Better Undersink Plumbing
Throw away the traditional P-trap to minimize leaks and maximize storage space.
Synopsis: Traditional undersink plumbing layouts leave little room for storage and often put pipes at risk of damage from inadvertent bumps and bangs. Veteran plumber Rex Cauldwell has come up with a better way to arrange undersink plumbing: He gets rid of the traditional P-trap and moves the plumbing to the rear cabinet wall under the sink. Using an assortment of well-designed plumbing parts, Cauldwell is able to create a system that drains faster and offers more storage space beneath the sink.
The plumbing system under the average kitchen sink is ill-conceived. Traditional plumbing designs drain slowly and are prone to leaks. This is because the plumbing usually is constructed with small-diameter trap-pipe material, configured with impeding 90° elbows, and connected with numerous compression joints that seal via plastic or rubber gaskets that can leak after only a few years or if pipes are jostled. Making matters worse, water-supply and drain lines occupy much of the central area of the cabinet, limiting storage space.
Frustrated with the downfalls of traditional undersink plumbing systems, I now construct plumbing so that all the drain tubes and water-supply lines fit snugly and securely against cabinet walls. While making this modification, I do simple upgrades in hardware, and as a result, I not only increase storage capacity in the cabinet but also am left with a better-performing plumbing system that drains faster and is less likely to clog, leak, or be damaged by everyday household abuse.
THE DOWNFALLS OF TRADITIONAL SINK PLUMBING
• The 90° turns in small-diameter tubing reduce drainage capabilities. These areas are also susceptible to clogs.
• Compression joints are sealed with rubber or plastic gaskets. These joints are prone to leaks, especially when jostled.
• Thin-walled PVC with a 1-in. interior diameter slows water flow significantly
• Unsupported water lines come directly through the middle…