P-trap Alternatives?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by turnerAK, Nov 18, 2010.

  1. turnerAK

    turnerAK New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Alaska
    I am remodeling a basement bathroom. The location for my new shower drain is directly above a main line to the septic. There isn't room for a p-trap right at the shower so my contractor ran the line directly into another pipe about 3 feet away. He says that he couldn't get a trap to fit in the space he had. This concerned me and when I asked him about it he informed me that a local plumber had said that occasionally you have to 'do what you can' when it comes to subgrade drains. The shower is vented and there do not seem to be sewer gases spewing from the drain.

    Are there occasions when it is acceptable to not trap a low-level shower drain?

    Are there alternatives to a formal in-line trap that can be utilized at the drain entrance itself? Maybe a water-gasket device similar to a toilet?
  2. Jerome2877

    Jerome2877 In the Trades

    Messages:
    397
    Location:
    BC
    No all drains must be trapped, you either need to open the floor and install one or raise the base if there is no room. Also fire the contractor he is jeopardizing your health and anyone else who lives in the house.
  3. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,453
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I agree Fire the Contractor!
  4. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,328
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    Not sure what you mean by a "water-gasket device similar to a toilet". Toilets have a built in P trap. Either you or someone is inventing a term as far as I can tell. Get a real licensed plumber and forget about the contractor. He obviously doesn't shinola about plumbing.
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,472
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    quote; I asked him about it he informed me that a local plumber had said that occasionally you have to 'do what you can' when it comes to subgrade drains

    Either he was guoting an "anonymous source", or THAT plumber did not know what he was talking about, or he was intentionally misinterpretting what he was told so his solution would seem correct. We DO "do what you have to do"", BUT that only means you have to figure out HOW to do it correctly, NOT how to avoid the code requirements, and that applies to ALL construction, not just remodeling. If you do not have a "P" trap you do NOT have to have a vent. Do NOT enclose that drain until you have a "real" plumber correct it.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2010
  6. turnerAK

    turnerAK New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Alaska
    Thank you to everyone for the great advice. I will ensure that the drain gets connected correctly and meets code prior to closing it up.

    I realize now that my "water-gasket device similar to a toilet" was a poor choice of words, thank you Swart for pointing that ambiguity out! After a bit of digging, I found a product that would fit the description of an alternative that I'd like an opinion on. The device is called a 'TrapGuard' made by ProVent Systems. http://www.trapguard.com/ I have contacted their technical department and they claim that their product can be used for floor drains, shower drains, mop sinks etc. and is guarenteed for the life of the drain. When asked about code they said it falls under the 'other viable alternative' clause. Has anyone used this product? What is your opinion of the product?
  7. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,888
    Location:
    New England
    Ideally, you'd move the drain a little so a p-trap would fit. This might entail a lot of juggling things around. But a 2" trap does require some depth (most any place in the US requires a 2" drain line and trap). I'm not sure if it is allowed to put a bend in the riser to the drain from the p-trap, but if so, that might let you jog around the main drain to get enough depth. Or, worst case, you move the main line a bit. Then, the other big thing is at what depth is that main line? The drain water can't try to flow uphill from the p-trap. If the outlet of the p-trap is too low to get into the main drain line by gravity, then you have a whole other problem.
  8. shacko

    shacko Master Plumber-Gas Fitter

    Messages:
    561
    Location:
    Rosedale, Md
    That thing you want to use is a device to replace a trap which I'm sure is not approved in most jurisdictions.
  9. MACPLUMB 777

    MACPLUMB 777 TROJAN WORLDWIDE SALES RP

    Messages:
    679
    Location:
    Houston, Texas, United States
    No it is supposed to be used with a p trap ! Not in place of a trap !

    It is so on drains that do not get used a lot you don't have to install a trap primer to

    keep the water seal in p trap and also if you have a main line blockage you don't have raw

    sewage backing up out of the drain !
  10. turnerAK

    turnerAK New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Alaska
    The representative from TrapGuard claims that it replaces the p-trap entirely. He says the product is air-tight and warrantied. He mentioned that there is nothing wrong with using it on a shower drain despite the drain being used daily for showers. Also their literature claims it can operate under minimal pressure head. In fact, it will drain the slightest of drips all the way up to 33gpm. Any other thoughts?
  11. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,472
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    IT is a flexible "elephant trunk" that curls up and closes. After a period of time the plastic will get hard and either NOT open allow drainage, or close to keep odors out. In other words, it is like an AAV, used when the person does not know how to do it correctly, or does not want to spend the time doing it, without worrying about its long term consequences.
  12. been seen before. No good. Every time someone raises the subject of this "Trap Guard" it is for a different reason, and that is STRANGE. Methinks a product should know what it is good at. Now someone is asking if it can replace an Entire P Trap. Wow!
  13. Winslow

    Winslow Plumber

    Messages:
    450
    Location:
    Hawaii
    I have never heard of an "other viable alternative clause". Seems more like a " if you can't dazzle them with brilliance then baffle them with bullshit" clause.

    Where I work the inspectors tell you if you can't do it legally then you can't do it at all. There is no provision where it is ok to just do what you have to do. In most cases people tell you that because they either don't have the knowledge and experience to give you a viable solution or they don't want to have to pay for the cost of doing it properly.
  14. shacko

    shacko Master Plumber-Gas Fitter

    Messages:
    561
    Location:
    Rosedale, Md
    Take a look at the video, they are selling that thing as a trap replacement! :eek:
  15. MACPLUMB 777

    MACPLUMB 777 TROJAN WORLDWIDE SALES RP

    Messages:
    679
    Location:
    Houston, Texas, United States
    The name says it all ! Trap guard "not" trap replacement !

    No where in the video or anywhere else did i see or hear anything that says it will

    replace a p trap ! ! !
  16. Reach4

    Reach4 Active Member

    Messages:
    2,052
    Location:
    IL
    In the 3+ years since that post they have put up a drain that has no other trap.

    http://www.trapguard.com/?page_id=25

    Looks like they are still trying to get their online store going.
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