You may notice that your kitchen sink isn't draining water as well as it used to. It may be that it's draining very slowly or not at all - at least - not until you turn on your garbage disposal. If this is your scenario, then know that it's a clear sign that there's a clog somewhere in your plumbing. Now the question is where is that clog and how to fix it?
Luckily, there are some simple solutions that you can try before you pick up the phone to call your plumber.
Where's The Clog?
Unless you can actually see the clog from your drain - it may be difficult to determine where it is. But that doesn't mean that you can't try to unlodge it. Just as long as you know that if any of these methods we are about to mention do not work - then it's likely that the clog is further down your pipeline and you will need a professional plumber to come in and assess and fix the problem.
Okay, so let's get started on some things that you can do to get rid of that clog that is keeping water from properly draining in your kitchen sink.
Method #1 - The Plunger
Clean the drain of any visible debris. Then place your sink plunger over the drain. But before you begin pumping the plunger, turn on your faucet and put enough water in the sink to cover the cup of 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.
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.
Method #2 - The P-Trap
A fairly easy thing that you can do to clear a clog is to clean out the P-trap under the kitchen sink.
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.
Method #3 - The Drain Snake (Auger)
You may be tempted to use a drain snake (aka augers) to clear a clog in your kitchen sink but truthfully, it can end up causing more harm than good.
Generally, we do not recommend that you use a drain snake for clogged sinks only because it can damage your pipes if you aren't skilled in using one. 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.
But if you insist on using a drain snake - here are some tips.
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.
Method #4 - Homemade Drain Cleaner
Another method you can try is this homemade baking soda and white vinegar solution.
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 white vinegar. Plug the drain and wait at least an hour. Unplug the drain and pour a large pot of boiling water down the drain.
We recommend that you avoid using a chemical drain cleaners like Drano or Liquid-Plumbr. They tend to be harsh and abrasive on your drain pipes and can end up causing more damage - especially if you have older pipes.
If any of these 4 solutions do not work then it may be that the clog in your plumbing system is too deep and may require a camera inspection to find the clog and possibly trenchless pipe repair to remove that clog.
If you have any questions about clogs in your sinks 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.
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