Dos and Don’ts for Your Sink Drain

A clogged drain in your kitchen or bathroom can be annoying, but with a little elbow grease, it may be something you can fix yourself. Here are a few do’s and don’ts when it comes to troubleshooting a clogged sink drain.

Do try flushing a clog out with hot water. If the clog is in your kitchen, it could be a result of food debris. This can lead to a buildup of grease, especially if the drain is connected to a garbage disposal. One potential fix for greasy food build-up is pouring a tablespoon of dish soap and a large pot of boiling water down the drain. If the clog isn’t serious, this may be enough to dissolve the grease and unclog the sink.

Don’t forget to check the stopper / strainer. If the issue is in a bathroom sink, the clog could be as result of soap scum and / or hair wrapped around the strainer. Try bending a clothes hanger to form a hook and using it to remove the clog. If necessary, remove the stopper first.

Do use a plunger. In some cases, a cup plunger may be able to loosen the clog. Before you get started, make sure there are at least a few inches of water in the sink, and block the overflow drain with a rag to prevent water from leaking. Then, simply place the plunger over the drain and plunge up and down.

Don’t plunge too aggressively. If your initial efforts fail to clear the clog, stop. Otherwise, you risk damaging the drain line connection which can lead to leaks or a ruined trap.

Do use chemicals sparingly. While it may be tempting to reach for a drain cleaner to unclog the sink, chemicals can damage older metal pipes and soften PVC pipes. If you prefer to use a commercial drain cleaner, consider picking a biodegradable one which uses enzymes versus chemicals. It doesn’t work as fast, but is safer for your pipes.

Don’t forget to check the trap. Most sink clogs form in the curved drain trap located beneath the sink. One of the easiest ways to loosen a clog is simply to remove the trap. Clear any excess water from the sink, and put a bucket underneath the drainpipes, since the trap will release and standing water when you remove it. Once the trap is removed, you should be able to clear the clog by hand. Just make sure you put on gloves first. If the clog is further down the pipe, try using a plumbing snake to either break up the clog, or pull it out.  

Do call the experts at EcoClean. If you still are experiencing issues, or don’t want to tackle the project yourself, the trained professionals at EcoClean will be able to help clear any clogs and get water flowing smoothly through your sink pipes again.