Kitchen sink not draining? Here are 6 ways to unclog it
We’ve all experienced it: pulling the drain stopper out of a kitchen sink filled with dirty water, only to realize the water isn’t draining. Even when the water does eventually drain, the sink clogs as soon as you run more water. In these situations, you may start to wonder about the scope of the issue and whether or not you’re equipped to fix it. Before you reach for the chemical drain cleaner, there are a few things you should know. A clogged kitchen sink is a common issue, and most of the time, it’s a problem you can resolve on your own. Although a chemical drain cleaner seems like an easy solution, it can actually make the situation worse, causing pipe corrosion and polluting nearby water supplies. Before you call the plumber, keep reading to learn about six safe and easy ways to unclog the kitchen sink. Can’t get the kitchen sink to drain? Some clogs require professional plumbing assistance. For the best kitchen plumber Cedar Hill, Texas, has to offer, call Dial One Johnson Plumbing, Cooling & Heating at (972) 362-9801.
1. Pour Boiling Water Down the DrainMost people don’t realize how much gets washed down the kitchen sink. It’s not just water and food debris; the sink ends up draining soap, grease, hair and bits of trash, too. If you’re dealing with a relatively small build-up of these things, hot boiling water may be enough to clear it. Try these easy steps:
- Bring a half-gallon of water to boil.
- Carefully pour the boiling water directly into the drain opening.
- After a few minutes, turn the faucet on to see if the water drains.
- If it doesn’t drain, repeat the process once or twice more.
2. Plunge the Clog AwayPlungers don’t just work for toilet clogs; they can sometimes help release sink clogs as well. You can use a regular bathroom plunger for a sink, but a flat-bottom plunger is more effective. When you’re ready, fill the sink about halfway with hot water. Then start plunging over the drain, stopping periodically to see if the water drains. If the water still doesn’t drain after multiple plunges, move on to the next approach.
3. Check the Garbage DisposalIf your sink clog is located in your garbage disposal, you should be able to break up the blockage simply by turning on the disposal. However, this obviously doesn’t work when your garbage disposal has malfunctioned, overheated or broken. Before attempting to fix anything, try flipping the reset switch on the bottom or side of your garbage disposal unit to reboot it. Sometimes this is all the garbage disposal needs to start working again. If resetting the garbage disposal doesn’t work, it could be jammed. To dislodge a clog manually, follow these instructions:
- BEFORE doing anything else, disconnect the garbage disposal from the power supply. Even after it’s disconnected, never stick your hand directly in the disposal.
- Insert an Allen wrench into the disposal from its bottom opening (under the sink). Try twisting the disposal with the wrench until the clog starts to break and you feel less resistance.
- Plug your disposal back in, run water and turn it on. If water drains, you’ve successfully cleared the clog.
4. Try a Baking Soda and Vinegar SolutionThe water you flush or pour down the drain — as well as anything in it — ends up at a wastewater treatment facility where it’s treated and then released into local waterways. Treatment facilities are not designed to treat hazardous substances like chemical drain cleaners, so those chemicals end up in local waterways before re-entering the drinking supply. This is one of the reasons why natural drain cleaners are a much better option. To try a baking soda and vinegar solution, follow these steps:
- Remove standing water from the sink (you may have to use a bowl or cup).
- Pour one cup of baking soda down the drain, pushing it down with a spatula or spoon if necessary.
- Pour one cup of white vinegar down the drain.
- Seal the drain with a stopper or cover and wait 15 minutes.
- Remove the cover, then run hot tap water or pour boiling water down the drain.
5. Use a Plumber’s SnakePlumber’s snakes can dislodge or break up many of the toughest clogs. However, this method will only work if you have access to a plumber’s snake and know how to use it. If you’ve never used a snake before, it’s a good idea to call a Cedar Hill plumber to inspect the drain and operate the snake. Moving forward when you don’t know what you’re doing could result in a damaged pipe or pushing the clog further down the drain.
6. Check the P-TrapThe P-trap is the elbow-shaped pipe under your sink. If the clog is in the P-trap, you might be able to disassemble the pipe and clean out the blockage. This task can get messy, so you’ll want to prepare with goggles, gloves and plenty of towels. When you’re ready, follow these instructions:
- Place a bucket under the pipe to catch water or debris.
- Unfasten the connectors that hold the P-trap in place and remove it.
- Clean all of the junk and debris out of the pipe.
- Reattach the pipe and run water down the drain.