Once you observe the ultimate sign: the sink taking too long to drain, you know it is time to get dirty. If it is completely blocked, it could be even more annoying. Unblocking a kitchen sink is not the nicest of tasks around the house but given that this is a common plumbing problem that you will likely encounter at some point, it helps to know a few tricks to deal with blockages.
Food particles, grease, small objects that find their way into your kitchen sink can clog the drain especially as the pipes used for kitchen sinks are normally ‘U’ shaped, commonly known as the ‘’U’’ bend. As a result of this shape, pieces of debris can become trapped in this drainage pipe. Before you decide to unblock a kitchen sink by tackling the ‘’U’’ bend, you want to try other techniques that may be easier.
Using The Plunger to Unblock a Kitchen Sink
More often than not, a plunger does the job of unblocking a kitchen sink. It is a very effective and easy-to-use tool, if used correctly. The key is to pour water in the sink, enough to cover the cup, and place the suction cup of the plunger over the plug hole in an upright position. Be sure not to tilt it. Then, push in an up down movement, for about ten to fifteen seconds each time. The idea is to cut off air and apply enough pressure to dislodge whatever is causing the clog.
Basic but true, boiling water may be the solution. To unblock a kitchen sink using boiling water is easy. Since grease and grime from everyday use of the sink can clog it, hot water can help loosen it up. Pour the water slowly down the drain, waiting a few seconds between each pour for the heat to take effect. If this does not work, then it is time to try another technique.
Unblock a kitchen Sink with Baking Soda and Vinegar:
These ingredients which are readily available in your kitchen can help loosen up your kitchen drain. First, you need to bail all the water out of the sink using a bowl or cup. When this is done, the next thing is to attempt to force about a cup of baking soda down the sink drain. Pour a cup of vinegar into the drain opening and use the sink stopper so that the vinegar is forced toward the clog. After about 5 minutes, pour some warm water and check for results.
You can also pour some boiling water in if the warm water does not produce the desired result. If you have not succeeded in unblocking the sink, you can repeat the process. Otherwise, it is time to get in the ‘’U’’ bend.
Getting Rid of the Clog by Removing the ‘’U’’ Bend
You may also need to remove the drainage pipe of the sink to check if there is an obstruction somewhere in the ‘’U’’ pipe. To unblock a kitchen pipe using this method, you need:
- A bucket
- Waterproof tape
- Plunger (just in case it is necessary)
- A towel or cloth
You need to carefully unscrew the pipe underneath the sink, and allow the empty bucket which you must have placed under the sink to collect the water that will spill. A ‘’U’’ bend pipe has two sets of threads that must be unscrewed, one at a time. Once you have done this, you should check for any blockage in the pipe, using any suitable object such as a screwdriver to clear out the inside.
Also check for any build up of grease that may have contributed to the blockage and clean any sediment build up after which, it is time to reassemble.
When reassembling the pipes, be careful not to overly tighten the pipes to prevent any cracks or damages. You could pour water down the drain to check that the problem has been solved. You can also use some waterproof tape as a seal around the edges of the pipes to prevent any excess drips.
Other Ways of Unblocking a Kitchen Sink
- When a you have used a plunger and removed the pipe but the problem persists, you have the option of snaking the drain. There are various drain machines which are ideal for a kitchen snake drain. However, this is not a readily available tool that a lot of people own. You however may be able to find them available for hire.
- You can also use a mild drain cleaner to unblock a kitchen drain. Using it regularly can serve as a preventive measure to minimize the incidences of having a clogged drain, keeping your drain pipes open and clean.
- Mild drain cleaners, some of which are natural such as salt and baking soda for example, are usually more ideal compared to chemical-based cleaners. This is because, most professional plumbers say that consistent use of these cleaners can corrode metal pipes with time.
Although these techniques are doable, remember that you can always call a professional if in doubt. Considering that a kitchen sink blockage can be avoided, here are some tips to consider:
Preventing a Blocked Kitchen Drain
- It is not advisable to pour grease or fat down the kitchen drain as this is a common cause of a blockage.
- Run hot water through the drain periodically to dislodge any grease that may be building up.
- You can prevent a clog by removing all kitchen waste from the sink and avoiding washing it down the drain. Do not pour coffee grinds or food particles in the sink.
- Know the signs and take action as soon as you notice. Once your kitchen sink starts draining slowly or bubbles can be seen when water is poured down the drain, it is time to take action.
- Use a kitchen sink filter, which helps to catch items that should not be washed down the drain, and clean the filter after using the sink.