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The Do’s and Don’ts Of Unclogging A Sink

unclogging a sink
Reading Time: 3 minutes

A clogged sink isn’t fun to deal with, and it’s even worse if there is an unpleasant smell accompanying the blockage. There are some easy ways to fix the clog on your own, but there are also some things to be careful of.

Food, grease and other debris can build up and get trapped in the plumbing pipes, preventing water from draining properly. Unclogging a sink that has a minor blockage can be done DIY-style, but with some caution. It’s important that you always treat your plumbing system with care.

Things You CAN Do When Unclogging A Sink

There are some safe ways to unclog a sink without causing any damage or making things worse for your plumbing system.

Do Try A Plunger

Using a plunger can help loosen light clogs.

Before you start plunging, make sure there are a few inches of water in the sink. Cover the overflow with a small old towel to prevent any water from leaking out. Put the plunger over the drain and firmly plunge up and down. If the clog comes loose, the water should drain once you remove the plunger. You can repeat these steps a few times if need be.

Do Use A Safe DIY Mixture

You may have a clogged pipe somewhere along your plumbing system that is causing the blockage to push up. If you’ve repeated these steps a few times to no avail, it might be time to call in a professional.

Greasy food build-up can be solved with some dishwashing liquid and hot water. Pour a tablespoon of dish soap followed by a pot of boiling water down your drain. This may help to dissolve a less-serious clog.

Do Check The Stopper

If your bathroom sink is clogged, you should try checking the stopper or the strainer.

The blockage could be because of hair wrapped around the stopper, soap scum or any other debris.

If the blockage is in your kitchen, you can remove the trap under the sink. Drain any water from your sink and place a bucket under the pipes. Remove the trap. You should be able to see the clog and remove it. You might want to use gloves for this part as it could be pretty grimy. If the clog seems to be higher up and not entirely visible, you’ll need a drain snake to dislodge the clog and for this you should call a professional.

What NOT To Do When Unclogging A Sink

People often try to fix a clogged sink as quickly as possible with the least amount of effort because no one likes not having a working sink or drainage system. But the truth is, this can make matters worse.

Let’s look at what you should avoid doing when trying to unclog your sink.

Don’t Be Aggressive With The Plunger

When using the plunger, don’t be too forceful.

If the initial plunging doesn’t work, then it’s most likely that the problem is bigger than simply using a plunger. Plunging too aggressively may cause damage to the connection where the drain line connects. This could result in drain leaks and water damage.

Don’t Use Caustic Chemical Drain Cleaners

You need to resist the urge to throw caustic, harmful chemicals in your drain to clear a clog. Aggressive chemicals that “instantly” dissolve clogs will soften your plumbing pipes. These chemicals could also cause harm to the person pouring them in not used carefully.

Depending on the chemicals you use, you run the risk of burning the skin on your hands and fingers and can also burn your eyes. Biodegradable drain cleaners like Bio Clean® are much safer to use for both you and your pipes.

Don’t Add Water

A sink that is completely clogged will not benefit from filling the drain with water. Water pressure from the faucet won’t help with unclogging the sink. It will only leave you with more water to drain.

Don’t Ignore The Problem, Call A Plumber

If you’re having a hard time unclogging a sink or the drains in your home, it’s not going to fix itself! Call a drain expert near you and get it looked at as soon as possible!

If you’re in the South Florida area and you’re at your wits end trying to clear a clogged sink on your own, give Art Rooter, Sewer & Drain Clearing a call at 1-888-773-1524. Remember, big or small, Art can fix it!

For more helpful tips and how-tos, check out all our Tips For Clogged Drains and follow Art on Facebook!

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