Saturday, March 30, 2013

Beginning Thoughts on Plumbing

I have been considering options regarding plumbing for my tiny home. There are lots of options for running water lines from traditional Copper on to the more modern PEX. While researching the options, I came across this ingenious little item.  Known as the Clear J Trap, it is a semi-transparent (there are other options ranging from black to clear) J-Trap that opens at the bottom! How awesome is that?
Well, if you are not seeing all the incredible awesomeness built into this little plastic beauty, let me point it out to you. First of all, for those of you not really familiar with plumbing, the J-Trap serves two purposes in the sink plumbing: 1) It prevents gasses from coming up into the sink from the sewer or septic by continually holding a small amount of water which helps block the path of sewer gasses back into your living space, and 2) the shape prevents larger objects or heavier objects from exiting via the pipe, thus providing a natural catch-space for jewelry, sand, and other objects which otherwise might be lost or damage the plumbing if allowed to travel in the system further.

Traditionally, pipes are not made of materials that are see-thru, so if you develop a clog or think that Great Aunt Suzie's ring fell down the drain, you would have to disassemble the entire trap to see what the clog is or if the object of your desire was lucky enough to settle there. This J-Trap has a convenient gasketed "trap" door that allows you to easy access objects or clogs without having to be a plumber and with a minimum of muss and fuss. Here is a demo of how it works:

How much might you be willing to pay for such an incredible item? $19.95 + shipping and handling? No Ma'am. No Sir! This little beauty cost me just $1.50 plus 4.29 shipping on Ebay! Whoo Hoo! You can visit the auction here until Ebay takes it down).

Now let me share what excited me so much about this item with regards to its application in a tiny home. This J-Trap will allow me to plumb for gray water drainage outside of the tiny home OR allow me to open the J-Trap and drain the fluids into a 5 gallon bucket (for example while traveling to the new location where I plan to park my tiny home. I will have a potable water tank and a 12 volt pump, so it is still possible to cook, wash, and do dishes even if not hooked up to my gray water system.

I had some concerns when I first looked at this item that it may fail and cause leaks. Upon looking at its construction  I am fairly convinced this item will last a long time with a minimum of muss and fuss. The gasket may fail due to old age/drying out long before the plastic of the trap will fail. If it is opened  a minimal number of times in its life, it may last indefinitely. Finally the think I like best is that I can shine a flashlight in this baby and see if anything is blocking it or in it without first having to rip apart the plumbing and potentially having a larger problem to fix simply because of my limited experience. All things being equal, I think this is a perfect J-Trap for any tiny home.

If you would like more information about this product, you may wish to go to Amazon, Ebay, or to search for "Clear J Trap." Unfortunately, which is stamped on the side of the pipe, is no longer an active website. I hope that does not mean the company has folded. That would be a shame because this is an awesome product!