After some time, you may find a leak in the bottle trap under your sink. Sometimes the leak occurs at the joints between the bottle trap and adjoining pipe to the wall outlet, but in most cases the leak is usually found between the bottle trap and the sink drain hole. This is often due to the sagging weight of the sink, which needs to be corrected before any repairs or replacement can take place.
Today, I will be showing how a leaky or defective bottle trap can be replaced, whatever the cause of leak or damage may be.
Replacement bottle traps can be purchased quite cheaply from your hardware shop, and the tools required are only a screwdriver, a hacksaw and some emery paper. Let’s get down to business!
Buying the Bottle Trap
1. Purchase a set of bottle trap from your local hardware store, which usually comes bundled with the required ancillaries. The whole set costs under RM10 – cheap!
2. This is the entire set – bottle trap and ancillaries, including connecting pipe and rubber gaskets.
3. Since I was going to replace the bottle trap, I might as well replace the rusty sink strainer as well. This, like the bottle trap set, can also be found at the same hardware store for cheap.
4. First, remove the bottle trap by unscrewing the two screw joints between the sink and the trap, and between the trap and the horizontal pipe to the wall (shown by 2 red arrows above).
5. Next, remove the old rusty sink strainer by removing the screw in the centre of the strainer. Replacing the Sink Strainer
6. Held in my left hand is the lower plastic piece which we will be installing in the following steps, but first, peel off the protective layer on the new sink strainer…
7. …and place it over the hole on the sink.
8. Place the rubber ring gasket into the lower plastic piece set, resting it into the groove…
9. …like so! This plastic piece will later be connected to the bottle trap.
10. Place the plastic piece and rubber gasket squarely against the hole rim at the bottom of the sink. With one hand holding this against the sink…
11. …use the other hand to place the bundled screw through the centre of the strainer right through to the bottom assembly (held by your other hand) and tighten with a screwdriver. Be careful NOT to overtighten as that may damage and deform the rather thin strainer. It should just be tight enough such that the gasket at the bottom forms a good seal with the sink. Turn on the tap and check that water flows right through and not through the seam.
12. Here is the strainer completely installed. Ensure that the strainer sits evenly against the periphery of the hole such that no water seeps in between. There’s some rust stains on the sink that I had not bother to remove. And at the bottom…
13. …the lower plastic piece assembly also sits evenly against the lip of the undersink hole, such that water flows only through the centre main hole and not through the side or seam.
That’s it…we’re done with the strainer. Now, on to the bottle trap!
Replacing the Bottle Trap
14. Place the bundled connecting pipe against the inlet on the wall and, imagining where the bottle trap will be, use your thumb to mark on the pipe where the connection on the bottle trap will be. You should allow about an inch as longer as this end of the pipe will need to penetrate into the bottle trap slightly. Use and hold the bottle trap against the sink and pipe to gauge measurements if required.
15. Use a hacksaw to saw off the unwanted portion. Remember that it is safer to underestimate and saw less off and saw a second time, than to saw off too much the first time, if you’re unsure. And especially if this is the first time you’re doing this.
16. Remove the burrs with emery paper or sandpaper.
17. Place the bundled black connector into the inlet on the wall. The fit should be very snug one. You may need to push it with your palm to get it in deep enough, but not all the way through! Half of this connector should sit in the inlet, and the other half on the connecting pipe in the following steps.
18. This is how the connecter should look like, fully installed.
19. Next, install the connecting pipe we sawed on earlier. Push it into the black connector. Well, it’s the black connector that goes INTO the white connecting pipe.
20. And like the black connector before, you may need to use your palm to push the white connecting pipe all the way through. Again, ensure that the fit is snug.
21. Here’s the connecting pipe completely installed. You should not be able to see any part of the black connector as it resides between the white pipe and the inlet on the wall.
22. Next, place the bundled inlet cover through the pipe as shown, and push it all the way against the wall.
23. Place the bottle trap screw cap through the white pipe, with the screw thread facing outwards.
24. Next, grab the accompanying rubber gasket. You will notice that this gasket is tapered, and should be installed with the wider end towards the wall, and the narrower end towards the bottle trap.
25. Place the rubber gasket onto the white connecting pipe as described in the previous caption.
26. Next, prep the bottle trap by making sure that the flat rubber gasket is seated into the other screw cap which will later be attached to the sink.
27. Put the bottle trap assembly in place and push the tapered rubber gasket into the bottle trap outlet. Position the bottle trap such that the top of the bottle trap coincides with the opening on the undersink. Once the tapered rubber gasket is in place…
28. …tighten the screw cap securely to the bottle trap here.
NOTE: Note that in the next two steps, you may need to adjust the tilt of the sink slightly. Ideally, this should be adjusted from the bracket just behind the sink, but that is a topic for another article. If the tilt of your sink is not too bad, you could just push it up slightly and install the bottle trap, provided the bottle trap is NOT holding the weight of your sink, otherwise you could expect another leak in due course!
29. Extend or contract (and saw off if too long) the white vertical connecting pipe to the sink, and tighten the screw cap on the bottle trap…
30. …as well as the other screw cap to the black plastic sink strainer assembly installed earlier. Completing and Testing the Installation
31. And that’s it…you’re done!
32. Finally, turn on the tap and allow water to flow through for a few seconds, ensuring that there is no leak and that the job has been completed perfectly!
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