DIY Plumbing Tips 2021: How to unclog a sink

How to unclog a sink

Unclogging a kitchen sink drain is often easier than some people think. If it is an easy case, you can use our suggested methods below to unclog the sink. When the problem is so difficult to fix by yourself, make sure to give MidCity Plumbers a call. We are available 24/7 for all your plumbing needs.

Most clogs can be fixed using relatively simple techniques and tools. Once you’ve unclogged the sink, it’s time to minimize the chances of the problem recurring.

Here are some suggestions from our drainage experts for how to unclog a sink.

1. Use a plunger

There are three types of plungers:

  • The classic plunger with a flat bottom
  • The accordion plunger
  • The flange plunger, which includes an additional valve at the bottom

It is best to use a flat-bottomed plunger for the job of unclogging a sink.

Run a few inches of water in the sink to facilitate suction and begin to dive. Using hot water will be more beneficial to dislodge the clog.

Run water in the sink. If it drains well, you’re good to go. If that doesn’t work, you will have to try diving further or switching to another method.

2. Clean the P-trap

The P-trap is the elbow-shaped pipe under the sink. If this is clogged with food or grease, you may want to take it apart and clean up the grime that is causing the blockage.

Before you begin, be sure to place a bucket under the P-trap to catch the water stored in your sink. You will then need to unscrew the connections to the pipe and to the wall. Remove the P-trap and inspect it for debris. If the blockage is not in the P-trap, you will have to try to unblock the drain with a plumbing snake.

3. Use a plumber’s snake

If neither using a plunger nor cleaning the P-trap works, you may need to use a plumber’s snake to get rid of the obstruction.

This tool consists of a coiled spiral snake, approximately 6mm thick, with a handle on one end. The coil is used to reach the drain, then the crank is cranked, dislodging and lifting the shoe. Some snakes are maneuvered manually, while others are electrically powered for added strength.

Insert the end of the snake into the drain and gently wiggle it a bit to find the plug. Do not push too hard, as this may push the blockage further into the pipe.

If you feel anything, pull it out and remove it from the drain. You may not be able to escape, so try again to see if anything else comes up. Turn on the hot water from your faucet to make sure you have everything.

4. Use baking soda and vinegar

This method avoids the use of chemical cleaners. One cup of baking soda and one cup of vinegar are enough.

The sodium bicarbonate is added first, followed by vinegar. The stopper must then be pushed back to the resulting reaction.

First of all, your drain needs to be flushed with hot water. Then put the baking soda in the sink. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes.

Then pour the vinegar down the drain. Place the stopper on the sink, pushing the vinegar towards the blockage and preventing the mixture from rising. Finally, rinse the drain again with boiling water.

5. Use chemicals

I would also recommend using a liquid chemical cleaner if you have a full hoof rather than slow blocking. If you use chemicals with a complete blockage, they may back up in the sink, along with standing water.

The type of cleaner you get depends on the type of material you suspect is causing the clog. Typically, hooves are caused by a more acidic, cleaner, and more aggressive substance.

Always read the label carefully and use the cleaner exactly as directed. Chemical cleaners can be harmful if misused.

Note: If your sink has garbage in it, we highly recommend that you do not use chemical cleaners as they can damage the blades and spray them into your sink.

6. Call a plumber

If the above methods don’t work, your last resort would be to call a professional plumber. This is the least affordable option to unclog a sink, but it can save you time and hassle when you don’t want to get lost in the plumbing.

MidCity Plumbers house a team of plumbing and drainage experts. Whether it is commercial or residential plumbing issues, we offer 24/7 emergency services, so do not hesitate to call us when you have a clogged sink next time.

How to prevent future clogs

Of course, it’s almost always better to prevent than to fix, so don’t overdo your drain. Make sure you don’t let foods that can slip down your drain. However, mistakes can happen. You may also want to invest in a good filter to keep the sink drain from getting clogged with bits of food.

It is also a good idea to have these essential tools at home to learn to unclog a sink such as:

  • Pliers
  • Pipe wrench
  • Allen wrench
  • A diver
  • White vinegar and baking soda

Check out other tips for a drain cleaning from MidCity Plumbers – professional plumbers in Burnaby, BC.

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