How to Unclog a Kitchen Sink

Unclogging the kitchen sink

You may have a clog if your kitchen sink is not draining, draining slowly, or emitting an odor. It’s critical to be able to clear a clog as quickly as feasible. Allowing a blockage to build up can result in burst pipes and a costly visit from a professional plumber. This article discusses various methods for unclogging a kitchen sink.

When clearing a clogged sink drain, wear rubber gloves.


1 Fill the Kitchen Sink with Water

Use a cup or basin to remove standing water from kitchen sinks before unclogging them. Some procedures may necessitate the use of fresh water.

Always go for the plunge first. A cup plunger may frequently loosen small obstructions. It’s a simple plunger with a flat rim that creates a seal over the sink hole, allowing you to apply the pressure needed to clear the clog.

Place the cup over the drain opening and make sure there’s enough water in the sink to immerse the plunger’s head.

Maintain a seal and swiftly plunge up and down, keeping the plunger below the water’s surface and only lifting it an inch or so on each upstroke.

Place a clamp on the flexible hose or pinch the line closed with vice grips if you have a dishwasher with one. If you’re worried about harming the hose, disconnect it and cover the pipe or disposal entrance with a pipe cap. While you plunge, this prevents water from backflowing into the dishwasher line.

If plunging does not work, try one of the other kitchen sink unclogging procedures.

Tip: Separate plungers for use in the bathroom and kitchen should always be kept on hand.

2 Dislodge the Sink Clog with Boiling Water

Over high heat, bring a half gallon of water to a rolling boil.

Remove any water that has accumulated in the sink.

Remove the boiling water from the burner with care and pour it straight down the drain in a continuous stream.

The water should start draining. If it doesn’t, wait until the water in the sink has totally cooled before repeating the process.

If the drain is connected to PVC pipes, do not utilize this procedure. Boiling water may cause the material to soften or deteriorate.

3 Examine the Garbage Disposal System

When using a garbage disposal to unclog a sink, be sure the unit isn’t the source of the problem as quickly as feasible.

Disconnect the garbage disposal and turn it on. If the blockage is in the disposal, it may be broken up by running it.

Check to see if the disposal has overheated if it is not running. Reset the unit by pressing the reset button on the side or bottom. Then turn it back on to see if the clog is gone. Check out How to Unclog a Garbage Disposal for more information.

4 Using a Baking Soda Mixture, dissolve the clog.

A baking soda mixture is a natural technique to unclog a sink because it is gentler on pipes than chemical drain openers.

One cup baking soda, followed by one cup white vinegar, should be poured down the drain.

Cover the drain opening with a rubber stopper or another sink hole cover.

Allow 15 minutes for the vinegar and baking soda to unclog your drain before removing the drain cover and clearing the clog with hot tap water.

5 Clean the Sink with a Wet-Dry Vacuum

Make sure your wet dry vacuum is set up for wet use. Follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer.

Place the hose’s end at the drain’s entrance, then make a tight seal between the hose’s end and the drain.

If the blockage is on one side of a double sink, use a rubber stopper to close the other side.

Set the vacuum cleaner to the highest setting. The vacuum pressure should release the obstruction.

6 Use an Auger on the Pipe’s Upper Section

Feed the auger (also known as a plumbing snake) cable into the drain opening until you encounter resistance.

Pull out an additional one foot of cable from the machine end and retain it as slack after the end of the cable touches the suspected obstruction.

After locking the cable length, start spinning the device’s crank. Pull out extra wire if necessary; the cable will bore into the obstruction and push forward.

Once the auger has broken through the obstruction, you should notice a change in resistance. Retract the auger, then use hot water from the faucet to flush the pipe.

If you don’t get any resistance, the clog could be in the branch drain further up the pipe.

7 On the trap and wall pipe, use an auger.

Place a bucket under the sink’s drain pipe to capture any surplus water.

Remove the connectors that connect the P-trap (the curved piece of pipe) to the vertical and horizontal drain pipes on the PVC pipe.

Check for obstructions in the drain trap. If the junk in the trap can be removed, reconnect it and then flow water into the sink. The clog may be further up the line if the sink does not drain.

Take out the horizontal pipe that links to the wall pipe.

As mentioned above, feed the auger into the wall pipe.

Reassemble the pipe and trap after removing the debris, and hand tighten the connectors. Overtightening may cause the plastic connectors to break.

Fill the sink with hot water and drain it rapidly. Check under the sink while the water is running to ensure there are no leaks.

After you’ve finished your task, gently clean and dry the area beneath the sink.

8 Take Preventative Action to Avoid Clogs

You may prevent having to fix a blocked kitchen sink by following these instructions.

Don’t put too much garbage in the disposal. No more than 1 cup of food waste should be ground at a time, and no inorganic stuff should be flushed down the drain.

Grease, oil, or coffee grounds should not be poured down the drain or disposed of in the garbage disposal. Place this waste in disposable containers or bags and dispose of it in an outside container. Coffee grounds should be added to a compost pile.

Make ice cubes out of a mixture of half vinegar and half water. Drop one or two of these into the waste disposal on a regular basis to keep it fresh. Ground ice and a small amount of acidity will also aid in scraping buildup off the disposal and pipes.

To keep the drain clear, run hot water from the tap after each use of the kitchen sink.

Plungers, baking soda concoctions, shop vacuums, and augers are some of the methods that can be used to unclog a kitchen sink. If these approaches don’t work, visit the Home Depot Tool Rental Center to rent extra heavy-duty drain cleaning tools. Small, medium, and large drain cleaners, as well as augers, pumps, drain cameras, and other plumbing appliances, are available.

Kitchen sink not draining? Here are 6 ways to unclog it

I was minding my own business, doing what I normally do after dinner: doing the dishes. I noticed the water wasn’t draining from the sink as I was washing and cleaning the frying pan. I looked to see if there was anything blocking the drain opening, but there wasn’t. I turned on the garbage disposal, but it was merely a band-aid solution. As I proceeded to wash dishes, the drainage slowed even more. My after-dinner cleanup was about to grow more severe with a clogged sink on my hands.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who has had to deal with clogged drains. Clogged kitchen sinks are one of the most prevalent drainage problems that homeowners face, owing to the fact that food debris and soap residue are draining nightmares. Clogged drains are fortunately one of the most simple home repairs to perform. However, before you roll up your sleeves and get into the DIY spirit, be aware of the plumbing myths that could lead you wrong.

If you have a problem with your kitchen sink, don’t think Drano or other chemical-based drain cleaners are the answer. Even if the obstruction appears to be fixed, the chemicals can occasionally cause more damage to your system. Furthermore, the skin and eyes may be gravely harmed by the backsplash caused by tenacious blockages. Other clog-removal procedures, some of which involve common home objects and others which need simple plunger or plumber’s snake action, can help you prevent these disasters.

Don’t bother calling the plumber just yet! There’s a strong possibility you’ll be able to unclog your kitchen sink using one of these six methods:

1. Use boiling water to attack

When hair, grease, soap residue, and other material become clogged in your drain, boiling water may be all that is required to clear the obstruction. It’s the most straightforward solution, so try it first when trying to unclog a sink.

Here are the steps to follow, which are as easy as 1-2-3:

  • Bring half a gallon of water to a boil in a pot on the stove or in a kettle.
  • Boiling water should be poured immediately into the drain hole.
  • Check to see if the water drains steadily by turning on the faucet. Repeat the method if the water is still draining slowly or standing motionless in the sink.

Important note: If your drain is connected to PVC pipes, don’t use this procedure because the boiling water may melt or harm the plastic.

If the second attempt with hot water fails to clear the clog, it’s time to try another option. Unfortunately, you’ve got a hard sink clog that won’t go away with just boiling water.

2. Inspect the garbage disposal system

If you have a garbage disposal in your sink, it could be the source of your drainage problems. Turning on the disposal, if the clog is in the disposal, typically clears it. Overheated or malfunctioning disposals may not even turn on, but you may easily reboot them by pressing the reset button on the side or bottom of the device. To clear the clog, try turning the disposal on again after resetting it.

The disposal could be stuck or faulty if you turn it on and hear a low humming sound. Remember to turn off the power to your disposal before attempting to repair it, and never – and we mean never – insert your hand in the disposal. You can then manually turn the blades in the disposal to try to break up the jam. Insert an Allen wrench into the opening on the bottom of the disposal and twist until you feel reduced resistance, which indicates that the blockage is breaking apart. If that doesn’t work, try these garbage disposal unclogging tips. Turn the power back on and test the disposal once it’s been unclogged. If everything appears to be in order, turn the faucet to see if the sink drainage has returned to normal.

Keep in mind that if your garbage disposal check reveals no obstructions or problems, you can move on to a different unclogging approach.

3. Remove the obstruction by plunging.

It’s time to pull out the plunger once you’ve determined that the disposal isn’t the issue. Keep in mind that, while you can use a toilet plunger if that’s all you have, Dengarden recommends using a flat-bottomed one. Follow these instructions with your plunger at the ready:

  • Fill the sink with hot water until it’s about halfway full and the drain is sealed.
  • Place the plunger over the drain and start pumping quickly up and down numerous times.
  • Wait for the water to drain before removing the plunger.
  • Rep the procedure till the water drains completely.

You know what to do if the sink still won’t drain properly after several plunging tries. It’s time to try something new.

4. Use baking soda and vinegar to break it down.

This method is a safer, more natural alternative to utilizing chemical drain cleaners to clear clogged drains. Baking soda and vinegar are also typical household ingredients that you’re likely to already have in your kitchen, which is great. To allow the mixture to perform its magic, follow these steps:

  • Using a cup or bowl, remove any standing water from the sink.
  • Pour one cup of baking soda down the drain, pushing the powder down with a spatula or spoon if required.
  • One cup of white vinegar should be poured down the drain.
  • To close the drain, place a stopper or a cover over it.
  • Allow 15 minutes for the mixture to rest.
  • Remove the cap and flush the drain with hot tap water.
  • To break up more stubborn clogs, use hot water.

This natural approach, like any other unclogging approach, can not guarantee 100% results. If it appears that you’re making progress on the clog after following the procedures, repeat the procedure to double down on the obstruction.

5. Make use of the plumber’s snake

Clogs that fight back will necessitate the strength of a plumber’s snake to clear the blockage. The tool has a spiral snake with a coiled coil that stretches down into the drain. You may turn the handle to dislodge the debris and draw it out of the drain whenever the snake hits an obstruction. Electric snakes are even more powerful when it comes to clearing clogged drains.

If you don’t have a plumber’s snake, a wire coat hanger might be used as a substitute. Simply unwind the hanger into a long strand of wire with a pair of needle-nose pliers. Keep the hooked end since it will be used to grab the debris. If required, use the pliers to adjust the hook’s angle so that it fits through the drain opening easily.

Simply feed it down the drain a few feet at a time, regardless of whatever tool you’re using. If you push too hard, you can end up pushing the clog deeper down the pipe. Hook it on and draw the debris up through the drain when you feel the tip of your tool touch a blockage. Continue doing so until you’re certain the blockage is gone. To see if you’re correct, run hot water down the drain.

6. Make sure the P-trap is clean.

If the water is still not draining properly, a blockage in the P-trap, often known as the elbow-shaped pipe under your sink, could be the cause. Food, grease, and other debris may become lodged in the pipe, causing your sink to drain slowly or not at all as a result of a snag in the water’s path down.

The solution is to disassemble the pipe and clean away the crud that’s clogging it up. Warning: This work can get a little dirty, so make sure you have gloves, goggles, and towels on hand. When you’re ready, clean the P-trap by following these steps:

  • Underneath the pipe, place a bucket. When you open the P-trap, this will capture any backed-up water or debris that may fall out.
  • Remove the connectors that hold the curved portion to the vertical and horizontal drain pipes from the trap. On each end of the P-trap, there should be a slip nut.
  • Remove the P-trap and clean all debris, grime, and residue from the pipe.
  • Reattach the trap.
  • Run water down the drain by turning on the faucet.

If the drainage is still a problem, the clog could be further up the pipe. You return to the sink to locate the cause of the clog. Here’s what you should do when you arrive:

  • Remove the P-trap by repeating the instructions.
  • The horizontal pipe that links the system to the wall should be removed.
  • In the wall pipe, insert a plumber’s snake, auger, or coat hanger. When you sense a blockage in the pipe, use your tool to remove the blockage out.
  • Rep the procedure until all debris has been removed.
  • Reconnect the pipes and P-trap, hand-tightening the connectors. (Home Depot recommends against overtightening the connectors because this can cause them to crack.)
  • Flush the drain with hot water.

Check under the sink while the water is flowing to be sure there isn’t any leaking from the pipes before you celebrate your accomplishment. If you discover any leaks, double-check that all connectors are securely fastened. Once the drips have stopped, dry any water that has spilled under the sink or on the floor, and you’re ready to go.

If you’ve gotten this far and your sink is still not draining, there could be a bigger problem at hand. It’s time to admit defeat and make an appointment with a plumber for a professional repair.

How may further jams be avoided?

Make sure you’re taking precautions to avoid clogs from recurring now that your kitchen sink is draining correctly again. The most important preventative strategy is to avoid flushing hazardous materials down the toilet. This includes the following:

  • Grease, fats, and oils are all types of fats and oils.
  • Meat is a delicacy.
  • grinds of coffee
  • Shells of eggs.
  • Pasta, rice, and bread are examples of starchy foods.
  • Peels, pits, and stickers from fruits.
  • Gum, to be precise.
  • It’s time to get some paint.
  • Paper towels and food wrappers are examples of paper items.

Rather, pour cooking fat into an old can and toss it out when it’s full. Coffee grounds, for example, can be added to mulch or compost piles.