Lots of Metal in a PVC P trap

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John Conti

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Hi All, I am installing a new shower using the not so old existing PVC P trap. The P trap is in the perfect position so I am able to tie into it with no issues. However I found the P trap contained lots of debris. The usual hair which I cleaned out but I also found a significant amount of metal. Large and small pieces. The large pieces would not have fit through the clean out plug. The metal is not magnetic, and by the looks of it, it seems to be either lead or zinc. It is fairly thin. Also, the Inside diameter of P trap plug seems to be filled with the stuff. I am wondering what the heck it is and if it was some type of screen to catch normal debris. Since all of the existing waste plumbing is PVC as originally built I don't understand how this might have been original construction debris. I want to make sure I am not missing something here. Once I complete the new PVC plumbing any corrections will be very difficult. I need to make sure I do it right the first time. Any ideas to put my mind to rest would be terrific!!
 

Reach4

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What makes you think the material was not put down the drain?
 

John Conti

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What makes you think the material was not put down the drain?
Possible because I've only owned the home for 12 of its 37 years but the original shower had a drain with a strainer all be it a removable strainer......Hard to imagine someone working to put sheet lead or zinc down there. Also I wonder how the plug got filled with it. It was as if it were molten when it went in to the plug. Very strange, so I thought I would ask to see if it was somehow meant to be there, as in a screen or a sacrificial metal. I don't get why either but you never know.....
 

Houptee

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Maybe the original old faucet handle that corroded and the metal went down the drain. They are made of pot metal with thin chrome that looks like zinc when it corrodes on the inside hollow part. I have had handles crumble apart when trying to remove them from the valve stem.
 

John Conti

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Maybe the original old faucet handle that corroded and the metal went down the drain. They are made of pot metal with thin chrome that looks like zinc when it corrodes on the inside hollow part. I have had handles crumble apart when trying to remove them from the valve stem.
Ahha! It did look like pot metal! Crazy....I'm glad I looked in the trap before connecting up the new work.
Use a shop vac to pick the metal up.
Wished I had thought of that. I used a long nose pliers and lots of flushing with a funnel. Made a mess but it is in the unfinished basement. At least it is clean now.
 
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