A clogged kitchen sink drain is a persistent problem that most homeowners will have to face at one time or another. Incorrectly fixing a clog can lead to a new clog soon in the future and may damage some of the piping for the sink. By learning how to fix a clogged sink, it should be possible to avoid an expensive visit from the plumber.
Experiment with Physical Methods First
The traditional plunger or plumbing snake is always a good first choice when dealing with a clogged kitchen sink drain. Most kitchen sinks are two sided, so ensure that water is filled on the opposite side of the clogged drain so that a vacuum is created to more easily dislodge any blockages. Without water creating a vacuum, it is still possible to properly plunge, but it may be of a much greater difficulty and take longer to accomplish. If you have a dishwasher, make sure to clamp the wastewater hose if it is flexible. Failing to do so could allow waste water to flow back into the dishwasher, which is undesirable for obvious reasons. If a plunger doesn’t do the job, the clog may be deeper down the pipe or too severe to dislodge with the pressure created from a plunger alone. A plumbing snake allows for maneuvering through the pipe much more directly. Instead of relying on the velocity created from a vacuum, a snake allows for direct physical contact with the clog, dislodging with physical force.
Before moving onto chemical or enzyme based formulations, try pouring about a half to full gallon of boiling temperature water down the sink. Only attempt this method if your sink is NOT connected to PVC pipes, as the high temperature water could potentially melt the pipes. Let the high temperature water sit on top of the clog until it cools to between a lukewarm and room temperature. The clog may have been weakened or be entirely gone, so try plunging again.
Check the Garbage Disposal
If a garbage disposal is part of your sink, it is necessary to make sure that this component is not jammed. The function of a garbage disposal is to grind up remaining food particulates which can otherwise cause food to build up and become a clog in the drain. Even if the garbage disposal isn’t clogged, it is still a good idea to perform routine cleaning to prevent foul odors. According to The Family Handyman, “Even if you run your garbage disposer until the last shred of food is gone, and you let the water run the recommended time, you can still wind up with an out-of-control science experiment that stinks up your kitchen. Face it; some food is going to stick to the inside of the grinding chamber, and it’s going to decay. Cleaning garbage disposal with ice and lemon rinds, adding baking soda or rinsing with vinegar and water is one option. Or you can add commercial cleaners like Disposer Care, which is available at discount stores and most home centers.” If you have a dishwasher, be sure to clamp the exit valve for wastewater from the dishwasher to ensure an airtight connection before plunging. Fill the sink up with a few inches of water as well. This water provides the necessary air pressure gradient for effective plunging.
Be sure to contact us at SOS Drain & Sewer if you have any questions about how to fix a clogged drain or need assistance with any other plumbing issues. Our expertise is sure to alleviate any problems with a clogged kitchen sink drain in little to no time at all.