Most handy homeowners have a drain snake (aka Augers) in their toolkit and they know how to use it. But sometimes - even that tool won't work on fixing a clogged kitchen sink.

Snake Doesn't Work On Clogged Kitchen Sink

So, what can you do when the drain snake won't work?

  1. You may not be using the right kind of snake (yep, there's more than one)
  2. You may not be using the snake tool correctly
  3. The clog in your kitchen sink is just too big for the snake drain to handle

The 3 Different Types of Drain Snakes

Did you know that there are 5 different types of Augers? Each one has it's purpose.

For General Drain Clogs - we recommend Cable or Drain Augers. These have a fairly long and flexible cable that a corkscrew object attached at the end. The cable is wrapped in a canister of sorts and to use this type of drain snake you manually turn the handle on the canister to release more and more of the cable.

For Clogs In Small Water Pipes - if your water pipes are 2 inches or less in diameter, then a Flat Tape Auger is the best one for you.

For Clogs That Need More Power - if you can't manage a manual crank or you just need more "power" then a Power Auger is your best bet. These drain snakes either come with their own built in motor or you can attach them to a power drill.

How To Properly Use A Drain Snake

The rule of thumb, when it comes to using a drain snake / auger is the slower the better!

If you try to force it down the drain too fast it could actually bend, twist and before you know it, it's bent completely back and you'll just see it coming back up to you instead of down to the clog. Move it down the drain an inch at a time and even a bit slower when you feel like you've hit the clog.

The Clog Is Just Too Big

It does not happen often, but there are times that the clog in the drain is just too big for the auger you have at home. You may just need to call in a professional plumber so they can use their powerful Rocket Nozzle Augers to do the job.

For those stubborn clogs - we recommend our Hydro Jet Cleaning service. The process is extremely efficient, cost effective and environmentally safe. It's simply a superior method of cleaning out your pipes, downspouts and sewer lines.

How Do You Unclog A Drain If A Snake Doesn't Work?

There are several things that you can do to try to unclog your sink before you call a plumber.

You Can Try Using A Sink Plunger

Here are the simple steps on how to properly use a sink plunger.

Step 1 - 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.

Step 2 - 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.

Step 3 - 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.

Step 4 - 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.

Step 5 - 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.

You Can Try A Homemade Drain Cleaner Solution

Baking Soda And Vinegar Ingredients:
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

You Can 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 water softeners or are having some problems with it, call Atlantis Plumbing today at 770-505-8570. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

We Offer Drain Cleaning in Metro Atlanta and Surrounding Areas

Fulton County, Bartow County, Cobb County, Paulding County, Cherokee County, Gwinnett County, and Douglas County.

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