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Why Are Bottle Traps Illegal? Know The Legal and Health Issues

Bottle traps are plumbing components that you can find under your sink or basin. They’re great for preventing sewer gasses from getting inside your home. But do you know that they’re illegal in some places? But why are bottle traps illegal?

A bottle trap solely relies on internal walls for its trap seal, which doesn’t follow modern building codes. Because in the event of corrosion-related design failure, sewage gas can infiltrate your home.  However, you can’t evaluate the performance of the interior parts without disassembling the trap.

Furthermore, there’s more to this. Hence, we’ll talk about which states allow them, where you can use them, their importance, etc. Don’t miss it!

How Important Is a Bottle Trap?

A bottle trap is an important feature of your bathroom plumbing system since it keeps hygiene and removes smells. When you drain water from your basin, it travels through a pipeline and eventually to the sewer, where numerous types of waste accumulate.

why are bottle traps illegal

If you haven’t got a bottle trap, sewage gas leaking from your drains and pipes may generate an unpleasant stench in your bathroom. And this sewer gas is linked to serious health risks. That’s where a bottle trap forms a water seal, preventing harmful vapors from reaching your house.

Why Are Bottle Traps Not Allowed?

Bottle traps aren’t allowed in modern building codes because they have an interior partition consisting of a pipe that can’t be seen. And that’s why it’s not ideal since if it breaks or collapses, sewage gas may seep through.

Plus, they can’t pass a mechanical device, like a plumber’s snake, through them, so they don’t meet that part of the code. Also, the mass code says that all bottle traps have to be self-cleaning to keep the water and pipes in your house clean and healthy. And bottle traps can meet that code, either.

Ultimately, bottle traps can’t meet most vital code requirements in terms of legal and health concerns.

Which State Allows Bottle Traps?

If you’re wondering whether bottle traps are allowed in your state or not, the answer is – it depends.

States like California, New York, Washington, Texas, and most other states do allow them, but only under special conditions. Plus, Alabama permits them, but only after they’re made of authorized materials by the Commissioner.

So, it’s best to check with your local building department to see what the rules are in your area. Don’t risk breaking the law – do your research and make sure you’re in the clear before installing a bottle trap in your plumbing system.

What are Some Effective Alternatives to Bottle Traps?

If you’re looking for efficient substitutes for a bottle trap, check the options below.

P Traps

They operate by utilizing a U-bend that keeps the upper output arm horizontally bent. While its lower portion is connected to the garbage disposal, its horizontal part joins to a drainpipe.

In fact, P-traps are great at catching debris and keeping your drain flowing smoothly.

Grease Traps

Now let’s discuss grease traps as a bottle trap substitute. There is often a container or chamber in the grease trap. It has an inlet and an outlet that link a building’s sewer system to the city’s sewage systems.

It’s a plumbing gadget that mainly captures fats, oils, and greases (FOGs) before they enter the public sewage system.

Where Can Bottle Traps Be Used?

You can use bottle traps under any basin, including in your kitchen sink! They work even better in the kitchen because they help prevent clogs caused by food scraps and other debris. Plus, they make it easy to clean out the piping.

Moreover, when using a sink bottle trap, keep in mind that it has a straight connection.

Thus, check that the bathroom sink’s waste pipe is mounted on the wall instead of the floor. You can quickly affix the bottle trap to any basin of your choice as far as the pipe is attached to the wall.

Remember that sink bottle traps are meant solely for use beneath sinks. If you try to place them beneath different types of plumbing fixtures, you’ll ruin the whole thing.


We understand that you might still face questions that need to be answered. Well, check out the commonly asked questions below.

Q. What materials are used for the bottle traps?

According to IS 1068, the surface of the trap must be nickel-chromium plated and meet the Cu/Ni 05 b Cr r classification code.

Q. Is a bottle trap better than a P trap?

It depends on the situation. Bottle traps have a deeper shape than P traps, but P traps allow for better water flow and less chance of blockage. It’s important to note that bottle traps may not be allowed in certain regions, so it’s best to double-check your local regulations before making a decision.

Q. Is it possible to use a bottle trap for a bath?

No, bottle traps aren’t usually used for baths. But you can get 1.5-inch traps available for kitchen sinks. However, bathtub traps are mandatory for all plumbing fixtures, including sinks, showers, and bathtubs. They begin where the tub drain ends and are fixed to a fitting screwed onto the drain outlet.

Final Words

So, why are bottle traps illegal? The use of bottle traps in plumbing systems is a controversial topic. While they’re useful in certain situations, they also come with legal and health issues that need to be considered.

You should check the building codes and regulations in your area before installing a bottle trap, as they may be illegal.

If you do need to use a bottle trap, request a variance from the building department and be prepared to inspect it more frequently.