A slow drain doesn’t have to ruin your day. Here’s how to fix a clogged sink yourself.
Dealing with a clogged sink? Join the club. This is one of the most common plumbing problems that homeowners and apartment dwellers report. So you’re in good company! But before you call a local plumber, consider fixing your sink with some good old-fashioned DIY know-how. Many clogged drains can be fixed with inexpensive at-home remedies. That said, if you want to skip the elbow grease, you can always call your local plumber. Here at Blanton’s in Fayetteville and Raleigh, NC, we live for this stuff.
Why Do Sinks Get Clogged?
Your sink works hard for you. It’s your cooking workstation, hand wash central, and more. But as you go about your household chores, you’re likely leaving behind evidence. Foreign material will accumulate in the pipes over time, causing slow drains and eventually clogged sinks.
In the kitchen, food scraps and cooking grease are the most common culprits for clogged drains. You should not dispose of oil in your kitchen sink; instead collect it in a heat-proof container and dispose of it in the trash once it has cooled. Compost any large food scraps; if you have a garbage disposal, you can pulverize small scraps in that. Never put coffee grounds down your drain — either compost them or throw them in the trash.
In the bathroom, there is a high probability the sink is clogged with hair. Delightful imagery; we know. Luckily, we’ve got some smart DIY ways to unclog your sink.
How To Fix A Clogged Sink At Home
Before you call your local plumber, try these fixes on your slow sink.
- Flush it with hot water. Be careful with this one! Pouring hot water into a drain will not work if it is completely obstructed. But if it is merely flowing slowly, a kettleful of boiling h2o can work wonders.
- Use a commercial unclogging product. Commercially available products, like Drano, have powerful unclogging power. Use them according to the manufacturer’s directions on the bottle, and do not use more than the intended amount. Give the product adequate time to work before performing a hot water flush; wait at least 30 minutes before trying to use the sink after an application of unclogging liquid.
- Use a drain snake. All of the hot water and Drano in the world can’t dislodge a stuck foreign particle. This is where drain snakes come in handy. Drain snakes are made of a variety of materials (most often metal or plastic), and are long, handled probes. To use a drain snake, insert it into the drain and move it around the pipe. Some models even contain small combs or hooks on the body of the snake to capture the clog. Unlike hot water and liquid/gel unclogging agents, a drain snake will pull the clog up and out of the drain through the sink. It’s a good idea to wear gloves when performing this task — matted hair, fur, or tissue can become funky after weeks of clogging your drains.
Here’s the bad news: If every sink and drain in your house is clogged, the problem requires more than a little hot water. This is a sign of a plumbing main problem, and should be reported to a professional who has the tools and training to fix it safely. If the flow of water reverses (comes back up your drains), put down the snake and walk… we mean, run… to the telephone. This is a scenario for your plumber, not you.
One more smart piece of advice: Addressing a slow drain is easier than fixing a completely clogged sink. If you notice your kitchen or bathroom sink is draining slowly, try flushing it with hot water or using an over-the-counter unclogging product. These protocols are much more effective for busting through a slow drain than a completely stopped-up one. When all else fails, your local plumber can help fix your clogged sink. And for goodness’ sake, keep those coffee grounds out of the drain!
Contact Blanton’s Air at (910) 249-4898 for all your Fayetteville or Raleigh, NC HVAC and plumbing needs.