How To Unclog A Kitchen Sink
Under 2 hours
If youre wondering why your kitchen sink is not draining, draining very slowly or giving off an odor, you may have a clog. It is important to be able to take care of a clog as soon as possible. If a blockage is allowed to build up, it can lead to burst pipes and a call to professional plumbing repair services for help. This guide reviews different methods for how to unclog a kitchen sink.
Safety: Wear rubber gloves when clearing a clogged sink drain.
How To Remove Blockages In Your Drain Pipes
1. Utilize A Common Household Plunger
The most popular tool for fixing clogged drains is a common plunger, which you can purchase at just about any home improvement, hardware or discount store for less than $10. Put the plunger over the drain and press down firmly. Pull straight up with gentle force. Repeat the pushing and pulling a couple of times. Adding a little water to the sink, toilet or tub can help to create suction around the drain, making the plunger work more effectively.
2. Use Chemical Drain Solutions
Chemical drain solutions are widely available at hardware and grocery stores. These affordable cleaners are easy to usejust pour, wait and flushand are great for removing small clogs or stubborn build-up. Always read the product label carefully, though, as some of these chemicals can be corrosive to plastic plumbing or are not recommended for use in kitchen sinks.
3. Purchase A Pipe Cleaner Or a Drain Snake
If youve tried a plunger and a chemical drain cleaner with little success, it may be time to use a pipe cleaner or snake. A drain snake is an excellent tool that can be utilized to remove blockages deep in your drain pipes and are easy to find at a home improvement store. The tool is inserted into the drain and maneuvered until the clog is pushed away and out.
4. Combine a Pound of Powder Detergent With Three Gallons of Boiling Water
5. Use Baking Soda and Vinegar
Use An Auger On The Trap And Wall Pipe
- Go under the sink and place a bucket under the pipe to catch excess water
- Unscrew the connectors on the PVC pipe that holds the P-trap to the vertical and horizontal drain pipe.
- Check the drain trap for clogs. If you can remove debris from the trap, reconnect it, then run water into the sink. If the sink does not drain, the clog may rest farther up the pipe.
- Remove the horizontal pipe that connects to the pipe in the wall.
- Feed auger into the wall pipe as described above.
- When you have removed the debris, reassemble the pipe and trap and hand tighten the connectors. Do not over-tighten as the plastic connectors might crack.
- Flush the sink with hot water, which should drain quickly. Be sure to check under the sink as the water flows to be sure there are no leaks.
- Clean and dry the area under the sink carefully after you have finished your work.
You May Like: Slow Draining Bathroom Sink Not Clogged
Plunge The Kitchen Sink
- Before unclogging kitchen sinks with standing water, use a cup or basin to remove the water. Some methods may require the addition of fresh water.
- Always try plunging first. Small clogs can often be dislodged with a cup plunger. A simple plunger with a flat rim, it creates a seal over the sink hole to apply the pressure needed to dislodge the clog.
- Make sure the sink contains enough water to submerge the head of the plunger and place the cup over the drain opening.
- Maintain a seal and plunge up and down rapidly, keeping the plunger under the water level and lifting it only an inch or so on every upstroke.
- If you have a dishwasher with a flexible hose, place a clamp over the line or use a pair of vice grips to pinch the line closed. If you are concerned about damaging the hose, disconnect the hose and place a pipe cap over the pipe or disposal inlet. This prevents water from backflowing into the dishwasher line while you plunge.
- If plunging does not work, then move on to other methods for unclogging a kitchen sink.
Tip: Always keep separate plungers for use in the bathroom or kitchen.
Throw Away Grease And Food Waste
Americans can be particularly hard on their drains around Thanksgiving time. If you pour the grease from your 20-pound Thanksgiving turkey down the kitchen sink drain, the grease may cool, congeal and clog the drain.
At all times of the year, make sure to dispose of your grease in the garbage to keep your drains clean and open. Dispose of food waste in the trash as well. Even if you have a garbage disposal, foods can leave a slimy residue that contributes to clogs over time.
Don’t Miss: How To Get Rid Of Fruit Flies In The Drain
Check The Garbage Disposal
If your sink has a garbage disposal, it could be the culprit of your drainage issues. If the clog is in the disposal, turning it on will usually break up the blockage. Overheated or dysfunctional disposals may not even turn on, but you can activate the reset switch at the side or bottom of the unit for an easy reboot. After resetting the disposal, try turning it on again to clear the clog.
If you turn on the disposal and hear a low humming sound, the unit could be jammed or broken. Before doing anything to fix your disposal, remember to disconnect the power to the unit and never – and we mean never – stick your hand in the disposal. From there, you can try to break up the clog in the disposal by turning the blades manually. You can do that by inserting an Allen wrench into the hole on the bottom of the disposal, and twisting until you feel less resistance, meaning the blockage is beginning to break up. If that doesn’t work, follow these tips to unclog your garbage disposal. Once unclogged, turn the power back on and test the disposal. If all looks and sounds good, turn the faucet to see if the sink drainage is back to normal.
Keep in mind that your garbage disposal inspection may not reveal any clogs or issues, in which case you can skip straight to a different unclogging method.
How To Use A Drain Cleaning Bladder
Clear stubborn clogs in a hurry with this inexpensive method.
Timothy Dale is a home repair expert and writer with over a decade of hands-on construction and home improvement experience. He is skilled in residential, commercial, industrial and institutional plumbing, electrical, carpentry, installation, renovations, and project management.
The Spruce / Kevin Norris
Dealing with clogs is time-consuming, troublesome, and definitely not an exact science, which is why there are so many methods that both professionals and DIYers use in an attempt to rectify these situations. Clogs that are left for one or more days can cause a home to begin to smell due to the trapped waste and water, so it’s essential to unclog your pipes as soon as possible. Plungers, hair snakes, drain augers, chemical clog removers, and even pipe cameras are commonly used to unclog drains, but a less-commonly used tool is the drain cleaning bladder.
Don’t Miss: Bathtub Won T Drain Not Clogged
Make A Diy Unclogging Solution
Do you know how to make DIY drain cleaner? Using these simple items you likely have around your home can often be just as effective as a declogging tool:
- Boiling water: This is the simplest solution. Fill a kettle or pot with water and bring it to a boil. Pour it slowly down the drain in bursts and check in between each pour to see if the water flow is improving.
- Baking soda and vinegar: Pour half of a box of the baking soda down the drain without adding any water. Add a half cup of vinegar and put something over the drain. Wait half an hour and then pour boiling water into the drain.
- Dish detergent: For a clogged toilet, pour a quarter cup of dish detergent into the bowl and then pour hot water over it. Use a plunger. Just as dish soap gets the greasy gunk off of your pots and pans, it can help dislodge a greasy clog in the pipe.
- Lye: Lye is typically used as a disinfectant and in soap-making, but you can also use it to unclog a drain. Carefully pour several teaspoonfuls of lye directly into the drain. Pour a small amount of water down after it. Let the lye and water sit and do their work for 30 or 40 minutes, and then pour boiling water down the drain.
Don’t Use Chemical Drain Cleaners
First thing first, Nelson does not recommend using any type of chemical drain cleaner on your pipes. If you have a clog, it’s better to try and remove it by plunging or snaking the drain.
“Chemical drain cleaners will only damage your pipes,” Nelson said.
According to ConsumerReports.org, most chemical drain cleaners are more trouble than they’re worth. Some react with aluminum and give off unhealthy gas, can solidify inside the pipes and can’t be removed, or mix with other household cleaners and cause the mixture to burst out of the drain. Crystal Chemical drain cleaners are extremely hazardous and can end up damaging your pipes, garbage disposal, and septic system. Liquid, foam and gel cleaners can also cause damage to pipes and usually aren’t as effective taking at least 30 minutes to eat through a clog.
And never rinse them down the sink, tub, or toilet.
Also Check: Kenmore Elite Washer Won’t Drain
How To Clear A Main Drain Line Blockage
Homeowners usually overlook minor drain blockage problems as they dont appear serious in the initial stage. However, if drain blockage is left unresolved for a long time, it can become a more significant problem than other plumbing issues. Therefore, in case you experience any drain blockage issues, even minor ones, you should contact a trusted plumbing company in Long Beach, CA, and get them fixed as soon as possible to avoid small problems from growing big.
Clearing Deep Clogs With An Auger
You May Like: Replace Drain Pump Ge Dishwasher
Removing And Cleaning Sink Trap
Cleaning the sink trap involves detaching the plastic or metal P-trap drain from below the sink, removing the clog by hand, then reattaching the cleared trap.
While messy, removing the sink trap is also the ultimate way to clear bathroom sink drains or kitchen sink drains. As long as the clog is located at some point in the P-trap or in the first few inches of the homes drainpipe, you should be able to physically remove it.
Bathroom Sink Clog Causes
Also Check: Green Gobbler Fruit Fly Drain
Cut Down Old Tress That Might Break Your Main Line
To prevent tree roots from damaging your sewer lines, you might consider removing any older trees that are within close proximity of your home or septic tank. Tree roots can cause sewer line clogs in the main sewer line by infiltrating lines and blocking water flow from the septic tank. Toilet paper and solid waste can be clogged by tree roots.
How To Keep Drain Pipes Clean
Drains are the main responsible for filtering and flushing away water and any debris on its way. However, they tend to clog very often. One of the easiest ways to prevent them from clogging is by being careful with what goes into them. If you would like to know how to keep drain pipes clean on a budget, we invite you to keep reading this blog.
It is essential to keep in mind that you need to avoid introducing certain items into a drain at all costs. Coffee grounds, soap scum,cooking grease, and hair are drains greatest enemies.
You May Like: Baking Soda To Clean Shower Drain
Baking Soda And Vinegar
A common cleaning solution a lot of people use to degrease is baking soda mixed with vinegar. The chemical reaction that is caused when these two are mixed is foamy and will bubble. The bubbles will help the baking soda scrape away grease that can be causing clogs.
When the grease cools off, it can become very sticky. Other types of debris will get trapped in the grease that is sitting in your lines. It is possible to get grease in your sewer lines even if you dont dump a lot down the drain. Over time build-up will occur, and this cleaning trick is quick and easy and can be done anytime.
Clearing A Clogged Toilet: How To
Is your toilet blocked again? We feel your pain! Heres how to easily unclog it and naturally!
- Start by putting some newspaper around the basin of the toilet on the floor. This will protect your carpet or lino should any water overflow
- Pop on a pair of rubber gloves and put on some clothing that youre not too worried about getting wet!
- Now simply have a look to see if you can spot an obstruction of any kind. If you can see anything , simply reach in and get rid of it.
- Grab a plunger and give the toilet bowl a good old plunge to see if anything is moving or causing the blockage to unclog. You can even try running the plunger under hot water before using it doing so will soften up the plunger which will help create a seal once you start using it
- Once youve done your fair share of plunging, flush the toilet to check if its draining properly
If that didnt work, think about trying an enzyme waste removal product these will break down any blockages in the system, which will make clearing the toilet drain so much easier.
Don’t Miss: Home Depot Dishwasher Drain Hose
Drain Cleaners Are A Great Option
You dont want to use abrasive chemical cleaners very often, as they can degrade your pipes. However, a couple of times a year, you can flush drain cleaners down your lines. When you do this, make sure youre not using too much water or flushing any other drains.
The chemical needs time to sit in the pipes to dissolve any debris and waste that might be building up. Reducing the amount of build-up in your line will help to prevent a clog.
A Word About Liquid Drain Cleaning Chemicals
Before we go too deeply into the different methods for unclogging drains, we need to talk about liquid drain cleaners. Its important to know how these work and the dangers they can create before pouring one down a sink drain.
Liquid drain cleaners are really just for drains that are slowing, whether it be from hair, food or other blockages. These chemicals corrosive properties break down the obstruction to allow wastewater to flow through. They must be used with caution and its a good idea to wear protective gloves, glasses and a respirator.
Never pour liquid drain cleaner down a drain that is completely clogged. If the waste water doesnt drain at all, the liquid chemical will sit on top of the clog. Inevitably, someone will have to plunge or snake the drain, and that liquid cleaner can be hazardous to their eyes and skin.
Don’t Miss: Baking Soda And Vinegar To Unclog Drain
Use A Foaming Root Killer
If home remedies dont work, try with a dedicated foaming root killer . Mix this agent with some water, pour it into the pipe and let it foam. Foaming root killers contain dichlobenil, a chemical safe for the pipes and septic systems but toxic for roots. If you were wondering what dissolves tree roots in sewer lines , this solution could provide a snappy result.
To kill your invisible enemies, you can also make a DIY, eco-friendly foam root killer. Use a cup of regular table salt and mix it with a cup of with vinegar and baking soda, then add a cup of boiling water to all this. Once you notice a fizzing reaction, flush this mix down the toilet. Although this mixture kills roots on contact, you should be flushing away your toilet more often for the next week or two so you wash away the dead roots from the pipe.