In Summary
  • According to Andrew Serugendo, an engineer, installation of floor traps, has to be done by plumbing experts lest the drain traps get improperly installed and turn out to be a nightmare.
  • For best results, utmost attention to detail should be given when purchasing the plumbing drain systems and installation.

Floor traps or drains are plumbing fixtures installed in the floor of the bathroom, laundry room, balcony and kitchen to drain waste water. They prevent sewer gases and insects from entering into the house thus averting the spread of diseases.

Cleaning floor traps
Penny Babirye, the cleaning expert and General Manager of Perla Care Services, says given their role, floor traps amass dirt that lurks in the gratings and later forms a build-up of grime - this condition not only looks filthy but favours the growth of harmful bacteria, which pose health issues in our homes. That is why it is crucial to pay attention when cleaning the floor traps. She advises home owners to keep these traps very clean and dry each time they drain.
Babirye says floor traps can be easily cleaned using scouring pads, scouring powder, washing powder, a wiping cloth and a hand brush.

Babirye says: “In order to have a spotless floor trap, one has to start cleaning the trap as soon as draining is done.”
For proper hygiene, she advises home owners and janitors to wear gloves before they can start cleaning the floor traps. They should then get a small container, put scouring powder, and washing powder in it plus alittle water then mix to form a paste. Or mix some baking soda and white vinegar with little water to form a paste. “The next step is to wet the scouring pad and dab it in the paste then scrub clean the entire trap using circular movements until the build-up of grime clears. Clean as you pour water to run down the dirt.” Babirye asserts.

“Since some scum lingers in the grate, the use of a hand brush works wonders,” Babirye remarks. By pushing down the bristles of the brush through the grates and twisting it side by side while pouring water the scum incredibly comes off. She emphasises the cleaning of the shallow depression surrounding the grate where dirt seats. When the entire floor trap is clean, one should run water to rinse it. The trap should be wiped dry with a clean wiping towel.

Stained floor trap
According to Babirye, some floor traps may get stained due to various factors however they can be redeemed from that state through the use of baking Soda, hot water, an old towel and a hand brush in the following manner: “Sprinkle large amounts of baking soda on the floor trap and cover it with the old hand towel. Get boiling water and carefully pour on top of the towel. Give it about 25 minutes then remove the towel and scrub the floor trap using a brush rinse and dry with a dry wiping cloth. All the stains will disappear leaving you a flawless floor trap.”

Foul odour
Cyprian Onyango, a plumber working with Trained Plumbers, says plumbing traps are designed to constantly hold water in the drain to prevent sewer gases from escaping into the house. Once they are dry, the sewer gases burst forth. Bad odours in the house may be as a result of a leakage in the drain systems that are caused by poor installation. Leakages cause traps to lose their water seal. Onyango says the diagnosis is made by experts who can carry out the necessary repairs. Secondly, prolonged non-usage of plumbing traps may cause water to evaporate from the traps thus permitting sewer gases to back up in the house. This can be counteracted by flushing toilets every day until the house gets occupied.
Onyango says home owners should remember to thoroughly clean and disinfect the floor traps as well as pouring in hot water once every week to keep the sewer gases at bay.

“The main causes of bathroom clogs are soap scums, debris and hair among others,” George Walusimbi, a Freelance plumber, says. He calls for caution, especially when using bar soaps for washing clothes and cleaning of shoes in the bathroom. Walusimbi’s says to unclog drains, plunge vigorously and pour hot water down the drain. He goes on to say, “If the blockage is serious, put on a pair of gloves and carefully take off the drain cover to remove the clog.”
If all of the above fails, call a plumber.