Tips for Fixing a Clogged Sink

June 25, 2014

Learn tips to try at home as well as when to call in the pros to fix a clogged sink.

Clogged SinkHas your sink been draining slower and slower until one day you realize it’s entirely clogged? Don’t panic. These tips will help you clear the clog yourself, or figure out whether a professional plumber’s help is needed.

Check for Other Drain Problems. The very first thing you should do when faced with a sink clog is confirm whether or not all the rest of your plumbing is working. If your tub or toilet is also clogged, you know that the problem is not with the sink itself but with your main drain line. If this is the case, don’t waste time trying to fix the problem yourself. Instead, skip straight to contacting the drain cleaning professionals at L.A. Master Plumbers.

Check for Hair Clogs. One of the top causes of sink clogs is hair collecting around the drain stopper. Often, you can improve drainage considerably simply by clearing this area out. In some sinks, the stopper lifts straight out. In others, you will need to get under the sink and disconnect the rod connected to the stopper so that you can remove it.

Use a Plunger. If you can’t reach the clog by hand, you can try using a plunger to dislodge it. Be sure to seal the overflow hole by stuffing a wet rag into it so that the plunger will be able to generate pressure. Then, run some water into the sink and plunge away.

Remove the Sink Trap. Now you’re getting into some tasks that require a bit more mechanical aptitude, along with the right tools. Go under the sink and disconnect the U-shaped sink trap. If you have PVC pipes, you may be able to do this by hand. Otherwise, you will need a pipe wrench. If you’re lucky, you will find the clog stuck in this U-bend and you can simply clean it out.

Snake the Line. If you still haven’t found the clog, it must be located further down the line. At this point you probably want to call a plumber. The plumber will have to disconnect more of the pipes under the sink to access the pipe stub. Then they will feed a plumbing snake or auger into the pipe to dislodge the clog.

Clean Out the Main Drain Line. If the sink still doesn’t drain right, your plumber may need to access the main sewer line for your home and clean it out using a hydrojetter.

Don’t Use Chemical Drain Cleaners. Drain cleaners are appealing because they promise a quick fix to an annoying problem. However, they create harmful fumes and can damage some kinds of pipes. Worse still, sometimes they don’t even work, leaving you with a sink full of hazardous chemicals. If you want a quick fix that actually gives results, you are much better off leaving the job in the hands of a qualified plumber, who can quickly ascertain the nature of the problem and provide a safe and targeted solution.