Dealing with a Clogged Sink? Learn What It Takes to Unclog It in 5 Simple Steps

Dealing with a Clogged Sink? Learn What It Takes to Unclog It in 5 Simple Steps

Clogged sinks aren’t something to ignore. They could be the first visual sign you see of a major problem, or they could be something simple. 

No matter how minor the problem, dirty sinks breed millions of germs daily and, if you’re not taking care of them they release debris into your pipes that will eventually cause problems. 

If you’ve got a clogged sink, you can unclog it by using these 5 steps.

5 Steps to Unclog a Sink

  1. Start with the stopper. Unless you’re a professional plumber, you are not going to head for the pipes first. But you don’t want to grab chemical drain cleaner and pour it down your sink – this can cause major problems later.

Instead, go straight to the source that keeps your sink from draining on purpose: the stopper. It’s a little strip of metal that has holes in it, and it is located under your sink. 

The stopper may have too much debris collected on it, causing it to clog your sink. You need to disconnect it by detaching the metal strip and pulling the rod out. Your stopper should be disconnected, letting you see for sure if the problem is there.

  1. Clean the stopper. Now that you’ve pulled the stopper out, even if it’s not the obvious culprit, go ahead and clean it. It probably stinks – it gets put through a lot of work dealing with everything that goes down the sink. But you can easily clean it with a wet paper towel so you can trash it immediately.
  1. Clear the pipes. You can purchase a hand snake at any hardware store, and these nifty tools can help you avoid major pipe troubles. If you’re not confident in this level of DIY projects and you need a plumber, it’s best to call one before you go too much further.

But if you’ve already removed the stopper and you know how to use a hand snake, you can put it down the drain while the stopper is already out. A hand snake works like a crank. As you work the crank, the head of the snake rotates around the pipe and collects everything that is stuck to or clogging what’s in the drain.

Chances are you are going to pull out a lot of debris. Be sure you have a trash can nearby to collect it quickly before you pull the snake out of the drain. Repeat this step until the snake comes out clean.

  1. Replace the stopper.  You’ve done your gross deed for the day; now you can put the clean stopper back. After you set it back in the drain, look back under the sink and replace the metal strip.

When you can pull up on the stopper at your sink and it does its job (stopping the sink from draining), you have attached it right.

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  1. Check for drains. The stopper is cleaned, the pipes have been snaked, and now it’s time to see if you have fixed the problem. Reset the stopper to open and run your water. Is it still clogged?

You have probably fixed any minor issues, but if it’s still not draining, it may be time to call a plumber!

DIY Clogged Sinks: A Dirty Job

Unclogging your sink isn’t what you likely wanted to do today, but somebody’s got to do it. Save yourself the expense of calling in a plumber for a simple job. If this doesn’t fix it, though, you may have something more serious going on and should call in an expert.


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