Have you ever dropped something valuable down the drain of your sink, or into a flushing toilet? If you have, you undoubtedly remember the agonizing pain and disappointment that followed. However, if you weren’t already aware of it, you should know that there is a piece of plumbing attached to nearly all sinks and toilets that could help you retrieve your valuable item!
It’s called a “p-trap”, and it’s called that way because of how it looks. It’s the bend in the piping underneath the drain, and it connects the horizontal pipe with the vertical pipe in the shape of the letter “P”. In some cases, objects lost to a drain can be captured by the p-trap, meaning you just have to disconnect it to get what you lost. While this is handy, it’s not the primary purpose of a p-trap. P-traps are there to prevent sewer gasses from rising up through your drain, which are not only annoying, but can be hazardous to your health.