Guide to Heating and Plumbing

Guide to Heating and Plumbing

Basic Tips to Unclog a Sink
24.02.2016 18:51

Whether the water in your sink slowly drains or does not drain at all, it is a clear message that your sink is clogged.  You can determine that the clog is only with the pipes of that specific sink if all other drains in your house do not experience slow drainage.

Sink clogs, just like other drain problems, can be fixed using some tools and knowledge on how to properly use them.  Now if you are not that familiar with the tools and how to use them, go ahead and read along; we have listed a few that can help you with that.

1.    Hot, boiling water.  Since most clogs are caused by hair, grease and soap, you can start by pouring hot water down the drain.  It is imperative that you know the type of pipes that you have before you start pouring hot water.  If your pipes are metal, then generously pour hot boiling water.  But if your pipes are PVC which can easily soften if the water is above 175 degrees Fahrenheit, do not immediately pour boiling water.  Note that boiling water reaches 212 degrees Fahrenheit.  Also, make sure that you don’t pour water directly on the sink if it’s porcelain, rather go straight down the drain.

2.    Plunger.  For sink clogs (also tubs and lavatories), it is best to use cup plungers.  You also have flange plungers but these are best for toilet clogs.  And hygiene-wise, you wouldn’t want to use your flange plungers on your sink.

  • Before plunging, you will need to seal or cover the sink overflow outlet which is usually located at the top of your sink bowl.  You can use duct tape to seal the hole.  There will be an instance where there will be condensation around the overflow outlet after you pour hot water.  You can simply pour cold water to help cool the water and stop the condensation.
  • If you have a tub which has an overflow outlet, you can seal that hole, too for best results.
  • If you have basket strainer on your kitchen sink, remove that, too.
  • Make sure to remove the drain stopper.
  • The sink should be half-filled with water.
  • Plunge away.

3.    Auger.  Compared to a snake, the auger is much easier when it comes to drain clogs.

  • First, you will need to feed the cable down the drain until you feel that it has reached the clog or an elbow on the pipes. Then, tighten the screw.
  • Start turning the crank handle until you feel that it has gotten through the clog.
  • Extend the cable as necessary and repeat the process.
  • If you feel like you have cleared the clog, pull the cable back and flush the drain with hot water.

4.    Removing the waste trap and using the same auger.  Clogs that are beyond the trap require removal of the trap.

  • Take a bucket and place it under the trap.
  • Unscrew the slip-nuts and remove the trap.
  • Make sure to pour the water from the trap in the bucket.
  • Using your auger and doing the same step at # 3, start unclogging the flat section of your drain pipe.
  • Once again, if you have worked your way through the clog, put the trap back and flush with hot water.

You also have an option to use chemical drain cleaners. Truth is, these are not advisable as they can cause damage not only to your pipes  but also to you and your family’s health.  While there are a lot of chemical cleaners out in the market, remember that these are not environment-friendly and can cause more damage than just a usual or a minor clog.  I highly suggest that you do the steps stated above as these approaches can save your pipes, your money, and the environment


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