Who doesn't hate clogged kitchen sinks? It is a stressful feeling when your clogged sink won't drain. Hiring a professional plumber comes at a huge cost, and if you delay draining the gunk, it may build up and lead to a pipe burst. You wouldn’t want that, right?
A stitch in time saves nine! So, why not resolve the issue at the earliest on your own? We can help you do the tedious job yourself without the need to rope in a professional and burn a hole in your pocket.
When it comes to the kitchen sink, Drano and other chemical-based cleanser solutions are said to be easy to drain. But, unfortunately, chemical-based solutions can do more bad than good.
Furthermore, the skin and eyes might get gravely damaged by the backsplash caused by stubborn blockages. Basic household clogging procedures need simpler plumber operations, and can help you prevent these disasters.
But, don't call the plumber yet, there's a good chance you can fix the problem by yourself. But, first, read the below-mentioned do-it-yourself ways to unclog the drain. So, what are you waiting for? Let's get the kitchen sink unclogged before it becomes permanently damaged.
1. Strike with Boiled Water
When hairs, soap residue, and other debris are getting stuck in your drain, hot boiling water can loosen the blockage in your pipe. It's the simplest and one of the best ways to unclog the sink.
Here are the tips to follow:
- Bring half a gallon of water to boil on your stove, or use a kettle to boil water on a stove.
- You may pour the boiled water directly into the drain opening.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Don't try this unclogging method if your drain is connected with any PVC pipe because boiling water might melt or damage the pipe.
If this method has failed to unclog a sink, it's the right time to move on to another method.
2. Check out the garbage management
Garbage disposal is the main reason for any drainage problems. If the clog is in the garbage disposal, turning it on may serve to clear it out. Unfortunately, overheated or malfunctioning disposals may not even turn on, but you may reboot them by pushing the reset button on the side or bottom of the device.
To remove the clog, try turning the disposal on again after resetting it. It's possible that the disposal is stuck or malfunctioning if you turn it on and hear low buzzing sounds from it.
Always disconnect the power unit before processing anything in the disposal, and never put your hand in the disposal. Then, by manually turning on the disposal blades, you can try to break apart the clog.
You can do it by inserting an Allen wrench into the opening from the bottom and rotating it until you feel reduced resistance, which means blockage has begun to break up.
3. Clear out the P-Trap
Tried every possible option and still can’t find the culprit? We suggest you check the P-trap of your sink which is majorly responsible for holding the sewer and collecting the debris.
How do you locate the P-trap? It sits right below the sink and you can easily recognize it with its U-shape. The P-trap is usually found inside the cabinet, on the curve of the drainpipe under the sink.
Make sure to put on your gloves as things may be messier than expected. Place a bucket right below the pipe so it can catch the gunk when you loosen the pipe and detach the P-trap. Take the help of the pliers to loosen the fitting. You will need a sharp knife to push food and scrape off the grease accumulated.
To clear the clog, you may need to clean your drainage P-trap. Place a pan or bucket under the drain to catch any spilled water or debris. Remove the P-trap from the drainpipe and clear off any debris. The P-trap should then be replaced, and warm water should be allowed to run through the pipes for a minute. Follow the steps mentioned below to clean the P-trap:
- A bucket should be placed beneath the pipe. When you open the P-trap of a unit, any backed-up water or debris will be collected here.
- Disable the trap's connectors, connecting the curved section to the vertical and horizontal drain pipes. The sliding nut can be found on either end of the P-trap.
- Remove the P-trap and clean all debris, grime, and residue from the pipe.
- Eliminate the P-trap and thoroughly clean the pipe to remove any dirt or debris.
- Reattach the trap.
- To run water down the drain, turn on the device.
The clog may be stuck around the pipe if the drainage situation is still not up to the mark. You may find the source of blockage back under the sink. Here's what to do when you're there:
- Remove the P-trap by repeating the instructions.
- Disconnect the system's horizontal pipe that connects it to the wall.
- In the wall pipe, insert a plumber's snake or a coat hanger. If you hit a snag when inserting, use the tool to remove the obstacle out of the pipe.
- Repeat the process until the debris have been removed.
- Finally, flush the drain with hot water.
While the water is running, check under the sink for any leaks before celebrating your handiwork's success. Be certain that all of the connectors are securely tightened.
4. Try vinegar and baking soda mixture
Before applying this procedure, make sure to clear water from the surface. Then, fill the drain with a full cup of baking soda and a full cup of apple cider vinegar.
After that, the mixture will begin to bubble as it becomes more concentrated. Place the stopper in place and wait for 15 minutes. Then, strike it with warm water to see if the clog is cleared. If the water is draining at a slower rate, repeat the process.
5. Try a plumber's snake
A plumber's snake is a handy, convenient tool to clean the clog and dirt stuck under the kitchen sink. But, first, you'll have to disconnect the drainpipe and P-traps that run under the kitchen sink to get a clear vision of the stub pipe which travels behind the cabinet.
In the hole, you have to insert the plumber's snake and continue twisting until you feel less resistance.
6. Use Coat hanger
If you don't have a plumber's snake, you may use a wire coat hanger as it acts as a substitute for it. However, it won't reach as far as a plumber's snake could, so it may be long enough to reach some clogs.
You need to insert the straight hanger wire into the kitchen drain to pull out the clog. You must be careful not to scratch the sink surface with wire.
To keep the sink smelling fresh and making it run clear, add in equal parts of vinegar and baking soda regularly, generally once or twice a month. For frequent cleaning, you require about half a cup of each ingredient.
Let the mixture stay for a minute before running water down the drain. After that, you could use lime water for the same purpose.
Or, if you own a garbage disposal between the sink, you must try to cut a few strips of lemon or orange, peel down the disposal, and turn it on for about 30 seconds to sharpen up. Let the solution stay for a minute, then rinse it off.
7. Try a mixture of baking soda and salt
It's yet another method for unclogging clogged sinks. Pour a full cup of baking soda and a half cup of salt down the drain.
Allow the mixture to remain for several hours before flushing it out with boiling water. You can repeat the procedure two times.
Initially, remove any stored water before applying this technique. Next, pour about a cup of baking soda into the drain, followed by equal amounts of white salt and apple cider vinegar. You will start witnessing bubbles in the mixture. Finally, put the stopper in and wait for about 15 minutes.
Now, run hot water to see if the blockage has been cleared. Repeat this process one more time if the water is draining immediately but slower than normal.
Points to remember for maintenance
You can use household tools to take care of any annoying issue in your sink. Read the below-mentioned points and remember to maintain the sink and deal with any sudden water clogging issue.
- Don't put any vegetable peeling down the disposal - Don't put potato or any celery peeling in the disposal. These vegetables are more fibrous and contain lots of starch that can jam the disposal motor and clog your sink.
- Don't put water into the completely blocked sink - Stop the faucet if you find standing water in your sink. It could be worse if you add extra water to the basin. The pressure of extra water won't flush out the blockage.
- Don't ignore the stopper- Filters and stoppers are the most common issues in bathroom sinks as hairs can easily get stuck and create a blockage. Remove the stopper frequently and keep it clear to get fluent water flow.
- Do think twice before using any chemicals - Lots of individuals use chemicals for clogged sinks, but these caustic chemicals may soften the PVC pipe or even damage the older metal pipes. And it can cause personal harm, and chemical splashes can burn your skin and eyes.
- Do flush a slow-draining sink with hot water - Food waste can leave a grease buildup in drainage pipes if your drain is attached to the garbage disposal. If you inspect a slow-draining kitchen sink, then flush out the grease with hot water.
- Do snake the drain - A plumber's drain snake, or an auger, is a long coiled wire with a hook or sharp cutter on a top edge. You can easily purchase an auger from any hardware store nearby. Keep inserting and twisting the drill into the drain until you feel resistance. Rotate the drill to break up the blockage.
- Don't hesitate to call your plumber - If the methods listed above won't fix your problem or you won't do it yourself, then this may require a professional plumber's help, who could use a powered drill and equipment on the mainline. Unfamiliar equipment could cause damage to the drain line. So it's best to call a professional plumber for any uncertainty.
How to deal with future clogs?
Now your kitchen sink is draining properly, make sure you're taking the necessary measures to prevent the clogs before coming back. Of course, the most important and preventive measure is refraining disposal of harmful items down the drain. This includes:
- Starchy foods like pasta, bread and rice
- Paper products like paper towels and food wrappers
- Fruit peels, pits, and stickers
- Grease, fats, and oils
- Coffee grounds
Rather, pour cooking oil into an old can and dispose of the container once it's complete. You can combine several wastes, including coffee grounds, with the mulch of fertilized piles.
Learn more about why drains clog here.
Homeowners are also cautioned not to overload waste disposals. For example, avoid grinding more than one cup of food waste at a time, and avoid putting any of the above items down the garbage disposal.
Grind a few of the cubes through your trash about once a month to scrape away food waste build-up and keep the unit clean.
If all the above ways won't fix clogged kitchen sinks, then the problem or clog is somewhere else, probably beyond a layman’s reach. In such a case we advise you to rope in a professional.
Moreover, it is also good to get quality drain maintenance plans from a trustworthy plumbing company if you want to save your time and effort. If you're occupied with lots of other work and don't have time to resolve kitchen sink problems, then taking assistance from a plumber is ideal.
Learn more about unclogging kitchen sinks from these two helpful videos.
The Shroom Company specializes in drain protection technologies for every drain in your home. Prevention is often the best medicine when it comes to clogged drains and other plumbing issues. Learn more about all of our TubShroom and SinkShroom family of products here.