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Ways to Free a Clog in Your Sink


When you run water from your sink, you expect the water to drain quickly, which won’t happen if there’s a clog. Water may be slow to drain or it may not be draining at all.

When this occurs, your first instinct may be to grab a chemical drain cleaner. However, these are not good for your pipes and can cause further problems. Fortunately, there are other options available for you to clear the clog on your own. Here are a few ways to free a clog from your sink.

Remove the Trap and Drain Pipe

If your sink is clogging, chances are there is something stuck in your trap. The pipes underneath a sink are designed to catch items that may clog down the line. They feature a U-shape in order to effectively accomplish this.

When something goes down your drain, it travels down and then circles back up the next pipe, following the path of the U-shaped trap and drain pipe. However, heavier items, such as food and other debris, sink into the bottom of the U, rather than being propelled up through it. Over time, this can cause a clog to form. While you may be leery of doing any plumbing repairs on your own, removing the trap and drain pipe is easy.

Place a bucket under the pipes. Use a plumbing wrench to loosen the connectors on both sides of the UShaped trap. Once fully loosened, gently pull the “U” downward to remove it from the two other pieces of plumbing it is connected to. Allow the water to drain from all of the pipes.

Using your hand, pull out any debris that you see trapped in either the drain pipe, which is the pipe that is pointing downward from your sink, or in the U-shaped pipe you removed. Once both are clean, put the trap back in place and tighten both connectors with your drain wrench. Turn on the water and ensure there are no leaks. If there are, the connectors are not tightened all the way.

Flush It With Boiling Water

If you removed the trap from under your sink, and it did not solve the problem, you may have grease or soap residue causing a blockage in your pipes. Both grease and soap can build up in the pipes, narrowing the opening. This causes water to flow slowly. Fortunately, this is a problem that can be easily solved.

In order to free grease and soap residue from your sink drain, simply flush it with boiling water. Boil a pot of hot water on the stove and then slowly but steadily pour the water down the drain. The hot water will liquefy the grease and soap, allowing it to pass through your drain. In turn, your sink should drain properly.

Make a Baking Soda-Based Drain Cleaner

If you have yet to free the clog from your sink, the last thing you can attempt to do on your own is to make a baking soda-based drain cleaner. Pour one cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by half a cup of vinegar. If you do not have vinegar on hand, you can substitute with lemon juice.

Cover the drain as soon as you place the liquid down the drain. When the ingredients meet, they will begin to fizz. If the drain isn’t covered, the fizz will come up out of the drain rather than working on the clog. This fizzing action can help break down stubborn clogs, such as those caused by hair. Wait 30 minutes and then run hot water down the sink. If needed, repeat the process to remove stubborn clogs.

When you have a clog in your sink, there are many ways you can attempt to get rid of the clog yourself. However, some clogs are stubborn and won’t budge no matter what you do. If you are in this position, it is time to call in a plumber. HELP Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Drains offers professional drain cleaning services to remove grease, hair, food and other residue that causes clogs in your drain. Call us today to schedule an appointment.

Posted in: Plumbing

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