Waste Traps Explained

min read time
2023-03-09 15:53:05

As you’ll know, the waste trap is a vital component of a water drainage system. Providing a seal between the appliance and external drains stops smells, bacteria, and other contaminants from making their way inside either a domestic or commercial building. In this blog, we’ll look closely at how a conventional water trap works and explore the different types available including a revolutionary solution, HepvO, the world’s first waterless trap which has been specially designed with plumbers in mind.

How do conventional waste traps work?

As we mentioned above, waste traps work by creating a seal to prevent foul odours, contaminated aerosols, noxious gases, and germs from being released into a building.

In a conventional trap, water which flows from a bathroom or kitchen appliance (like a bath, shower, basin, washing machine or dishwasher) is retained in the U section of the water trap. This retained water then creates a seal which stops sewer gases from escaping. It can also help to trap waste particles that can often cause clogs and issues within a plumbing system.

What are the different types of waste traps?

Throughout the years, waste traps have evolved and now come in a range of shapes and sizes. Shallow bath traps have been designed to fit perfectly in the limited space between many baths and shower trays, while P traps and S traps are typically used beneath kitchen sinks, and bottle traps are used within pedestal-mounted wash basins.

Although P, S and bottle traps each have a unique design, they all use water to create a seal. This means there is a risk the seal can be broken or lost because of siphonage, evaporation, movement, leaking or low usage.

Without regular maintenance, water traps can become less effective, and in some instances, they can even dry out. Whenever a trap is broken or has dried-out, protection from the seal is lost and the toxic air can once again enter the building, creating an unhygienic environment.

In fact, an investigation by the World Health Organisation and Hong Kong Health Authority proved that viruses can spread through the plumbing system via wastewater and dried-out water traps. This shows that when not properly maintained waste traps can spread germs and viruses.

One way to successfully combat this problem is to eliminate the use of water in conventional traps. Wavin's HepvO waterless trap is a unique self-sealing waste valve that does exactly that, providing a hygienic solution to the conventional trap.



Introducing the waterless trap

Suitable for a range of sanitary appliances, HepvO not only prevents the escape of foul sewer air from waste discharge systems but also maintains the pressure equilibrium in soil and waste installations.

It is a unique product in the sense that, unlike conventional water traps, it won’t dry out, it won’t gurgle and it works perfectly when the system isn’t used for long periods of time.

Plus, the design doesn’t include a u-bend which means there’s little risk that waste material can build up and cause unwanted blockages and smells.

Extensive testing of HepvO has also proved that soaps, detergents, hair or food particles cannot block the valve, guaranteeing the system works without a hitch.

Ultimately, the waterless trap has been specially designed to do everything you’ll expect from a traditional waste trap, minus the hassle


How the waterless trap system works

HepvO uses a self-sealing valve to stop foul-smelling odours coming back into the building. Unlike a typical waste trap, it doesn’t contain any stagnant water so doesn’t carry the same risks of failure. Instead, it uses a self-sealing membrane which performs the same function as a water trap.

The silicon valve is firmly fixed to the body of the fitting which means the valve can’t be moved or dislodged. As water enters the valve, the membrane opens and stays open until the flow stops - eliminating the risk of waste or water overflow.

Inside the fitting, the silicon valve discharges into a smooth bore that successfully prevents the build-up of waste materials and guarantees outstanding flow.

Only a small amount of water is needed to open the membrane which means this product is also suitable for condensate drainage, condensing boilers, air conditioning units or heating interface units.

As a waterless trap, there is no risk of evaporation, so HepvO is also perfect in situations where the system is infrequently used like holiday lets, guest bathrooms or park homes. It also performs exceptionally well in motorhomes, other moving vehicles and even boats – which is where traps can typically lose their seal because of movement.

HepvO bath (1)

Installing the waterless trap

Installing HepvO is a simple process and includes just a few simple steps:

1: Cut the pipe to length, allowing for full compression socket depth. Remember to remove any sharp edges or loose material from the pipe.

2: Unscrew the cap from the outlet/inlet adaptor and slide the cap and rubber seal onto the pipe.

3: Plug the pipe end fully into the socket and slide the rubber seal and screw the cap up against the face of the socket to tighten the cap by hand – this will be tight enough to create a proper seal.

4: Don’t forget to make sure the water flow indicator is pointing in the right direction. And, if installing horizontally, make sure the ribs are on the underside of the fitting.

5: Put the HepvO inlet into the threaded waste and hand tighten. Check the connection is secure.

To find out more click here.

Available in various sizes, HepvO is suitable for a wide range of sanitary appliances and takes away all of the pain points which come from working with traditional waste traps. 

To find your local merchant, visit the Wavin Stockist Locator