Easy Ways to Unblock a Sink

We often come across clogged sinks, be it the kitchen, bathroom, or even the utility room. These clogs are may lead to unwanted repair.

Why Do Sinks Block?

We often come across clogged sinks, be it the kitchen, bathroom, or even the utility room. These clogs are very inconvenient and potentially leading to unwanted repair expenses by creating significant issues in your plumbing system. You may even need a professional plumber to fix up the problem. Therefore, it is crucial to understand why and how blockages form and the measures to prevent them. You can avoid this inconvenience and unwanted expense with good maintenance practice and simple remedies.

Clogs are mostly caused by food, grease, hair, and small objects. Kitchen sink blockages are caused due to food particle build-up in the disposal pipe. Sinks are known to usually have a P- or J-trap, which is meant to catch up the bigger particles to keep them out of the rest of the sink’s drainage system. These bigger food particles get collected over time and clog the drain. Grease is the most difficult substance to clean off the kitchen sink. Similarly, hair and small objects also cause blockages in the kitchen, bathroom or utility sinks. These factors result in the sink not draining.

Below, there are 5 practical and easy ways to unlock your kitchen sink.

There are a number of simple remedies that can save you from facing an emergency at home; kitchen sink blockages are one of those potential emergencies. For example, a clogged kitchen sink can give you a helpless feeling, as the wastewater builds-up and fails to drain, preventing you from cleaning that counter full of dirty dishes. It may seem necessary to call a plumber to get things sorted but wait, before you do, we provide you with 5 remedies that show you how to unclog the kitchen sink.

Clean The Drain:

Water stands in the sink only when the water has continued to run into the sink after the drain is blocked. Use a jug/mug to remove the excess water. Now clear the waste in and around the drain area with your hand (you may wish to wear rubber gloves for this).

Use a Plunger:

Once you have determined that the drain is blocked, it is time to bring out the plunger as the kitchen sink drain cleaner. However, we suggest you go for a flat-bottomed plunger for the job rather than a toilet plunger. With your plunger ready, follow the steps below:

Keep filling the sink with hot water until it is half full and it creates a seal around the drain.

  • Keep the plunger over the sink drain and continue to pump up and down rapidly and repeatedly.
  • Take off the plunger and see if the water drains or not.
  • Keep repeating the process until the water drains completely and freely.

If the sink still doesn't drain down even after multiple times of plunging, then it is time that you try a different method.

Pour In Hot Water:

Using hot water to clear a sink blockage is one of the easiest and least expensive solutions, automatically becoming the first go-to option. Find the step-by-step guide to hot water cleaning of a slow draining kitchen sink:

  • Bring a kettle to the boil.
  • While the water is heating, try removing the standing water from the sink as much as possible using a small mug.
  • Now, pour the hot water into the sink and allow it to stand for a couple of minutes.
  • If the water stands there without draining, the blockage is still there.
  • Allow the water some time to cool down, probably around 5-10 minutes and then with a small mug/ jug, scoop out as much water as possible and dispose of it in another sink.
  • Keep repeating the process several times to move the clog. This strategy works in cleaning many other kinds of blockages as well.

The Magic of Baking Soda:

Using baking soda to clear a clogged kitchen sink is a natural alternative to chemical drain cleaners. Also, for most, baking soda and vinegar are everyday household items. These simple steps let you see how a clogged drain gets unblocked with a simple home remedy:

  • Remove the excess water standing in the sink with a small mug.
  • Put one cup of baking soda powder inside the drain using a spoon. Push down the powder into the pipe if needed.
  • Next, pour a cup of white vinegar into the drain opening.
  • Keep a stopper or a lid on the drain opening to cover it and let the mixture sit for fifteen minutes.
  • After fifteen minutes, remove the lid and let hot water run through the drain.
  • Additionally, use more hot water to clear off the clogs.

However, this method is one among many available methods to clear a clogged kitchen sink. However, this natural method of unclogging the kitchen sink drain does not have a 100% success rate. If the blockage remains, repeat two or three times.

Clean The P-Trap:

There may be a block in the P-trap, i.e. the elbow-shaped pipe under the sink that particles like food, grease, hair or other dirt may have stuck in. These particles result in a slow draining or blocked kitchen sink. Cleaning the P-trap helps fix the clogged drain, as is done by disassembling the pipe to clear the blockage.

Note: Cleaning the P-trap may get a little messy; therefore, it is essential to keep gloves, goggles, towels and everything that you will need to hand. As soon as you are ready, follow the steps below, one at a time:

  • Place a bucket below the pipe to catch escaping water.
  • Remove the screws that connect the trap holding the curved piece to the vertical and horizontal pipe, and you will find a slip nut on either side of the P-trap.
  • Remove the P-trap, clean off all the dirt, and reconnect the pipe.

If the water still doesn't drain properly, the blockage may be further down the pipe. Upon finding the source of the blockage, the below steps are to be done:

  • Remove the P-trap again and the horizontal pipe that connects the system to the wall.
  • Put a plumber's snake into the pipe and keep pushing down. Once you feel the blockage down there, pull out the blockage from the pipe with your plumber's snake.
  • Keep pulling out until all the dirt is taken out completely.
  • Reassemble everything and tighten it by hand. (Do not over-tighten as this may cause a crack in the connector)
  • Lastly, flush off all the dirt in the sink and the pipe by pouring hot water through the drain.

Before feeling good about all the efforts that you've made to clear the clog, make sure that there are no leaking pipes under the sink. Once the dripping and drying of any water spillage have been ensured, you are good to proceed. Even after this, if your sink faces slow draining, then it is time that you schedule aplumber appointmentto fix the Kitchen Sink Clogging problem.

Steps to Prevent Future Clogs:

It’s important that the  necessary preventive measures to prevent clogs from occurring again are taken. The most important measure is to not dispose of food or any solid items into the drain, for example:

  • Oily items
  • Decoction remains
  • Waste Food
  • Meat and meat remains
  • Eggshells
  • Fruit remains
  • Plastic papers and covers
  • Sticky food items
  • Paint

Instead dispose of the waste in a more appropriate manner.

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