A clogged sink never comes at “the perfect time.” Picture this…It’s Saturday and all of a sudden your kitchen or bathroom sink is backing up and threatening to overflow. A plunger doesn’t work, and your clogged sink laughs and mocks your over-the-counter “drain cleaner.” A clogged sink drain is not something that you want to be dealing with…on the weekend, or ever.
Clogged sinks aren’t all the same…
A sink that is overflowing, slow draining, or plugged with hair can interrupt your family’s schedule. Therefore, we know you want to fix your clogged sink drain quickly, and with ease.
Luckily, it is easy to fix a clogged sink drain when you’re armed with the right information. Let’s get into the common questions and solutions for a sink not draining.
Why is My Sink Drain Clogged?
Your home’s plumbing system is vital for moving used water and waste away from our house. But sometimes these systems take on more than just water and liquid and experience back ups.
Sink drains in the kitchen, bathroom, and utility rooms collect water, soap scum, hair, grease, debris, and food. Without regular treatment like removing hair, your sink or shower drain may experience a clog or drain blockage. Since all of these drains make their way to the main drain line, where larger blockages can occur. This means that what might seem like a “local” clog in your sink or shower is really the byproduct of a sewer line problem. These are best identified with a sewer camera inspection, and quite honestly, professional assistance.
If you have a clogged sink drain in your kitchen, it is likely due to food waste. Kitchen sink drains with no attached garbage disposal are more likely to clog because food and kitchen waste end up in the drainpipe and are larger and more susceptible to blockages.
Clogged bathroom sinks most likely have hair blocking the pipes. We perform more grooming activities in the bathroom. From shaving to brushing our hair, it can fall down and collect in the sink. Instead of washing this hair away, it’s best to collect it and throw it in the trash.
Unclogging Your Sink Drain
It’s normal for your bathroom sink or kitchen sink to become clogged every so often. If you are a homeowner, be prepared with a drain cleaner or plumber to help you out. You can try to prevent clogged sinks by throwing away debris, hair, and food waste rather than rinsing it down the drain.
How Do You Unclog A Sink Drain?
There are many DIY methods for clearing a drain clog. However, it’s vital to inspect your clogged drains first to identify the correct solution.
Clogged sinks can be plunged, cleared with chemical drain cleaner, or cleaned with DIY drain cleaner. However, sometimes you may need more intense solutions, like hydro jetting, which can only be handled by a professional plumbing service.
Will A Clogged Sink Eventually Drain?
Not all sink clogs are the same. For the most part, you’ll find you have a sink that is simply slow to drain. If you notice an excess of standing water in your sink, it means that there is something in the drain but it is still letting water through.
Even if your sink is slow to drain, but eventually does, you’ll want to prepare to unclog the drain so that it doesn’t ruin your pipes or make the blockage worse.
How Do You Clear A Stubborn Clogged Drain?
Clogged drains can be backed up with all kinds of stuff, like debris, hair, and soap scum. On top of that, if you don’t inspect it properly, you may not realize that there is actually something else going on with your pipes.
When it comes to stubborn drain cleaning, you’ll want to call in a professional. Of course, some home bloggers may suggest you continue to use the DIY methods over and over again. But this is not safe for your pipes!
Best Ways to Unclog a Stubborn Clog
If you notice that your sink is not draining properly, is slow to drain, or is backing up, consider these tips for clearing the drain.
Natural Methods: Vinegar, Baking Soda, and Boiling Water
Most homeowners know that they can also use a chemical drain cleaner to clear a sink clog. However, this would involve putting chemicals into the water supply or into your septic system.
Mixing vinegar, baking soda, and boiling water down a blocked drain is by far the best DIY way to unclog a stubborn sink drain. However, this method can only be used in pipes with metal plumbing.
For a stubborn drain, collect white vinegar, baking soda, and start boiling a gallon of water on the stove or in a kettle. The measurements for the vinegar and baking soda vary, but you can get roughly ¼ cup to 1 cup of baking soda, and 1 cup to 1 ¼ cup of vinegar and it’ll work.
Here’s what you do:
- Allow your backed up kitchen sink or bathroom sink to drain completely
- Pour dish soap down the drain first, followed by baking soda and vinegar
- Let the two items mix, as there will be a chemical reaction happening in your pipes
- While you wait, put the drain stopper on top of the drain
- You can let this mixture sit for about 20 minutes.
- Once you’re done waiting, pour extremely hot water down the drain
After you’ve done this method, you’ll want to test your drain to see if it worked. You can repeat as needed.
Pour Boiling Water into the Drain Opening
Another natural DIY method for drain cleaning is pouring boiling water down the drain hole. Boiling water is very powerful as the hot water can break down hair, grease, and soap residue.
To do this, simply boil a gallon of water on your stove or in the kettle. Once done, pour the boiling water directly into the kitchen drain. Before you do this, be sure that there is no standing water in your sink already.
Once you’ve poured all the hot water down into the drain pipes, you can test your water by turning on a faucet. Once again, this method works best with metal pipes. Some feel it’s safe for newer PVC pipe systems, but if your pipes are old the boiling water may cause damage. This also applies when trying to clear a clogged shower drain. Know the pipes your dealing with, first.
Use a Wet-Dry Vac to Clear the Clog
There are tools that you can use to clear a clogged sink drain. These include a sink plunger, drain snake, or wet-dry vac. A drain snake or plumbers snake is effective at clearing troublesome clogs. You can also plunge your drain, but this might make matters worse.
You may not realize that you can use your wet-dry vacuum to unclog drains. These devices will use machine-powered suction to clear the bathroom sink or kitchen sink. This method is great for pesky clogs that won’t clear.
Here’s how to clear your blocked drain with a wet-dry vac:
- Grab a bucket and place it beneath your P trap underneath your sink
- Remove the P trap with a screwdriver or wrench
- Check the drain trap to see if this is the source of your gunk build-up
- If not, attach the wet-dry vac hose to the stopper pipe, the pipe leading up to the sink basin
- Connect the other side of the hose to the vacuum
- Be sure that your vacuum is on the wet setting with the right filters in place
- You’ll want to plug the sink on top, preferably using a sink stopper or a towel or rag.
- Then turn on the wet-dry vac; try pulsing it to see if you can get the clog moving
- If this works, then the clog will come out into the vacuum; you may also be able to fish it out from the pipes
- If this works, reinstall the P trap and test the sink to make sure it’s cleared
Call a Reliable Plumber for Drain Cleaning
If none of these methods work for your clogged sink, you can always call a reliable drain clearing service to come out and clear your sink.
If you live in the Arlington or Dallas Fort Worth area, you can trust our skilled plumbers at All Masters Plumbing for professional drain cleaning.
We can help you clear your clogged kitchen sink or bathroom sink while also checking your plumbing system. We’ll ensure the root of the problem is dealt with, and that it won’t return after we leave. We also provide hydro jetting for stubborn drains including tree roots!