Stop smelly sewer gas odors caused by dried out p-traps in unattended floor drains

A drain p-trap with a seal primerSo your place of business  or your basement is starting to get a bad sewer gas smell. That place you hardly ever use, the one with the floor drain, is starting to really reek. But what could be causing this awful smell? Do you need a plumber to come check it out? Or is there a way you could solve this putrid smell problem yourself, like the strong willed business or homeowner owner you are? Well, let’s dive in to the world of dry traps and floor drains.

The P-Trap and the Floor Drain

A floor drain is pretty self-explanatory. It’s a drain in your floor, usually found in store rooms, washrooms, loading docks and hallways. Sure, you could find it in other places, but you’ll typically find them in these couple rooms. Floor drains in these places mostly go unused for a while, so they’ll end up being trouble for you and start to smell. How so you ask? Let’s move on to find out.

Moving on to the P-Trap. Shaped like the round end of a P (or a “U”), the P-Trap is the place in your drains that stops sewer gas odors from shooting back up your drains into your place of business. It connects on one end to the drain—such as a floor drain or the drain of a restroom fixture—and on the other end to the line going to the sewer. But how does it prevent the sewer odors from entering your place of business? It does this by retaining a small amount of water in it’s little dip, creating a seal that keeps those gross smells where they belong– out of your place of business.

Sometimes, in places where the pipes aren’t frequently used, a p-trap will have a trap seal primer with it. Trap seal primers are designed to provide a supply of water to P-Traps, replenishing drains located in infrequently used areas. In some cases, they are a small piece of tubing which feeds water to the P-Trap when a sink is used or a toilet is flushed.

So you’re getting smells right now, what could be causing your P-Trap to malfunction?

Nasty sewer odors escaping from your drains and flowing through your place of business. The water in the trap has likely evaporated leaving your p-trap undefended.The answer to all your p-trap smells is most likely that your p-trap has dried out. A dried out P-trap no longer has that seal of water that was mentioned before, so nothing is stopping those nasty sewer odors from escaping your drains and flowing through your place of business. This could be that this particular P-Trap is part of a floor drain system that your place of business hardly uses, so the water in the trap has likely evaporated leaving your p-trap undefended. But how do you fix this? Is there an easy way?

How to eliminate odors coming from your dry P-Trap

There are a couple easy, but not always effective ways to get rid of odors coming from your P-Trap. You could try pouring a couple cups of water into your p-trap in order to create that aforementioned water seal, but it will most likely dry within a couple days and you’ll be forced to repeat the process again. You could try removing the drain seal and cleaning the drain by yourself, but that doesn’t always work because it’s not bacteria that’s causing your drain to stink, it’s sewer gas that’s not blocked off by a water seal.

In order to really eliminate those awful dried p-trap smells, use Vapour Block by Brodi, a cirtus-based dry drain maintainer that stops drains from drying out, eliminating sewer gas odors. This stuff is specifically designed for floor drains, places where the p-traps evaporate due to infrequent use and even drains without p-traps.

A cirtus-based dry drain maintainer
Vapor Block – Keeps P-Traps from drying out

Here are some other stats that Vapour Block boasts:

  • Natural citrus formula
  • Slow evaporation rate
  • Creates a seal in the P-Trap of the drain preventing the water seal from evaporating
  • Prevents sewer gas odors emanating from drains in areas that may not have a trap seal primer or where drains have high evaporation rates

Vapour Block is insanely easy to use too. It’s just one simple step:

  1. Pour water into drain then add Vapour Block. For 4 inch drains, add 32oz (1L) of Vapour Block.

For those of you who are visual learners, check out this video.

That’s it! After that, Vapour block will sit on top of the P-Trap’s water surface preventing evaporation. So next time you have some disgusting smells coming from your drains, don’t trust anything but a industry proven product like Brodi Vapour Block.

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