There are a lot of projects around the house you DIY with just a little know-how and some elbow grease. Here, we teach you several ways to unclog a kitchen sink drain without calling a plumber.
It can be a helpless feeling when a cloggedkitchen sink won’t drain. With water backing up and a counter full of dirty dishes waiting to be cleaned, it may be tempting to reach for the phone and callthe plumberto fix the problem for you. But before you do that, first read these easy, do-it-yourself ways to unclog that drain.You can do it! Read on to learn how.
One of the next things you should do is check to make sure yourgarbage disposalisn’t causing the problem. A clogged disposal can easily stop up the drain, so run the disposal for a minute or two with hot water runningto see if that clears the clog. If that doesn’t work, make sure the disposal is turned off and carefully inspect it to make sure it’s running correctly. If the disposal has overheatedand automatically switched off, you may need to restart it at the base. The base on/off switch can usually be found on the side or bottom of the disposal unit underneath the sink.
3. Use salt and boiling water
After removing as much standing water from the sink as possible, pour about a half a cup (½ cup) of table salt down the drain. Then pour in about a quart of boiling water.Let it sit for a few minutes, and then flush with hot water to clear the mixture.
4. Try vinegar and baking soda...
Again, remove any standing water before you try this technique. Pour about a cup of baking soda into the drain, followed by an equal amount of white or apple cider vinegar. The solution will soon start to bubble; when it subsides, put the stopper in and wait about 15 minutes. Next, run the hot water to see if the clog clears. Repeatthe process one more timeif the water is draining, but slower than normal (that means the clog isn’t fully clear yet).
5. …Or try baking soda and salt
This is another combination that can clear outsink clogs. Mix about a cup of baking soda withhalf a cupof salt, and pour this mixture down the drain. Let the mixture sit for several hours, then flush with boiling water. You can repeat thisprocessagain if it doesn’t work the first time.
6. Get out the plunger
If any of the previous home remediesaren’t successful in unclogging your sinkdrain,it’s time to reach for a common household plunger. If you have a double sink, first seal off the drain on the other sink with a wet cloth or a stopper. You’ll need to create a tight seal around the plunger, so fill the side of the sink you intend to plunge with enough water to cover the bell of the plunger. Place the plunger firmly over the drain and plunge vigorously several times. When you hear the suction clear the clog, remove the plunger and flush the drain well with warm waterfor a couple of minutes.
7. Clean the P-trap
The P-trap is at the curve of the drainpipe under the sink, usually inside a cabinet. It may be necessary to clean your kitchen drain’s P-trap to clear the clog. Place a pan or bucket underneath the drain to catch any water or debris that may fall out. Unfasten the P-trap from the drainpipe and clear out anything that is stuck. Then replace the P-trap (make sure all connections are tight and closed up) and run warm water through the pipes for a few minutes.
Sometimes called an auger, a plumber’s snake is a handy tool that can clear clogs stuck further down the drainage system under your kitchen sink. You’ll have to disassemble the drainpipe and P-trap that runs underneath the kitchen sink to expose the “stub pipe” or “stubout” that travels behind the cabinet wall. This is where you insert the snake into the pipe until you feel resistance to break up the clog.
9. Use a coat hanger
If you don’t have a plumber’s snake, you can use a wire coat hangeras a substituteby straightening it. Of course, it won’t reach as far as a plumber’s snake would, so it may be long enough to reach some clogs. But it’s worth a try when all else fails! Insert the straightened hanger wireinto the kitchen drain or stub pipe to push through or pull out the clog if you can reach it. Be careful not to scratch your sink with the wire.
To keep your sink smelling fresh and running clear, pour in equal parts vinegar and baking soda on a regular basis, usually once or twice a month. For routine cleaning, you’ll just need about half a cup of each. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes before running some warm water down the drain. You can also use lemon juice for the same purpose.Or, if you have a garbage disposal, drop a few strips oflemon or orange rind down the disposal, and turn it onfor about 30 seconds to grind up. Let the mixture sit for about five minutes, then rinse.
Of course, it’s always easier to avoid clogs in the first place. If you have a kitchen garbage disposal, don’t overload it. Feed items in a little at a time, and wait until they grind and run through completely before adding more. Know what you can and can’t put down a garbage disposal, and don’t ever put bacon grease, coffee grounds or oils down your kitchen drain. Also, always make sure you run plenty of water down the drain after each use. It’s important to know how to maintain and care for your all your home's plumbing components and systems to keep things running smoothly.
American Home Shield Plumbing Coverage
Many plumbing issues involve stoppages and clogged drains or pipes. If all of your DIY efforts don't work, stoppages in the sink, bathtub, shower and toilets may be covered by anAmerican Home Shieldhome service plandepending on the cause. When you encounter a covered plumbing problem, no matter how big or how small, contact us for help.