How to Clear Clogged Sink

A clogged sink can be frustrating but it can be fixed with the simple old cup plunger and a plumber’s snake. It can be caused by grounds of coffee or grease build up. It can also be a result of a solid object such as a toy that got stuck in the P-Trap. Whatever is causing the clogging, there are ways to solve the problem. Here is a step-by-step guide to clearing a clogged sink using the plunger and a plumber’s snake.

Step 1:

Cover the opening of the sink drain with a cloth and put the plunger on top of it. Ensure that the cup of the plunger is completely covering the opening. Fill the sink partially with water to check if the plunger is placed correctly on top of the opening and sealed by the plunger. To ensure you push the water into the drain and not air, roll the plunger into it. Pump several times firmly and pop the plunger from the opening for added pressure at the end of your pumping. This should send the water down the pipe and clear the clog. If water drains slowly, repeat the procedure several times.

Step 2:

If plunging does not work, it might be that the clog is trapped inside the P-Trap because of its design. In this case, you need to disassemble the P-Trap to remove the blockage. First, with a sponge, remove the remaining water from the sink and place a bucket beneath the sink. Get a pair of slip-joint pliers to loosen metal slip nuts that secure that P-Trap. Unscrew the slip nut between the trap arm and the P-Trap and then remove the nut located beneath the waste tee. Clean the inside of the trap and remove the clog. Replace the P-Trap and secure it back on. Test if the problem is fixed by pouring hot water into the sink. If there is no clog inside the P-Trap, you might need to remove the trap arm. Get a screwdriver and run it through the pipe to remove any material that might be causing the clog.

Step 3:

If after removing and cleaning the P-trap and trap arm there is still clogging, you need to use a snake to clear the clogged sink. First, loosen the setscrew at the end of the snake so you can pull the metal wire or cable, at least six to ten inches of it. Tighten the screw and insert the snake into the drain line. If in the course of insertion, you might encounter an obstruction, simply twist the cable and pull and push it until it gets through. It might just be the bend on the pipe. Continue to push the snake wire into the drain until it gets through the clog. When it gets pass through the obstruction, pull the cable out of the drain pipe by cranking it counter-clockwise. The end might now be dirty with gunk and other material build up. Clean the end of the snake cable. Check if the sink is already free from clogging.

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