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Why is the European-style bottle trap not approved by the plumbing codes in the U.S.?
Saturday, July 21, 2018
A bottle trap is also called a “decorative lavatory trap”, and it is designed to be installed for sinks where the plumbing below the sink is visible. It can be coordinated with a specific high-style finish, such as weathered copper or oil-rubbed bronze, to match the faucets.
Although a bottle trap is more-or-less a P-trap, it depends on an internal tube to create the trap seal, similar to a bell trap. If the interior tube fails due to corrosion or another problem, sewer gas could enter the home, and it is not examinable to verify that that the trap is functional. Also, it is not self cleaning/scouring. So a bottle trap is not approved by the plumbing codes, although some jurisdictions may allow them as a “special condition.”
The photo below shows one we came across on a recent home inspection that was installed by the homeowner as part of a kit that came with a “designer” sink.
For other prohibited trap designs, see our blog post What plumbing traps are illegal by code?
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