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See-through sink trap with clog-clearing knob

Computers & Mobile Craft & Design
See-through sink trap with clog-clearing knob


This PermaFLOW sink trap from PF Waterworks was featured in Popular Science’s Best of What’s New 2008. To be clear, I’ve neither owner nor use one of these, so I can’t vouch for the quality of the product nor for its practical effectiveness. However, I admire the clever thinking that went into the design: the transparency lets you see at a glance how bad the clog is (or if your wedding ring really went down there), and the knob lets you clear it without dismantling the trap. At least in theory. In practice, of course, accumulated grime (or algae, if your trap is regularly exposed to light) might eventually obscure the interior of the pipe, and the rotating paddle mechanism might break down or get fouled with hair. Be interesting to see if this thing is still around in five years, and if so, how the early installations are holding up. [via SlipperyBrick]

14 thoughts on “See-through sink trap with clog-clearing knob

  1. Anonymous says:

    Instead of a hand turned knob I’d love to see a shaft, 3/8ths or 1/2 in, to attach a cordless drill.

  2. Anonymous says:

    yeah! a 3/8th shaft and instead of weenie little gasket wipers a rotary saw blade with big teeth… oh wait, that’s called a “garbage disposal” unit…hm… i guess that’s already patented… nutz.

  3. durrwood says:

    a builder showed me a similar product 25 years ago. It was a clear trap with a small port that could be removed by the homeowner, without tools, to clear any clogs. The local plumbers union refused to install it….

  4. Volkemon says:

    Meh. Attractive for the gadget fanatic, but not that useful IMO.

    I think your observation about grime is accurate. Not many people are in their drains that often, and dont see the crud buildup. Where the wiper cleans might stay clearer, but I doubt it will retain the “crystal clear window” to see if a ring, etc is there.

    The single paddle design wont spin with water flow, and actually looks like it would trap more stuff than a smooth p-trap. Maybe not if you always park it on top?

    I will show this to the plumbers tomorrow at work. In an 800 home elderly housing community, if it can go down a drain it does :) and I will see how often the p-trap is a problem.

  5. Mister Peepers says:

    I’d be concerned about the wiper seal leaking. Other than that, if it’s not too pricey, it’d be cool.

  6. relawson says:

    100% of my clogs so far (i’ve been in the house for 7.5 yrs now) have been between the trap and the sink. seems to get gunked up on all of those parts in between for the drain plug.

    I don’t really see this working well, and as someone already mentioned it adds another point to attract debris.

  7. baz says:

    Looks good to me , at least the trap is visible. Depends on the cost

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I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c't – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

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