There are multiple DIY type of things that you can do to unclog a sink. It makes it easier if you know what caused the clog but it seems that most of the time, the cause is unknown. So, you end up trying everything to unclog that drain in the sink.
Not everyone has the time or ability to unclog a sink, no matter what the cause of the clog is. So, we recommend that you should call a plumber to unclog your sink if…
- If you are physically unable to go through the steps to unclog it.
- You don’t have the time to experiment which each method to try to unclog it.
- You have old pipes in your home and are afraid you could cause damage to the pipes while attempting to unclog your sink.
- You don’t have an auger (drain snake) to do the job.
- The clog is in a kitchen sink with a garbage disposal (which can complicate the issue of fixing the clog)
If the clog is in your kitchen sink, the presence of a garbage disposal can make the process of clearing a clog much more difficult. A professional plumber can assess and fix your sink’s clog much quicker and safer than you may be able to.
But, if you want to attempt unclogging your sink yourself, following are some steps that you can take to get the job done.
How To Unclog Your Sink
As we said earlier, there are several things that you can do to try to unclog your sink before you call a plumber.
1) You can use a sink plunger.
Here are the simple steps on how to properly use a sink plunger.
Clean Out The Drain
You want to first remove any debris from it. To do this you remove the pop-up stopper and clean it up. It could be clogged with soap, hair, etc. You can also use a stop vac to suction up any loose debris that is in the drain itself. If these don’t clear out the clog in your sink then you will want to advance to using the sink plunger.
Seal The Overflow Openings
If your working on a clog in your bathroom sink, before you begin using the plunger you want to seal the overflow openings. These are the holes that you see on your sink. You will find then in one or two places but wherever they are, you want to seal them up so that the plunger can create a good enough suction to work on your clogged drain.
You can easily seal them up by placing a wet rag over the holes. Make sure the rag is securely in place blocking them.
Place The Plunger Over The Drain
So now you are ready to place the sink plunger over the drain itself. Before you begin pumping the plunger, turn on your faucet and put enough water in the sink to cover the cup of the plunger.
Pump The Plunger
Now you can begin actually using the sink plunger by pumping it up and down. Make sure to not lift the plunger off the drain, you want to maintain that seal so that it can generate a good amount of suction to dislodge the clog.
If your sink is shaped in such a way that it’s difficult to get that seal, you can try putting petroleum jelly on the rim of the cup of the plunger. This sometimes works to seal the plunger to the sink.
Pump the plunger about 6 to 8 times before you lift it. If the water in the sink drains easily, then you most likely loosened or completely removed the blockage in your drain. If not, repeat the process several more times.
Run Hot Water To Finish The Job
To finish the job, turn on your hot water faucet and let it run for about 3 minutes. This should help to clear out any remaining debris in the drain.
2) About augers (drain snakes)
We will warn you that pushing an auger through the pipes of any sink will not be easy and could damage your pipes if you are not a professional plumber. Generally, we do not recommend that you use this for clogged sinks.
3) Homemade Solutions
Baking Soda And Vinegar
1/2 cup of baking soda
1/2 cup of white vinegar
In an empty sink, put the baking soda down the drain followed by the vinegar. Plug the drain and wait at least an hour. Unplug the drain and pour a large pot of boiling water down the drain.
You can read about other homemade solutions that may work to unclog your sink here in our article on Homemade Drain Cleaners That Work
4) Clean Out The P-Trap
The plumbing pipes under most sinks include a U-shaped piece of pipe that is known as the P-trap. Food or other objects can get stuck in this section of your plumbing so clearing it out may solve your problem.
This takes a little work but you can dis-assemble the P-trap under your sink. If the clog happens to have gotten caught in that curved part of your plumbing system then cleaning out the p-trap and adjoining pipes may solve your clogged sink problem.
If any of these solutions do not work for you then you know that it’s certainly time to call in a professional plumber for your clogged sink.
If you have any questions about clogged sinks or need help, call Atlantis Plumbing today at 770-443-8229. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.