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To ensure your bathroom smells good on top of looking good, you need a siphon. More specifically, odor traps that are fitted to all wastewater pipes to help create the perfect indoor climate. Siphons on the wash basin or in the kitchen ensure that the used water swiftly disappears down the drain to prevent unpleasant smells in the bathroom. What are the common types of siphon? How are these odor eliminators cleaned and installed? There are various systems available, and trend-conscious consumers are increasingly purchasing designer models. 

The siphon: Function, models, design, installation, and cleaning

The siphon and wash basin become one

We have innovative solutions for wash basins with or without an overflow. We also offer space saving siphons that leave more room in our bathroom furniture, as the top drawers in the vanity unit no longer require a cut-out with these siphons.

The wash basin’s drain above the siphon is often opened and closed using a pull rod on the lavatory faucet. A push-open valve is perfect for lavatory faucets without a pull rod. Intuitively pressing it very simply opens or closes the valve in the drain.

Odor traps for kitchen sinks

The odor-eliminating siphon can also be used in hansgrohe kitchen sinks, regardless of whether the design features one or two sink basins. Good to know: As kitchen faucets do not have a pull rod, the sink requires its own drain kit and overflow set.

Siphon in chrome at the wash basin.
A designer siphon from hansgrohe fits in with the ambiance and visually enhances your bathroom.

Siphons on wash basins, in showers, and behind bath tubs

Understated design, perfect functionality: Consumers expect this from a drain system designed to make their wastewater disappear, never to be seen again. These systems are used when washing hands, bathing, and showering, and in the toilet and bidet. A siphon is the bend in the drain system. Where it is used will influence the siphon’s shape, which creates the water seal. First of all, let’s take a closer look at how the siphon works.

Functionality: The siphon concept for battling bad smells

Odor traps do their job covertly, and they all work in the same way: The siphon contains water. This seals the drain pipe to prevent sewer gases from penetrating into your living space. Because you really don’t want any of those smells in your home. As soon as you turn on the faucet, it replaces the water in the siphon. So as long as it’s kept clean, the siphon will clean itself.

In short: Bathrooms need long-lasting high-quality siphons to reliably perform their odor-neutralizing duties. Regardless of which model you choose.


Models: Pipe trap elbow or bottle trap

Which odor traps are usually used in households?

  • The classic siphon shape is the pipe trap elbow. Here, the water seal collects in a U-shaped pipe under the drain. Its prominent “elbow” makes it suitable for standard to large wash basins.
  • In the bottle trap, the (straight) drain pipe flows into a cup-shaped container, where the water amasses. This is a space-saving solution often used for wash basins with a low depth, for example in guest bathrooms.
  • The bottle trap is also used in floor-level showers and shower channels.

Side note: In the plumbing sector, a distinction is also made between concealed and exposed siphons.

Design: Discreet and durable siphons

The siphon is a necessary component in every plumbing system, but it can also visually enhance your bathroom. While siphons for kitchen sinks, showers or bath tubs are usually out of sight, those on wash basins sometimes protrude into the room. We recommend purchasing a designer siphon to ensure the odor trap suits your bathroom’s style. hansgrohe offers both standard siphons and designer models such as Flowstar. These beautifully designed products will really draw attention to your wash basin.

In short: We love a siphon that looks good and blends in with a modern bathroom ambiance. Designer siphons stay looking good for a long time because they are made of robust materials and are elegantly chrome-plated. They are also easy to install and easy to clean, so they really do shine.

How to install your siphon

Standard siphons for the wash basin are easy to install yourself. For most models, you won’t even need tools. Tip: When you undo the old siphon, place a container under it to collect the residual water. Then attach the new siphon as a connecting element between the wash basin and the drain. Make sure the rubber seals are carefully positioned here. To check you have fitted the siphon correctly, fill up the wash basin with water and then let it all drain away. If no water leaks, everything is fine. However, if the siphon does leak, you need to find the cause. It probably was not screwed tight enough, but it is best to check the installation again, step by step.  

How to clean your siphon

If you ever notice an unpleasant smell in the bathroom or kitchen, this may be because no fresh water has run through the drain pipe in a long time. In this case, simply turn on the lavatory faucet for longer than usual. This will displace the old siphon water – and the smell should disappear. If it doesn’t (and the water continues to not drain away properly), hair is probably stuck in the pipe and clogging it up. If drain cleaners, cola, baking powder or other household remedies are no use, you will need to unscrew the siphon, take it apart, and clean it. This is easy to do at the wash basin, bidet or kitchen sink:

  1. Put on rubber gloves and use your hand (or pliers) to undo the spout nut on the wash basin’s drain valve. 
  2. Remove the elbow or all drain pipes from the wall fitting by jiggling, pulling, and turning.
  3. Undo all nuts in the bath tub or wash basin and dismantle the siphon down to its individual parts.
  4. Remove hair, soap residue, and other culprits.
  5. Clean the siphon: Inside with a (bottle) brush, outside with a soft cloth and mild cleaning agent.
  6. Screw the siphon back together, not forgetting any seals.
  7. Attach it securely to the wash basin again and turn on the faucet. No drips or leaks? Good job!

By the way: Leaking or porous siphon seals can allow water to escape. Please replace them. You can find new seals and many other spare parts for your plumbing system in the hansgrohe Spare Parts Shop.

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