Plumbing is a practical and necessary feature in every liveable home, but despite the pivotal role it plays in ensuring the functionality of your living space, not a lot of people know all the working parts that keep it running smoothly.
HVAC systems such as your gas appliances, in particular, are made up of different components that ensure it’s working in tip-top condition without giving in to wear and tear too soon. With that said, one of the parts that people often see but don’t know the purpose of is the gas line’s sediment trap, which are the pipes that go down the ground into what seems like a rabbit hole.
What is a Sediment Trap?
A sediment trap is a part of your HVAC system that helps trap sediments from your gas line, preventing them from clogging up and getting into your furnace or boiler. The sediment trap typically comes after the gas meter and before the gas pipe goes into your house, and this is where the trap is placed.
By virtue of its location, some sediments will likely accumulate and gather in the trap. This is why you must have it cleaned out at least once a year and possibly more often if you’re a heavy user of your gas appliance.
What is Sediment?
Sediment is a mixture of water, solids, and oils trapped between the layers of your water heater and the waterline. If left unattended, sediment can destroy your appliances and cause them to malfunction, which can ultimately lead to leaks or even fire.
The Importance of a Sediment Trap
The purpose of this part of your gas appliances is to keep your gas line clean and clear. Gas pipelines in the ground or your walls or ceiling are known to develop a buildup of sediment, which can even happen within the first year of use. In order to keep it working well and ensure that it’s not a fire hazard, this buildup needs to be eliminated.
Sediment traps need to be cleaned every year or two to keep your gas appliances functioning, plus failing to get them cleaned out regularly can cause gas appliances to malfunction in more ways than one.
How to Clean Your Sediment Trap
One of the most important reasons for keeping your sediment trap clean is for safety reasons. If you fail to keep it clean, you run the risk of having gas fumes in your home, which is dangerous and even fatal if they get into the air you breathe.
Cleaning your sediment trap is a simple process, at least on paper. The basic steps are:
- Turn off the gas.
- Take the sediment trap out and put it in a bucket.
- Pour hot water down the pipe.
- Clean the pipe with soapy water.
- Put the sediment trap back in the hole.
In order to effectively clean your sediment trap, make sure that the gas appliances are turned off or turned to their lowest setting. It would also be helpful to have a flashlight, which you can use to shine into the pipe and see the buildup of sediment.
But if you’re not familiar with the layout of your gas line and where your sediment trap is, it can be a lot more challenging to complete. That’s why hiring a professional plumber to do it for you is the smart choice.
The Bottom Line: Why You Should Pay More Attention to Your Gas Appliance’s Sediment Trap
Just like a professional plumber can install your gas appliance, they can clean your sediment trap when you need it done. But that’s not all they can do. Plumbers can also do a thorough inspection of your gas appliance, ensuring that it’s in tip-top condition and not at risk of causing harm to you or your family.
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