Your Complete Guide To Basin Traps

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Your sink is one of the most important elements of your bathroom and the unsung hero of the sink is the trap. Without your sink, you would not be able to wash your face, brush your teeth or undertake a myriad of other tasks easily taken for granted and without the sink trap, the sink wouldn’t be able to allow you to do any of this. Let’s take a look at basin traps, their uses and their different forms and help decipher which basin trap is right for you.


What Are Basin Traps?

Basin Bottle Trap

Basin traps sit underneath the sink and connect the basin waste hole to the bathroom sink waste pipe. They stop gases from escaping the waste pipe and into your bathroom. All the filth you wash away is sent down to the sewers where it decomposes. When it decomposes it releases gas that carries a cacophony of germs and terrible smells. Your basin trap is your front line defense against an onslaught of terrible gas that could damage your health and your home.


How Do Basin Traps Work?

Basin traps typically feature a pool of clean water trapped within them. Because gas dissolves in water, any escaping sewer gas is stopped in its tracks and diffused. This means the germs and the smell are trapped below the water line, in the sewers, where they belong.


Where Is The Trap In The Sink?

The trap typically sits underneath the basin vessel. This is because sinks are designed to drain water downwards and out of the vessel, into the trap. Depending on the design of your basin, you may or may not be able to see your basin trap. Some pedestal basins for example completely obfuscate their traps, whereas most wall hung basins reveal theirs.


The History Of Basin Traps

The first toilet trap was invented by Alexander Cumming. It was an S-bend trap and unfortunately was not met with mass acceptance. Thomas Crapper then iterated on this and created the U-bend trap, but it too was not met with mass appeal. The toilet trap did not become widely accepted until the Summer Of 1850, upon which sewage flowed into the river Thames and through the heat of the Sun let out a terrible odour that would become known as “The Great Stink”. It was a lesson in not looking a gift horse in the mouth and embracing sanitary innovation. It is a lesson I hope we all take to heart in this new age of heat waves.


Do I Need A Basin Trap?

Yes! Any plumbing based fixtures require a trap to stop them becoming gateways to the germ ridden sewers. It is in the best interest of all in your home and who they come into contact with that your fixtures have properly installed traps.


What Are The Trap Regulations?

By law, you must make use of traps with your plumbed fixtures. In the UK, the law states every trap must have the minimum of a 25mm seal of water or an equivalent. This is to ensure all traps keep all buildings safe from dangerous and disgusting gases, so make sure you install a trap.


Can Basin Traps Be Used On A Bath?

No. Traps are specifically designed to work with different fixtures. When shopping for traps, you will find them listed as basin traps, bathtub traps, toilet traps, shower traps and more. It is very important that you do not mix and match traps and fixtures, as this could damage your plumbing, your fixtures and cause major leaks.


What Is A Basin Bottle Trap?

square bottle trap

Our favourite trap is the Bottle Trap. They are named as such because they have a small bottle shaped canister as their connection to the basin. This cannister is internally divided which is how it prevents the gas from rising. This design is extremely compact when compared to other traps that rely on more bending piping to create their internal divisions, which makes it ideal for small bathrooms, cloakrooms and alcoves.

If you are looking to add utility to a small space, a basin bottle trap is ideal for you.

As well as this, they help catch debris like crumbs and lost jewelry as to not clog the pipe and to make sure you don’t wash away anything you don’t mean to and they feature bottoms that can be unscrewed so you can empty out any potential clogs and rescue any lost treasures.

To further elaborate, sink bottle traps feature two pipes and a cannister. The pipe that connects the cannister to the basin is adjustable so you can fit it wherever you need and the pipe that connects to the outlet pipes is horizontal so it can be fitted and sealed to the wall. This adjustable pipe means they are extremely easy and convenient to fit.

You may be asking yourself: what is a bottle trap drain? Or maybe, what is a bottle trap waste? The answer is simple, they are both the same as a bottle trap, these are just different commonly used names for the same item.


Is A Bottle Trap Better Than A P Trap?

Every trap has arguments for why it is the best, but overall, yes Bottle Traps are the most convenient.

A Bottle Trap takes up considerably less space than the alternative P-Traps and S-Traps, however Bottle Traps and S-Traps fulfill different needs.

Sink Bottle Traps connect to horizontal bathroom sink waste pipes, while S-Traps connect to vertical bathroom sink waste pipes. This means you will never have to choose between on another, unless you are installing all of the piping from scratch.

Its true rival is instead the P-Trap. The P-Trap takes up a lot of room, but because of this features a typically better flow of water. However, unless you are using your basins on an industrial scale it is unlikely you will notice such a minute difference.

The space saved however; you will notice. This is especially true if you make use of a wheelchair and need to be able to fit part of the chair under the sink.


Bottle Trap S Trap P Trap
Horizontal Waste Attachment Vertical Waste Attachment Horizontal Waste Attachment
Space Saving   Better Water Flow
Prevents Clogs    
Catches Lost Items    
Adjustable Pipes    


Where Can I Use A Bottle Trap?

Bottle traps can be used under any basin, even kitchen basins! You don’t have to be limited to bathroom basins and in fact they can be even more useful in the kitchen as they will allow you to easily remove food waste and other debris from the piping. This will cut down your likelihood of clogging your kitchen sink by a lot.

The only stipulation is that as sink bottle traps feature a horizontal connection, the bathroom sink waste pipe has to be in the wall, not the floor. As long as the pipe is in the wall, you can connect it to any basin you like.

It is important to note that sink bottle traps are designed for basins and basins only. Do not attempt to fit a bottle trap to any other kind of fixture as they will not work as intended and you will cause damage to your fixture, trap and potentially more.

It is also worth keeping in mind that there is no difference between a kitchen bottle trap or a bathroom bottle trap, a regular bottle trap will simply work in either environment.


Are Bottle Traps Adjustable?

Basin bottle traps feature adjustable pipes so that you can extend them to the height you need to reach your basin. This is because each basin will be sitting at a different height, especially with the popularization of wall hung basins which also feature an adjustable height.

This is another way they are extremely convenient, as they literally mould themselves to fit your individual bathroom.


How Much Do Bottle Traps Cost?

Bottle Traps are extremely cheap, only costing around £20. Considering they help prevent pipe blockages, smells and germs entering your home and the loss of items, they are an extremely valuable and worthwhile £20.


What Are The Different Styles Of Bottle Trap?

Round Basin Bottle Trap

Your bottle trap can either be round or square. Each shape gives off a different vibe, for example the rounded design can be seen as more modern and calming due to its lack of harsh edges. Whereas the square version can be seen as more industrial and professional due to its more angular composition. Whichever you choose is completely up to you. Take into account your basin shape when you decide on a trap. A rounded basin suits a round bottle trap and an angular basin suits a square bottle trap.


What Are The Different Colours and Materials of Bottle Traps?

Chrome bottle traps are bottle traps at their best. The modern take on the basin trap is perfectly at home in the shining metal of chrome. This makes the trap ideal for any kind of contemporary or industrial bathroom aesthetic. You can pair your chrome bottle trap with chrome taps, chrome piping and other chrome accessories to really nail an aesthetic.


How To Install A Basin Bottle Trap

install bottle trap

Our bottle traps come with the waste bottle, an adjustable waste outlet pipe and a flanged chrome seal.

First, you will want to connect the trap to the waste pipe. Make sure you use the chrome seal to seal the pipe to the wall by putting it along the outlet pipe and tightening it. then attach the two pipes, you can do this by tightening the trap nut around the two pipes.

Once this is done, extend the adjustable pipe out of the top of the trap to the correct height needed for it to attach to the basin. Use the nuts to lock off the height of the pipe and then attach it to the basin.

Run some water to make sure there are no leaks and if there aren’t, run the tap for about ten minutes to fill the trap.


How To Uninstall A Basin Bottle Trap

Thankfully, the sink bottle trap is just as easy to uninstall as it is to install!

All you have to do is loosen the nuts holding the pipe to the basin and unextend the adjustable pipe. Then, loosen the nut holding the pipe to the wall and you can remove it.

The simple nature of bottle trap installation and uninstallation is another reason they are so convenient. Whether you’re cleaning or replacing, they are extremely intuitive.


How To Clean And Maintain A Bottle Trap

The good news about a bottle trap is they are extremely easy to clean. Simply place a waterproof container underneath the trap as to avoid any spills or water damage and then unscrew the bottom from the trap. The trapped water will be dropped into the container along with any clogging materials. You can then wash out the trap, reattach it and fill it back up with water by running your tap for approximately ten minutes.

Don’t forget to check the removed water for any potential lost items! You don’t want to accidentally get rid of your wedding ring.

If you regularly clean out your bottle trap, it will prevent your sink from getting clogged. This is because the bottle trap’s design contains the clog to a manageable area within the cannister. Without a bottle trap, any clogs would form deeper in the pipes which are not easily accessible or fixable. You also wouldn’t be able to retrieve any lost items, so that ring would be gone for good!


How To Repair A Leaking Basin Trap

More often than not, if a trap begins to leak it is because of it becoming loose. As temperatures change from hot and cold, materials like plastic warp with the temperature, expanding or contracting. This is an especially prevalent issue in plumbing as the trap will constantly be exposed to both hot and cold water.

This fluctuating size, however minor, can slowly but surely loosen your trap. To fix this, all you have to do is turn off the water to your basin and uninstall, then reinstall your trap, ensuring it is tightly in place.

If you still experience leaks after this, it will be worth contacting a plumber.


What Basin Is Best For A Bottle Trap?

wall hung sink and bottle trap

A bottle trap suits any basin, but it especially suits wall hung basins and counter top basins with exposed underside. This is because they let the traps show off their forms and be part of the aesthetic. As well as this, wall hung basins have plenty of room underneath them, meaning the trap is easily accessible for ease of use.


What Basin Waste Is Best For A Bottle Trap?

Slotted Wastes and Unslotted Wastes

Simple and easy to use sink waste fittings like pop up basin wastes and basin clicker wastes are ideal as they give you refined functionality and allow you to fill the sink if you wish. However, if you are not interested in filling your sink, then a free flow sink waste fitting would be perfect as it does not allow you to fill your basin bowl, but it does allow you to slow down or speed up the flow of water into the trap, this can be a perfect way of making sure the water flow is as good as possible.


How To Save Even More Space

micro basin

Because a bottle trap saves so much space, you might be wondering how to capitalize on this and maximise your space. Installing a mini cloakroom sink is ideal as it takes up much less room than the average basin. Some of our cloakroom sinks even come with inbuilt towel rails, meaning you save even more space as you have multifunctional fixtures. If you get a mini wall hung sink, you will save even more space because there is no counter or vanity taking up room.


To Conclude

Bottle traps save space and your lost items. They are easily accessible and cleanable. Plus, they look damn good and suit the modern bathroom aesthetic to a tee. They are a must have for any basin in your home.

Hopefully this article has communicated the importance of basin traps and their crucial place in your water based fixtures, so you don’t fall into the trap of not having one.