Toronto residents are well aware of the term building trap from a bygone era. The sewer trap, also known as building trap or main sanitary trap, prevents gases from the sewer from re-entering the home through the main drain. This technology has been made redundant with the introduction of an independent trap for every fixture in modern homes. However, many older homes built before the 1950s still sport such traps.
Despite its obsolete nature in the current architecture, building trap removal is a necessity in modern day Canadian cities. When thinking about buying older properties, building trap removal costs must be taken into account. Their very presence can pose significant problems like blocked drains, clogged pipes, root infestation etc. and this requires professional plumbing help.
Santos Water & Drain Services provides in-depth analysis and removal of old building traps. Toronto residents can have solace that the best local Toronto plumbers are there to help them with this obsolete plumbing technology.
What is a Building Trap?
It is a U-bend clay pipe installed with the exterior main sewer line of homes built before the 1960s. The water in the U bend traps the odorous gases from the sewer and does not permit their entry back into the home. It works in a fashion similar to the S-bend under the kitchen. If your garden has a mushroom shaped cast iron cap, that’s where you will find the building trap.
Building Traps & Toronto Plumbing Code
With the advent of modern plumbing technology, the city of Toronto realized that building traps are no longer required. So, they have been prohibited in the local plumbing code. New buildings do not have building traps installed. But traps still exist in older homes and buildings.
A building trap, or storm or main sanitary building trap, is a plumbing fixture which prevents odorous and unwanted sewage gases from entering the home via the main drain. It also collects waste debris that block the line. But in modern homes, this trap becomes the weakest link in the residential plumbing system. These are also the primary cause of root infestation. They get clogged frequently and require constant repairs.
Why Building Traps have to be Removed
The obsolete nature of this technology makes them redundant. The modern plumbing system eliminates the need to install building traps. Here are some of the reasons people choose to remove them from their homes and offices:
- Blocked Drains – Blockages are mostly attributed to building traps. Eventually, the blockage can get severe and clog the entire main sewerage system. Unless the trap is modern and features a clean-out, all single trap variety traps are bound to clog. These traps have to be removed manually since they have double 90 degree elbows making them inaccessible even with latest plumbing technology.
- Root Infestation – Main downstream trap or drain pipe also suffers from root infestation. Tree roots seeking underground water sources often reach inside your drain system. And this means serious potential drain blockage. Tree roots not only block your drains, they collect small debris and cause further clogging. Eventually, you are looking at a nightmare of blocked drains, a professional Toronto plumber is the only solution.
- Slow Operations – Owners may not experience the immediate effects of build trap issues. The sewerage operation may clog sometimes or work abruptly at low efficiency. But all this ultimately leads to full blockage.
- Sewer smell emanating from the Basement – faulty trap causes smell to enter the home through basement or other entry points. It is a sign of potential problems that might plague your house.
- Sewage Backup in the Toilet – When the sewage retraces or backs up even after flushing, the trap is at fault. It can also cause a bubbling effect after flushing the bathtub and a faulty basement toilet.
- Sewer leaks – It is generally caused by clay pipe cracks. The seepage from sewer pipe causes dirty water to be dumped onto surrounding soil. It becomes the perfect bacteria breeding ground.
Building Trap Removal Process
Building traps can be located outside or inside the home. So, the removal process varies accordingly. For exterior traps, the foundation of the building has to be excavated. On the other hand, the interior traps will need to lift the basement flooring. The trap is removed and a two-way cleanout is installed. This provides access to both downstream and upstream of the entire drain. Backwater valve also provides similar protection against sewage back-flow into the home.
Trust Experienced Plumbers
Santos plumbers have been removing building traps in Toronto, North York, Mississauga and East York for decades. Ever since the Toronto plumbing code prohibited their use, we have focused on getting rid of this obsolete equipment. Most people believe drain snaking will resolve trap issues. Snaking does not work for broken pipes. Our experts inspect the building trap with a CCTV before starting the excavation.
If you plan to renovate, it is highly recommended that you undertake building trap removal to protect basement flooding. Do not hesitate to contact our professionals for removing building traps or any other drain concerns.