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Hair and Capillary Attraction (depleting trap seal)

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  • Hair and Capillary Attraction (depleting trap seal)

    Hello drain cleaners,
    Have you ever had a situation where hair has absorbed water from the trap causing it to lose its seal? The other day my neighbour called me about a bad smell coming from her shower. I went and checked it out and sure enough the bathroom smelled like sewer gas. When I looked down into the drain for the shower, under the strainer was a giant hairball that looked to have absorbed most of the water, so I used a hook I had made out of copper wire (more flexible than a coathanger) to pull it out. After priming the trap again with water the smell was fine. Could this much hair absorb enough water to deplete the seal of the trap? I'm thinking it can as I have seen it happen in laundry standpipes with wool/other lint before. Any feedback is much appreciated.

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  • #2
    Re: Hair and Capillary Attraction (depleting trap seal)

    capillary action and siphonage will get the couple of inches of water past the weir of the trap.

    phoebe it is


    • #3
      Re: Hair and Capillary Attraction (depleting trap seal)

      Perfect. Thanks for the quick response. Pretty gnarly hairball eh?