If you have a blocked sink drain, there are some things you can do without having to call a plumber. All you need is a bit of practice and a few common tools and you will be able to deal with the clog in a short amount of time by yourself. Follow the instructions provided below and save yourself the plumbers’ call.
Step 1: The proper tools
When your kitchen sink clogs, you will be left with a ruined evening and instead of watching some TV, you will be left staring at the dirty sink overflowing with water. You will start to wonder if you should call a professional plumber but there are two common tools you can use in order to clean the mess as quickly as possible.
Below, we will teach you the right way to use a plunger and a snake if you want to clear your drains alone. You can get one from Bunnings, Masters or your local hanyman store selling plungers but you should know that those rubber bells work best for the drains in your kitchen. When buying a plunger, you should make sure that it has a stout handle as it will allow for a bigger force application.
A hand auger is quite cheap and effective in getting the job done. A few other thing you need to have in hand are some gloves, flashlight and a bin that fits under the blocked sink drain.
Most clogs can be avoided by careful use of their kitchen and what is disposed of down the drain. You should refrain from overloading your disposer with foods such as meat, starches or foods with high fiber. When you are disposing food, make sure that you pour a lot of cold water down the drain for every cup of food. Coffee grounds and bacon grease should never be disposed in the drain.
Inspect the Disposer Before using the Plunger
A clogged garbage disposer is a reason for blocked sink drain. If the disposers’ side of the sink doesn’t drain, plunge it to see if you can remove or force the clog.
Your disposal may be jammed if the sound is fainter when you turn it on. If so, you should turn it off and unplug it. You can also use an Allen wrench to help manually turn the blades. If it doesn’t make a sound, you probably have an internal breaker on the motor. Leave the disposer for a few minutes, reset it and then turn it on again.
For the dishwasher in your kitchen, you should try tightening a clamp over the hose. This way you will avoid the flow of dirty water onto yourself or around the kitchen.
Step 2: Blockage cleaning using a plunger
You should try plunging the drain if the dispenser isn’t the problem. If you are using a dishwasher, you should clamp the hose of the drain. Then submerge the sink with 3 inches of water so you will be sure a seal will occur by using the plunger. Put a wet rag over the second drain opening if you have a double sink. You can also seal it by using a strainer.
After that – start plunging. Put plunger must be put in such a way that you allow for the water rather than air down the drain, then start pumping hard. For extra pressure, you should remove the plunger quickly off the mouth of the drain. If you are unsuccessful from the first time, try again. To soak up all the mess you have created, make sure to keep some towels close by.
If you have put drain cleaners in the sink, don’t use a snake or a plunger. The chemicals that are contained in the cleaners can cause burns on your skin if they splash off. You should use those cleaners if the sink is not completely blocked and it is only draining slowly.
Step 3: P-trap Cleaning
With your blocked sink – coffee grounds and grease are some of the main culprits that cause it to be cloged. You may need to take apart and clean thoroughly the P-trap if the plunging isn’t successful.
You should begin with removing the excess fluids around the sink in order to decrease its flow as you take off the trap. Always keep a bucket below the trap as there will be a lot of dirty water flowing out. Older homes with kitchen sinks may have metal traps and pipes instead of plastic ones. Those are much more difficult to loosen than the plastic ones and you might need to use a slip-joint pliers to loosen them gently and avoid bending or cracking the trap.
You should first unscrew the nuts on the trap. If you see a clog in the trap, you should clean it, assemble it again and check it with water. You should remember not to tighten the nuts too strongly.
If not clogged, you need to remove and clean the trap. You should use a screwdriver and pull out any blockages that have assembled. If you are still unsuccessful with clearing the clog, next you should try cleaning it using a snake.
Step 4: Use a snake
Another method to fix your blocked sink, you should start by loosening the setscrew at the tip of the snake and pull out up to 10 inches of cable. Tighten it back and put the snake into the drain. If you feel that there is any resistance, you probably have reached a corner and the snake is just turning it. You should then loosen the setscrew again and pull out another 6 to 10 inches of the cable to continue pushing the snake down the line.
When you feel that there is a blockage, you should continue pushing down until you go through the clog. There is no way that you would miss this as the tension will drop. When you have broken through the clog, turn the crank in counterclockwise direction and pull the cable out. Clean it as you pull it out as it will surely be covered in dirt – also keep the bucket closely. You should repeat this process up until the moment you don’t feel the obstruction. Reassemble the trap and pour a lot of warm out in order to flush it completely.
When you have cleared the drain, pour down half a cup of baking soda and half a cup of white vinegar. Cover all the openings and leave it for a few minutes. After that, pour another gallon of warm water to clean the drain from the mixture. This way – using soda and vinegar – you will be able to clear out any blockages that are left and you will bring a fresher smell of the drain.
Tools that you would need:
You should make sure you have all necessary tools.
• wrench – Allen
• wrench – Pipe
Other materials that you would need:
Here is a list of the things you would also need for the project.
• White vinegar
• Baking soda