You have probably experienced a clogged sink drain. What you may not know, however, is exactly how to deal with it. Though some clogs are serious enough that you may need to call a plumber, you can resolve others without too much difficulty.
Here are a few ways of dealing with a clogged sink:
- Seal and plunge – For a double-bowl sink, try sealing one drain and using a plunger on the other. For your bathroom sink, you have to plug the overflow hole before you use your plunger. Any rag will serve as a tight seal to create a strong suction. After sealing the other drain or the overflow hole, fill up the sink half-way with water before you start using your plunger. Make several pumps before pulling the plunger off the sink drain. This technique usually alleviates minor clogs.
- Remove and clean the trap – If the plunger does not work, the next step involves removing the sink trap using a pipe wrench. PVC pipes do not need the pipe wrench. All you need to do is unscrew the threaded coupling. Empty the trap of water to determine where the clog is. If there is nothing in the trap that is clogging your sink, the next step is to remove the horizontal arm that you find sticking out from the plumbing stub-out.
- Use a cable auger –Start feeding the cable into the stub-out. Continue the feed until you feel resistance. Hold the cable in place once it stops the smooth feed and then pull the auger body by about 18 inches. Tighten the auger lock screw. After tightening the lock screw, turn the auger handle clockwise while pushing forward at the same time. The auger head will drive further into the pipe. Continue pushing the cable out, then turning and pushing back until the blockage is broken up. It’s possible that the cable will get stuck inside the pipe. If this happens, turn the auger crank counter clockwise and pull out the cable a little bit to free it. Then continue pushing and cranking.
- Flush and drain – After getting rid of the clog, you need to reinstall the trap and the horizontal pipe to the stub-out. Let hot water flow into the sink and note how quickly it drains. After draining the water, fill it half-way again with hot water and then use your plunger. Keep on adding hot water until your sink drains smoothly.
Pat yourself on the back. You have now accomplished something major. Practice makes perfect. The next time you have a clogged sink, you’ll be a veritable pro.