Bottle Trap vs. P-Trap? Ultimate Guide

A water trap is vital for toilets to function correctly. There are various different types of traps that provide a water seal to keep odors, animals, and dangerous gases from entering a home. Two common plumbing drains are bottle traps and P-traps.

The primary difference between bottle traps and P-traps is their shape, which affects the way they protect your home from noxious, dangerous fumes. Most often, plumbers recommend P-traps over any other kind of trap—including bottle traps.

Read on to find out everything you need to know about bottle traps and P-traps in order to make the most informed decision.

What is the Purpose of Waste Pipes?

Waste pipes are crucial for a dwelling’s modern plumbing. Traps installed in the bathroom or kitchen trap all manner of debris, keep sewer gases out, and even keep jewelry and other valuables from being lost down the drain for good.

Traps form a pool of water that acts as a barrier between the dwelling and the sewer system. Toilets and sinks without bottle traps or P-traps could be used, but the smell would soon become unbearable, and the combustible gases would render the home or building a considerable danger.

What is a Bottle Trap?

The bottle trap resembles a bottle being held upside-down, which is where it gets its name. This trap looks sleek and stylish, which is one of the reasons why it became very popular in Europe. 

The bottle trap was invented in the 19th century and is still used today.

bottle trap

This type of drain pipe must be installed horizontally to trap waste. This makes it work differently from other traps that are used vertically, such as the P-trap. Waste is collected at the “trap” part of the drain pipe, which is at the bottom. 

The bends and curves incorporated into a bottle trap’s ingenious design allow it to hold odors and dangerous gases back.

One of the flaws in a bottle trap’s design is the fact that corrosion can occur inside without being detected. This can cause severe plumbing problems, but you can avoid it with frequent monitoring and early detection. 

Also, cleaning a bottle trap can be messy since you have to unscrew the bottom to let the waste out.

Something else to consider when installing a bottle trap is that the water flow can be somewhat limited.

One of the biggest benefits of bottle traps, when compared to any other type of trap, is that they are perfect for compact places. Its short design allows a bottle trap to fit perfectly in a small bathroom or underneath a kitchen sink. This makes bottle traps ideal when space is an issue.

What is a P-Trap?

P-traps are shaped like the letter P and are more commonly used for kitchen sinks and bathroom sinks and toilets. The more modern P-trap design allows them to form a better water seal to keep harmful gases out. 

Experienced plumbers almost always recommend using P-traps over other traps, including bottle traps.

Preventing sewer gases from getting into your home is necessary because of their unbearable odor, as well as the fact that they are poisonous and combustible. P-traps also prevent harmful debris from going into the central plumbing and keep the toilet from going out of order.

p trap

You will find P-traps made of metal and PVC. Metal P-traps add style to kitchens and bathrooms but can be pricey. PVC P-traps will work fine if you do not care about aesthetics. Some people even like how PVC P-traps look much more than their metal counterparts.

Yet another benefit of P-traps is that they are easy to install. In fact, most DIY’ers can do a professional installation easily when working with P-traps. Aside from the waste pipe itself, all you really need are fundamental tools to get the job done.

Bottle Trap vs. P-Trap

So how does the bottle trap fare when compared to the P-trap? The answer is that both have their advantages and drawbacks. Which one you use depends on factors such as how much room you have for installation and how much you want to spend

Bottle traps are best for more compact spaces due to their slimmer frame, but P-traps are easier to install and maintain in most standard households.

Other Considerations

Other things to consider include your budget, how the trap will look under your kitchen sink or in your bathroom, and your city’s building codes and plumbing codes.

In some areas such as New York, bottle traps are banned due to concerns about gases and foul smells entering homes. You should check to see whether bottle traps are allowed in your specific location, or you might have to pay a fine later on.

Conclusion – Bottle Traps vs. P-Traps

Although bottle traps can do a fine job in most homes and commercial locations, P-traps come out on top because of their design, safety level, and the fact that this type of waste trap legal everywhere.

We hope this article has given you a better understanding of bottle traps vs. P-traps.