPC mark was only approved for they type of material that the trap was made out of, not the style of trap. I called Iapmo to figure this out, the lady said that a bottle trap may have an approved listing for materials but the make and model number for the type of trap may not be approved, which was the case. The bottle trap being sold as a trap was not approved for a trap but the metal that it was made out of was an approved material so the manufacturers of the products put the UPC symbol on them. I've found that there are numerous products that have the UPC symbol that do not have a listing, a falsified listing or an incomplete listing. Alot of products are from China but I've also found products from Kohler and Grohe that don't comply either.
  6. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    You are in California, and the California Plumbing Code says this: ( 1004.0): No trap that has concealed interior partitions, EXCEPT THOSE OF GLASS, PLASTIC, or similar corrosion resisting material, shall be used.

    The code further says this ( 301.1) All pipe, pipe fittings, traps, fixtures, material and devices used in a plumbing system shall be listed or labeled by a listing agency.... and ..all materials, fixtures, or devices used or entering into the construction of plumbing systems shall be submitted to the Authority Having Jurisdiction for approval.

    That last sentence means a local AHJ ( your city ) may further restrict plumbing installations even if otherwise compliant with state code. That provision is what is still keeping PEX out of a lot of cities in CA, even though the state code allows it.
  7. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,292
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    It is sort of like import appliances having a UL approval lable, but it only applies to a portion of it, such as the power cord.
  8. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

    Messages:
    3,189
    Location:
    S. Maine
    I would make you tear it out here.
  9. Scott_V

    Scott_V New Member

    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    California

    OK, but would you mind telling me why you would tear it out?
  10. Scott_V

    Scott_V New Member

    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    California
    I was looking at a Mountain Plumbling MT1000 bottle trap in the local plumbing supply store several days ago. I opened it up and it clearly had a plastic interior partition tube. Based on what you are saying this particular model would be code compliant.
  11. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

    Messages:
    3,189
    Location:
    S. Maine
    Because the IPC does not allow them. they are pretty much a drum trap. They are not self scouring.
  12. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,292
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    They would be "code compliant" until the plastic baffle came loose. Ask to see where the "IAMPMO" and other certification approvals/seals are on it.
  13. chefwong

    chefwong New Member

    Messages:
    710
    Location:
    District of Columbia
    Bottle Traps

    Is the design of a Bottle Trap any more or less *reliable* than a P trap under a lavatory sink.

    Just looking at P traps as the sink will be exposed...and came across the bottle trap designs as well.
  14. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,794
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    The problem you will have with a bottle trap, is that is must perfectly center up to the lav.

    Most traps have a 4" swing, which means there is an 8" range that the trap arm can be plumbed to, and still hit the sink or lav drain.
    Install a bottle trap, and the lav hole "must" be cut to the drain location, not to the cabinet layout.

    I prefer to center a lav on the wall space, or to the cabinet layout.
    If you only have the bottle trap, the odds that it's in the right location is slim to none.
    But homeowner's will figure that out soon enough.

    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2010
  15. chefwong

    chefwong New Member

    Messages:
    710
    Location:
    District of Columbia
    Thx for the thread redirect Terry.
    Not self scouring..and limited to no tolerances in install.

    I'll think I'll stick to J traps.
    For all you plumbers out there, what variants do you like.
    I have used 2 Kohler Chrome J traps in exposed environments in the past and the brass was heavy gauge, and chrome finish was of good quality *not thin*

    Drain Surgeons - is there a preferred brand of J trap (chrome, etc) you may possibly recommend for expossed installs.
  16. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,292
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    A "P" trap is completely "reliable" because you can see the entire trap. The only way it can fail is if the metal gets a hole in it, and then it leaks so you know it has to be replaced. There are very expensive "P" traps with a cast "J" bend, and others which are all tubular brass. Either is satisfactory, the difference between them is how much money you wish to spend.
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