One of the things I like to do in my Inspection Reports, when writing about concerns involving water leaks, is to give a rough “visual idea” as to what the issues are by doing a color “overlay” of the issue. Whether it is suspected water behind the tiles of a tub/shower enclosure, water under the vinyl floor around a toilet, or an improperly installed sink trap, I think these pictures help get the point across—-and worth the few seconds it takes me to do it.
The particular defect that I am going to discuss today, of an improperly installed sink trap, is sometimes difficult to convey to the buyer just why the installation is wrong—-after all—-water is going down the drain.
This first picture shows a normal trap and the overlay shows the amount of water that is in a properly installed trap. Anyone that tries to explain what a “weir” is appreciates how useful pictures can be. The small amount of water in the trap is easily pushed over the dam (weir) and down the drain.
This next picture shows an improperly installed trap with an overlay that shows the amount of water trapped in the pipes. (Note how the water level actually keeps the disposer on the left flooded.
From the picture you can imagine the extra force necessary to push all that water out of the trap. The result is poor drainage with the likelihood of clogging over time. Sure it will still work—-just not as well as the first picture.
Seems like it is not so weir-d after all.
By Charles Buell, Real Estate Inspections in Seattle
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