Living with a slow draining kitchen sink can be frustrating. If the kitchen sink is clogged and the resulting mess is giving off a stink in your home, you must take measures as soon as possible to eliminate the blockage. Build-up that is present in your sink can signal a larger problem. If the clog is festering under your sink it can lead to bursts pipes and other larger problems that you will be forced to deal with. Here are 5 things you can do today if you want to unclog your kitchen sink.
Keep it Simple with Boiling Water
Sometimes, starting with the simplest solution is best. Your kitchen sink clog may be the result of hair, residue from detergent or grease used when cooking. Keep in mind that this solution is not meant to be used in plumbing that uses PVC pipes. To begin, boil about a half a gallon of water on the stove. Carefully pour the boiling water directly into the drain opening. You may have to repeat this if it doesn’t completely resolve the problem immediately but seems to be helping.
Grab Your Handy Plunger
Start by clearing some of the standing water from the sink and leaving enough water to cover your plunger’s head with the water that remains. Then grab your handy plunger from the nearest bathroom. Using a flat rim plunger is best as it forms a tight seal over the drain hole. Once you have your seal, plunge up and down quickly about ten times. This should dislodge any solids clogging up the sink. If this works, then you are all set and just need to follow the tips you will find in the last paragraph to prevent your kitchen sink from clogging again. If you still have a clogged drain, try the next step in the list and work through the list until you have unclogged your kitchen sink.
Try Clearing the P-Trap
Locate your P-Trap. It is right under the kitchen sink and is in the shape of the letter P. The P-trap is used to prevent sewage smells from getting out. Large solids can clog this pipe and cause a huge mess in the drain and piping. Make sure you put on a pair of gloves and place a bucket or large bowl underneath the pipe because this may get messy. Open the P-trap by unscrewing the nut on both sides. This will release whatever is in the pipe. It may be necessary to use your hands to dislodge any stubborn solids that won’t come out.
Snake the Drain
A short manual-crank drain snake can be found at any local hardware store. You can also opt for the more expensive electric snake. As long as your clog is above the P-trap this tool should help to clear it out. Put your drain snake in and as soon as it hits the clog, you will crank the handle to dislodge any debris and pull it right out. Be careful not to push too hard. You just want to get to where the clog is, not push it further down the pipe.
Free the Clog with a Metal Wire or Clothes Hanger
If you don’t want to make the run to the hardware store, you can try to unclog the kitchen sink with a metal wire, like a clothes hanger. Start by unwinding the hanger by hand or with a pair of needle-nose pliers to get it into a straight long shape. Then use the hooked end to pull out any debris clogging the drain. As with the snake drain, don’t push too hard as you will just push the clog down further.
Preventing a Clogged Kitchen Sink
Preventing a clogged drain is pretty simple and is all about using your drain and disposal properly. Use a grain grate in the sink on a daily basis to stop harmful things from going down your drain.
Also, avoid these things when using your garbage disposal:
- Potato, Carrot and Celery Peels – they can jam the disposal motor and lead to a clogged sink.
- Grease, Fats & Oils – Try keeping all grease in a disposable container and dispose of it when full.
- Egg Shells & Coffee Grounds – Discard them in the trash or use them in your garden or mulch.
When faced with a clogged kitchen drain that these solutions will not solve, call the pros at Howell Services to have a licensed plumbing professional service your drain today!