I like to think I am a “live and let live” kind of guy—-but some things—-for lack of a better way to put it—-have no redeeming social value!
I am talking about your garden variety, Big Orange Toolbox, chrome plumbing traps. I know you were hoping for something more controversial perhaps—but this is all I have for you today.
Back in the “good ole days”—(You remember: before penicillin & Novocain, when women rode side saddle, before plywood, and it took a year to get across the country. Actually except for the plywood all that may have been before indoor plumbing)—chrome traps were made out of brass that was thicker than a termite’s wing and lasted long enough to justify making them out of brass.
Today it is a waste of natural resources to make them out of brass because they begin to fail as soon as they are installed. They can fail within a couple of years—-sometimes sooner. To make them affordable they HAVE to be as thin as a termite’s wing.
I always recommend “preemptive strikes” on these traps. If you have these traps in your home, just reach down and feel the bottom of the trap. If it feels “rough” it is starting to fail. They corrode from the inside out.
Take a look at this trap. It is not leaking yet but it will soon.
All of those yellowish brown and green spots are where the trap is starting to corrode from the inside out.
PVC traps will last indefinitely and will clog less as well—-and they are easier to install with less leaking. If you must use chrome ones on sinks where the plumbing shows—-spend a $100.00 on the good ones—-they still won’t last as long as the “dollar-three-eighty-seven” plastic ones.
Charles Buell, Real Estate Inspections in Seattle
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