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Clogged Sink: What’s the First Line of Attack?

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Imagine this: you are in the middle of washing the dishes after dinner and suddenly the water level in your sink starts rising instead of falling. It doesn’t take long to figure out why. Your drain is clogged! Maybe you don’t need to imagine it because you’re living it and need tips on how to get rid of the clog in your sink now.

Here are the top solutions straight from our experts to you:

Use a plunger
  1. Put a little water in the sink, about 1″ or so if there isn’t already water so the plunger will “seal” around the drain.
  2. Now plunge by moving the head of the plunger around in the water while you move it up and down so you force water and not air into the drain.  This may take up to 20 minutes or longer so be patient; rest in between if you need to.
  3. If it’s your double kitchen sink that’s clogged, plug one of the sink drains with a rag.
  4. Fill the other sink with about 1” of water and plunge as above.
Caution: Do NOT plunge a drain if you used a chemical drain cleaner as it could splash up and cause serious burns!  And be sure to leave a window open for ventilation.
Snake the drain.

If you don’t feel confident dismantling your plumbing, this might be the moment to call a professional. However, if you are determined to try and remove the clog yourself, follow these steps:

  1. First, place a bucket below the drain to catch excess water.
  2. Remove the sink trap (the bent pipe below the sink) with a pipe wrench by carefully loosening the slip nuts on the trap arm first and then on the waste tee.  Slowly and gently wiggle the P-trap off to avoid any cracking or bending of the trap assembly.
  3. Check the trap for clogs and remove them.
  4. If you didn’t find the clog, feed a plumber’s snake (also called a cable auger) into the stub pipe, which connects to the wall.
  5. When the snake meets resistance, pull out about 10 inches of cable and tighten the lock screw. Turn the crank clockwise and push the snake forward until you push the blockage free.
  6. Reattach the sink trap and run hot water to get rid of any leftover debris.  Be careful not to over tighten the nuts when replacing them.  Do not force anything or you could end up with a bigger problem.
Caution:  If you have a garbage disposal, a severe clog, used a chemical drain cleaner or have any doubts, please don’t attempt to clear it yourself!  Call a professional.
We do not recommend using chemical drain products since they rarely work, harm people and the environment and can corrode your pipes. If the clog persists after your best efforts, you need to call in a professional.

If you still have questions about a clogged sink, see our FAQ’s page for more information!

Call Plumb Perfect Plumbing & Drain Cleaning at 1-888-458-1979 to solve your drain issues and to learn how to prevent them.


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