What Is a Bottle Trap?

By Gae-Lynn Woods

The term "bottle trap" is used in the plumbing industry to describe part of a sink's drainage system. While functional, bottle trap materials have evolved so that plumbing fixtures can be considered part of your décor.

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Use plumbing bottle traps when space is limited.

How Bottle Traps Work

DIYDoctor.org describes bottle traps as straight and thin waste pipes with no curves or bends as seen in S- or U-bend pipes. Instead, a second pipe branches from the first just above its halfway point, allowing wastewater to flow away while leaving clean water standing in the bottom half of the trap. This water keeps the gas given off by drained waste from coming back into the house.

Practical Uses

Designers and plumbers use bottle traps when plumbing space is limited in kitchens and bathrooms.

Materials

Bottle traps are available in a variety of materials. Traditional white plastic bottle traps are still manufactured and provide a clean look, while traps made from brass, chrome, copper and oil-rubbed bronze have also been added to manufacturers' inventories.

Decorative Fixtures

Use bottle traps as decorative accents when plumbing is exposed. When selecting a material, consider the other plumbing fixtures that are visible, including bath, shower and kitchen taps, as well as materials used for doorknobs and hinges.

Cleaning

To clean your bottle trap, simply unscrew the bottom section from the main body and rinse or wash, then screw the bottom part back into place, firming gently.