As much as we try to keep our homes neat and functional, unexpected problems still arise from time to time. When that happens, it’s important to react on time and know whether you can deal with an issue on your own or if you need to keep a professional on speed dial.
One of those problems is a clogged kitchen sink drain. Debris from food and grease can slowly build up without us even noticing and lead to a big blockage, which is why it’s important to keep the sink clean. If you encounter this, try to assess the situation and see what can be done. Here are some of your options when it comes to unclogging a kitchen drain.
See whether the garbage disposal is clogged
In case you have a garbage disposal unit, make sure that it is not clogged. This can often be the problem seeing as how it can easily get clogged with bits of food. Run the disposal first to see whether that helps clear the blockage. If not, switch it off and try to locate the clog. Once you manage to find it, try to remove it with some pliers and remember not to put your hands down the drain. It’s important not to use chemical cleaners as they can damage the disposer. Look through the manual if you need more instructions on how to handle this, this is one thing every homeowner needs to know. However, if there are no problems with the disposer, you need to look into other possible causes.
Pour boiling water down the drain
The first thing you can try is the cheapest and easiest solution – pouring boiling water down the drain. If there is any standing water in the sink, remove as much of it as you can while waiting for the pot to boil. Once it’s boiled, pour it into the sink and see whether it goes through or stays. If the water stands in the sink, wait until it’s cold and remove it before repeating the process. Try this several times and if you’re not successful, turn to other options.
Try different kinds of mixtures
If just boiling water doesn’t work, try pouring half a cup of salt down the drain and waiting for a few minutes before flushing it down with boiling water. Similarly, you can also mix half a cup of salt with a cup of baking soda and let it sit in the drain for several hours. Again, flush it with boiling water. Another option you have is putting a cup of baking soda into the drain and the same amount of vinegar after it. The mixture will bubble and potentially remove all the debris that has clogged the drain. You can leave it there for a couple of hours and then flush with hot water. Finally, you can turn to a more dangerous solution – caustic soda. Make sure you get gloves and protect your eyes as this chemical can cause serious burns. Mix it with water, pour down the drain and wait half an hour to flush it with boiling water.
Get a plunger to remove the clog
In case none of these solutions work, turn to a plunger. Now, there are several types of plungers and for this, it’s best to use the classic flat-bottom sink one. Make sure there are a couple of inches of water in the sink to help with suction. Then, place the plunger over the drain and firmly plunge a few times. Once you hear the clog is cleared, use warm water to flush the drain.
Inspect the trap
Checking the trap should be your next step. This elbow-shaped pipe is placed under the sink and it allows you to take it apart to get rid of any blockages. Put a bucket underneath it so that it catches the water and any debris in the pipes. Unscrew the connection and inspect the trap for clogs. If you cannot see anything, the blockage is probably further down.
Use a plumber’s snake
You might have to go further to locate the blockage. This is best done by using a plumber’s snake seeing as how it can pull up the clog. There are manual and electrically powered snakes, but if you don’t have one, it might be better to call in the pros. If you’re located near the capital of Australia, you can turn to experts from Canberra Plumbing and Drains who can deal with your problems quickly and efficiently.
Work on prevention
While most issues can be solved either on your own or with some professional help, you should actively work on preventing such problems. Greasy, starchy and high fiber foods can be really harmful to your pipes, as well as bones, fruits from pits and coffee grounds. Also, avoid getting paper towels, food wrappers and hair down the drain. In order to be able to deal with these clogs, make sure you have some basic tools on hand, like pliers, clamps and wrenches, as well as some useful ingredients such as baking soda and vinegar.
As you can see, there are many ways to deal with a clogged drain. Try these solutions and if nothing works, don’t hesitate to call an expert.