A blocked sink is a terrible nuisance. It is a plumbing issue that no one wants to ever encounter. While it may not be as troublesome as sewer back-up or burst pipes, it does present its own inconveniences. Aside from preventing you from going about your normal kitchen or bathroom routine, there are other negative effects to having a clogged sink drain.
For example, a clog will not only trap water but also other solid materials. Most of the time, these solid materials consist of organic materials and food scraps, which decompose. Once decomposition happens, bacteria, insects, rats, and mold will thrive; thereby, jeopardising your health.
Blocked Sink Prevention Tips
While clogged sinks present terrible situations, they can be prevented or at the least, their progress can be halted or reduced. Here are some of the ways you can avoid getting your sink drain clogged.
To start with, if you don’t have a garbage disposal, avoid throwing food scraps into your sink. Put a strainer to help keep the food from going down the sink drain. But while a strainer can help keep solid materials from going down the drain, it allows liquid materials to pass through it. So make sure to avoid pouring fats, oil, and grease into the sink, since these have the tendency to stick to the walls of the drain line when they start to cool down. Instead, put the grease, fats and oil inside a sealable container and then throw it in a separate trash.
If your sink has a disposal, refrain from throwing coffee grounds, banana peels, potato skins, eggshells, or object that are either sticky or thick, since disposals have a hard time grinding them down. Make sure that the sink has a steady flow of water when you are using the disposal, so that the scraps won’t get stuck along the way.
For your bathroom sink, make sure to clean it regularly. Get rid of the soap scum, hair, and other materials that are collected by the stopper. Never throw anything on your sink. Also, you can use drain cleaners to make sure that the drain line is clear of any blockages.
Pour hot water into the sink drain at least once a week to remove the fats and oil that are sticking on the walls of your drainpipes for at least 60 seconds. Then flush with room temperature water to cool down the pipes. You may also use environmentally friendly drain cleaners to clean your pipes once a month. Also, it is crucial to refrain from dumping paint and paint thinners down your drains.
Lastly, have your septic tank, kitchen sinks, drains, and your entire plumbing system inspected by a licensed plumber at least every 2 years. This will ensure that your plumbing system is always in tiptop shape. It may cost you a bit of money to hire a licensed plumber to inspect your plumbing system, but in the long run this will help you avoid spending on repairs for plumbing systems and the damages that they cause, which is more expensive.
Dealing with a Blocked Sink
If you have a blocked sink drain, there are some things you can do without having to call a professional 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 don’t want help from a Melbourne blocked drains specialist, and, 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
Blocked Drain Plumbers: The Blocked Sink Melbourne Specialists
If you encountered a blocked sink that just won’t go away, it is best to call in a professional plumber. Blocked Drain Plumbers has been a staple business in Melbourne – providing the best solutions for blocked toilet, blocked sinks, and blocked drains Melbourne has to offer. For over 15 years, we have provided a wide range of plumbing services at reasonable costs.
Blocked Drain Plumbers only employ plumbers with substantial training and license. We also ensure that each of our licensed plumbers have vast experience and skills necessary to deal with general plumbing and emergency plumbing situations. Our team of highly skilled plumbers are equipped with the latest plumbing equipment to ensure that the job is done correctly, quickly and accurately.
Blocked Drain Plumbers is also the leading provider of 24-hour emergency plumbing service in Melbourne. With our knowledge of all the streets in Melbourne and our use of GPS-enabled devices, we are able to provide quick response to any plumbing emergency. So if you are in need of the fastest emergency plumber Melbourne has, get in touch with us and we will get to you in at least an hour.
Take a look at what our customers have to say about us and our work! Check us out on google maps today.
So, If you ever need professional help contact us on 0412 738 874 or leave a message. We will take care of your blocked drain, blocked sink, blocked toilet, burst pipe or any plumbing problems you may be facing.