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What Is a Clay Trap and Do I Need One? - Kiln Crafts

What Is a Clay Trap and Do I Need One?


Key Takeaway Table

Aspect Description
Purpose Prevents clay from clogging pipes during pottery making.
Necessity Essential for studios, schools, or home pottery setups to avoid plumbing issues.
DIY Systems Involves buckets and strainers, but not always 100% effective.
Commercial Clay Traps Attach to pipes, require frequent emptying, can lead to clay wastage.
The CINK System A portable, efficient alternative, suitable for various environments.
Building Your Own Triple stage clay traps offer an effective DIY solution.

As a pottery enthusiast, whether you're a seasoned artist or just beginning your journey, understanding the importance of a clay trap is crucial. In this article, we'll explore what a clay trap is, why it's necessary, and the various types available to suit your pottery environment.

Understanding Clay Traps

What is a Clay Trap? A clay trap is a device used to prevent clay particles from entering and clogging plumbing systems. Commonly found in pottery studios, these traps are essential tools for maintaining clean and efficient workspaces.

Purpose and Impact on Plumbing Systems Clay, when washed down the sink, can accumulate in pipes, leading to blockages and potentially costly plumbing issues. A clay trap ensures that these particles are captured and disposed of properly, thereby safeguarding your plumbing.

Do You Need a Clay Trap?

Determining Necessity A clay trap is necessary in various settings where pottery making is a frequent activity. This includes:

  • Art schools
  • Pottery studios
  • Home pottery setups

Benefits of Using Clay Traps Incorporating a clay trap into your pottery practice offers numerous benefits:

  1. Prevents plumbing issues: Avoids the buildup of clay in pipes.
  2. Saves costs: Reduces the need for frequent plumbing repairs.
  3. Maintains cleanliness: Keeps the workspace and sink area clean.

Types of Clay Traps

DIY Clay Trap Systems

Many pottery enthusiasts opt for a DIY approach, using items like buckets and strainers. While this method is cost-effective, it might not be entirely efficient in preventing clay from entering the drainage system. 

Commercial Clay Sink Traps

Commonly used in professional environments, these traps attach directly to plumbing and collect clay particles. They are available in various sizes to suit different studio needs and can be found in our studio equipment collection.

The CINK System

For those seeking a more advanced solution, The CINK system offers a portable and efficient option, perfect for various spaces.

Building a Triple-Stage Clay Trap

This method involves creating a multi-stage filtration system, offering a more thorough cleaning process. It's a mix of DIY ingenuity and professional efficiency, suitable for those who enjoy a hands-on approach.

Advantages and Limitations of Clay Traps

Comparing Different Systems Each type of clay trap has its unique advantages and limitations, which are important to consider when choosing the right one for your studio.

DIY Clay Trap Systems

  • Advantages: Cost-effective, customizable.
  • Limitations: Not always efficient, can be messy.

Commercial Clay Sink Traps

  • Advantages: Directly attaches to plumbing, easy to use.
  • Limitations: Requires frequent emptying, potential clay wastage.

The CINK System

  • Advantages: Portable, minimal mess, efficient water and clay usage.
  • Limitations: Higher initial cost, may require more space.

Installation and Maintenance

Setting Up Your Clay Trap Proper installation is crucial for the efficient functioning of your clay trap. Here's a step-by-step guide:

  1. Choose the right location for your clay trap, considering the proximity to water supply and drainage.
  2. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for setting up commercial clay traps.
  3. For DIY systems, ensure that the buckets are correctly aligned and the pipes are appropriately connected.
  4. Test the system to ensure that there are no leaks and that the water flows smoothly.

Maintaining Your Clay Trap Regular maintenance is essential to keep your clay trap functioning effectively.

  • Clean the trap regularly to prevent clay buildup.
  • Check for leaks or damages periodically.
  • Replace parts as necessary, following the manufacturer's guidelines.


Recap and Recommendations We've explored the various types of clay traps, their advantages, limitations, installation, and maintenance. Choosing the right clay trap depends on your specific needs, workspace, and budget. Remember, investing in a good quality clay trap not only protects your plumbing but also enhances your pottery making experience.


Common Questions About Clay Traps

  1. Can I make my own clay trap? Yes, DIY clay traps can be made using buckets and pipes, but commercial options are often more efficient.

  2. How often should I clean my clay trap? It depends on the frequency of use, but regular cleaning is recommended to prevent clogs.

  3. Is a clay trap necessary for home studios? Yes, to protect your home plumbing from clay clogs, a clay trap is advisable even in home studios.

By understanding the importance and functionality of clay traps, you can ensure a smooth and enjoyable pottery-making process while protecting your plumbing system.

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