no room for p trap

How Much Room Do You Need for a P Trap?

It’s mandatory to install p-traps for your bathroom and kitchen fixtures as they ensure sewer gases don’t go into your house, making the place smell nasty and exposing you to harmful gases. While p-trap installation isn’t complicated, not having room for it presents a puzzle that you must solve. 

You can create room for a p-trap by moving the fixtures taking up the space like your vanity or replacing them with ones with more clearance. Alternatively, you can decide to use a suitable waste valve or cut the wall if it’s getting in the way.

You must ensure you find a solution that fits your situation best because the fixes for lack of room for p-trap aren’t one-size-fits-all. Therefore, examine the problem carefully and even hire a professional if you aren’t certain about your expertise on the subject.

Nonetheless, keep reading to discover some practical solutions.

Why Don’t You Have Room For A P-trap

Different reasons can cause you to lack room to install a p-trap for your kitchen and bathroom fixtures. These include:

  1. Vanity Being In The Way

A vanity provides room to store various products, ensuring your bathroom remains organized and makes things easily accessible. However, these awesome accessories can also make p-trap installation problematic.

For instance, a vanity with drawers may get in the way of installing a p-trap. 

  1. A Small Sink

You may be having trouble installing a standard p-trap because your sink is too narrow. Don’t overlook this when examining the situation to come up with an appropriate solution.

  1. No Room In the Shower Drain For The P-trap to Go Down

Ideally, a shower p-trap should be placed directly beneath the shower’s center and nearby the shower drain to keep odors at bay. However, you may not have room in your bathroom for the p-trap tailpiece to extend downward without compromising the structure. 

Read also Can p trap be higher than drain pipe

What To Do If There’s No Room For P-trap

Once you figure out the cause of this problem, you will need to craft a practical solution that will fit your situation. Here are some excellent ideas on how to create space for a p-trap.

1. Get A New Sink

If your sink is getting in the way of the p-trap, consider buying a new sink with an appropriate size. Based on the International Residential Codes (IRC) regulations, the distance between the entrance to the sink drain and the p-trap should be about 24 inches. 

This means you need to make sure you have at least 24 inches at your disposal to ensure successful p-trap installation. 

2. Get A New P-trap

p-traps come in various sizes, with some smaller than others. This provides you with options, so you don’t have to struggle to find one that fits where you wish to put it.

The standard p-trap size for a bathroom sink is 1¼ inches, while that of a kitchen sink is 1½ inches. However, these sizes shouldn’t restrict you from finding the perfect p-trap size for your home.

A shorter p-trap can help solve the problem if there’s a tight space between the wall drain and the tailpiece. A short p-trap’s u-bend portion is the same size as a standard trap but has a shorter horizontal pipe going to the wall. 

3. Invest In A New Vanity

Your vanity can make it challenging to install a p-trap, especially one with shelves or drawers, as they limit the clearance space. Consider replacing your current vanity with a more spacious and less restrictive design if you face this problem. 

This solution is excellent, particularly for a vanity with a bottom drawer beneath that shelf, since the drawer can damage the drainpipe when opened. While you can solve this issue by removing the whole back side, it makes the drawer less secure by making it easy for items in the drawer to fall or get trapped between the wall and the vanity. 

Therefore, in this case, the best solution is to buy a new vanity that has drawers or shelves with enough clearance for the p-trap. Moreover, you must take into consideration the tailpiece length and the trap’s size.  

Read also How to move plumbing to fit vanity

4. Cut The Wall/Vanity

Instead of replacing your current vanity with a new one, you could cut the wall or vanity to create more space for the p-trap. If you have a short p-trap but require extra horizontal space, cut the wall, then join the p-trap and the drainpipe.

Below is how to cut your vanity to create space for your p-trap.

  • Get the materials and tools needed for the job- a ruler, pencil sandpaper, a waterproof sealant, and a saw. 
  • With the p-trap under the sink, mark the area you will cut on each side of the trap using a pencil. 
  • For a precise cut, remove the p-trap, then trace out a rectangle you will cut.
  • Remove the vanity drawer or the whole vanity and cut out the rectangle you marked earlier using a saw. 
  • Rub the edges with sandpaper to make them smooth. Next, put waterproof sealant on them to curb the vanity from absorbing water and suffering from water damage. 
  • Put the vanity or vanity drawer back and install the trap correctly.

Read also Can you reverse p trap?

What To Do If There’s No Room For P-trap In Your Shower- P-Trap Alternative

You require a p-trap in your shower to keep it smelling fresh by keeping sewer gases at bay. However, don’t panic if you don’t have room for a p-trap in your shower because you can solve the issue using a HepvO waterless valve. 

The best thing about a HepvO is that you can install it horizontally or vertically, depending on the available space and even preference. Moreover, it’s less cumbersome and more compact than a p-trap making it ideal for areas with limited space, such as underneath a shower, an RV, and a tiny home.

Final Take

Considering the vital role of p-traps, you must ensure you find room to install them in your bathroom and kitchen fixtures. Without traps, your home will quickly smell awful and even be exposed to harmful sewer gases that are bad for your respiratory system.

Assess the above solutions based on your situation and use them to create room for a p-trap. 

Read also P trap for vanity with drawers

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