Who hasn’t been in this scenario? You’re washing the dishes or brushing your teeth, and suddenly the water begins filling up in the sink, not draining like it normally does. Yep, you’ve got a clogged sink.
What to do next? Well, rather than using a harsh chemical solution that can cause damage to your pipes or waiting for a plumber to fix the problem, there are a number of ways to get your drain flowing again. Our Atascadero plumbers have come up with a list of how to unclog a sink that you may not have thought about.
Use a Plunger
If you don’t mind putting a little bit of elbow grease into the problem, grabbing a plunger and trying to force the clog out is worth a try.
Position the plunger over the clogged drain, creating a suctioning effect. Firmly pump up and down until the water begins to drain again. After all the stagnant water is out of the sink, run hot water to make sure the drain is clear. You may need to make several attempts to completely clear the clog.
Use Baking Soda and Vinegar
Another strategy takes advantage of items most of us have sitting around the house. A mixture of baking soda and vinegar is a clog-destroying alternative to chemical solutions.
First, pour boiling water down the drain; make sure it’s boiling as it’s much more effective than just using hot water. Next, pour about a cup of baking soda down the drain and let it sit for a few minutes. You may need to use a wooden spoon or another kitchen utensil to help push the baking soda down the drain.
Let the solution sit for about 15 minutes, and then pour in about a cup of white vinegar. This creates a bubbling reaction that can break up the gunk stuck in your drain. Finally, pour more boiling water down the drain to flush it clean. You can use this strategy regularly – even when the sink isn’t clogged – to keep your pipes clean.
Clean out the P-trap
If you’ve tried the previous two methods, but your sink still won’t drain, cleaning the P-trap might do the trick. The P-trap is the U-shaped pipe located underneath the sink.
You should be able to remove most P-traps by loosening the seals by hand with a sturdy pair of gloves, but you might need a pair of plyers if they’re on too tight. Be sure to place a bucket under the pipe to catch the water and debris.
Once it’s removed, you can easily clean out the pipe by just flushing it with water – you might have to scrape free more stubborn clogs – to get it flowing freely again.
Maintain your Garbage Disposal
Your garbage disposal can be a receptacle for just about anything that is left on your plate, but that’s not necessarily good for your pipe.
There are a number of food items you shouldn’t put down your garbage disposal – especially grease. Don’t run certain foods through the garbage disposal — like potato peels, bones, coffee grounds, pasta and more. They could damage or dull the blades (bones, coffee grounds), or cause it to become sticky and clogged (potato peels, pasta).
If you still can’t unclog your sink using these tips, our Atascadero plumbers are always here for you.