How To Fix a Clogged Sink

Posted by on Jun 7, 2017 in technical writing | No Comments

You may have noticed that your sink is draining more slowly these days, or perhaps standing water takes longer to drain than usual. Plumbing problems can happen to the tidiest of households once in awhile due to hair, gunk or food particles getting trapped in the pipes just below the drain. But don’t feel like you have to resort to using commercial draining agents that can corrode your pipes to fix the problem. There are several sustainable ways to clear those clogged pipes with earth friendly ingredients that you likely already have around the house.

1.Use A Metal Coat Hanger

This is often all you need to dig out the gunk that is blocking the drain. It can be a simple yet effective solution that only takes a few minutes. Just unwind a metal coat hanger and straighten it out as best as you can, and push it down the drain until you feel some resistance. At that point, you can hook onto whatever is blocking the path and pull it right out. Continue doing this until you can push the hanger through the pipe. Then run hot water for a minute or two to make sure it has been cleared.
2. The Drain Snake

You can find one of these handy tools at your nearest hardware store. A drain snake is long flexible metal rope used for going deeper into the sewer line to break up debris and allow it to be dislodged. Push it down your drain and turn it until it dislodges the debris. Here’s a quick video that shows the process in depth.
3. Baking Soda and Vinegar

Some would say this method sounds too good to be true, but it really works! Simply pour ½ cup of baking soda into the drain, and then follow that with ½ cup of vinegar. Next, cover the drain or close the sink hatch and let it sit for about 30 minutes. The chemical reaction will go to work unclogging the drain. When the time is up, run hot water down the drain. If it’s a particularly stubborn blockage, use a metal coat hanger or drain snake to push through the debris.

4. A Plunger

Hopefully everyone has one of these in the bathroom, because it’s useful for unclogging more than just your toilet. You can use it on your bath and sink drain as well. Keep in mind that you can purchase a smaller plunger that is meant for unclogging a sink at your local hardware store. Just block the faucet and intake with wet rags, close the hatch and fill your sink or tub halfway with water. Then plunge the drain several times in quick succession. Once you open the hatch to drain the water, the force of the draining water should help unclog the pipe.

5. Baking Soda and Salt

This concoction causes a chemical reaction that is a good way to dissolve some of the more stubborn blockages. Mix ½ cup of salt with ½ cup of baking soda and pour it down the drain. Wait about 20 minutes and then pour boiling water down to rinse through the blockage.

6. Boiling Water

This is probably the easiest of all the methods. Simply put the kettle on and boil some water. Then pour it down the drain and let the hot water work through the clog. You may need to repeat the process several times.

7. Cleaning the Pipe

Although many dread the idea of DIY plumbing, this particular technique is actually not that difficult. There are a few steps to it, but it’s not rocket science one you know what you are doing. Grab a bucket and place it under your sink to catch any leaks, then use pliers to unscrew the nuts that hold the P-trap (curved pipe under the sink) in place. Make sure the P-trap itself is not clogged and then use a wire coat hanger or drain snake to locate and dislodge the clog in one of the other 2 pipes. Screw the P-trap back in place and you’re all set. Watch the video below for a quick demonstration.

If all else fails, you can always call a reputable plumber.