How to unblock a bottle trap

January 19, 2021

One key part of a drainage system which can often get blocked is the bottle trap which is what connects the kitchen or bathroom sink to the outside drain.  It fills with water constantly and it’s main purpose is to stop gasses and prevent foul smells coming back up the drain and into your home.

We have already covered some ways how to unblock a sink but if a plunger hasn’t worked it could be the case that the blockage is located further down. Bottle traps can easily become blocked with various debris including food, grease, soap and hair. Fortunately they are quite easy to unblock and here is how to do it yourself.

Prepare the area

Before starting it is a good idea to prep the area. If there’s water in the sink put the plug / waste outlet in to stop it coming down the drain so that you can drain this later. You will also want to place a bucket underneath the kitchen sink trap, which is where you will empty the contents of the trap into. 

You may also want to lay some towels on the floor to soak up any spillages and also change into some old clothes as this can be quite a gross job and not one to do wearing your Sunday best! Finally, it may be an idea to get some gloves to help grip the trap and protect you from coming into contact with harmful bacteria inside it.

Release the bottle trap

With the areas prepped, it’s now time to release the trap. To do this, you’ll need to twist the two nuts at each side. Whilst doing so, ensure that you hold onto the bottle waste trap firmly as once you release the nuts it will be completely loose.

Remove all contents and clear pipes

Once it is loose, empty the contents of the pipe into the bucket, also check the trap for any slime, fat, hair or food which could be stuck and scrape this out. Then grab a wet cloth and clean out the pipe to ensure nothing is blocking the water flow. Once that’s complete, you’re ready to clean out the bottle trap.

How to clean a bottle trap

Now it is time to clean the bottle trap. To do this hold onto the top and bottom of the trap and begin to twist the bottom half. As you go remove any contents which can cause the bottle trap to block.

Then, pick up the cloth again from earlier and clean out the top and bottom half of the trap. Once this is clean, it is time to reconnect it to the drain again.

Return the trap

Twist the two plastic halves of the trap back together and align it to the pipes. You will need to hold the trap with one hand whilst tightening the nuts with the other. Make sure to tighten it so it is secure and it may be worth checking there are no leakages by trying to run some water down the drain. Make sure your bucket is under the pipe to collect any leakages just in case!

Once secured the water should run at optimum speed, if not then there are a couple of home remedies for drain unblocking you can try in our blog post here. These include pouring boiling water down the drain or trying this with a mixture of baking soda and white vinegar. You can also try using an unbent coat hanger to unblock the kitchen sink by scraping out anything causing a blockage along the waste pipe.

If you have tried this method and the drain still appears to be blocked then it might be time to call in a professional. Argo Drains provide emergency drain repair and unblocking to customers and businesses throughout the West Midlands. Call us on 0121 663 6683 or fill in the form below.

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