Clogged kitchen sink is truly a problem to any household that must be resolved as soon as possible. A problem can be resolved quickly if the root cause is identified immediately. In this case, we have to know what is the clog and where it is located. Unless you have an x-ray vision, the cause of your clogged kitchen sink cannot be identified easily and accurately that is why the steps to be done must be systematic or methodical to ensure an optimal solution to the problem.
What are the systematic steps that we can follow to unclog our kitchen sink?
Step 1. Pour boiling or very hot water. In most cases solidified grease and oil is the culprit for a clogged kitchen sink. The blockage can be removed by melting the solidified oil and grease. Pour boiling or very hot water into the sink until the strainer is filled with water. Wait for the water to drain then pour hot water again. Do this three times then test with cold water. If water drains fast then the sink is unclogged.
If the hot water is not drained the first time it is poured after waiting for at least 15 minutes then you need to go to the next step.
Step 2.Use a plunger or air plunger. It would be good if an air plunger is available at your house because it gives a harder push than an ordinary plunger. At our home, the clogged sink problem is usually resolved with this step. In fact, it is very long ago when we had to proceed with the next step. The reason for this is that we regularly apply preventive maintenance to our sink. You can read about this in the following link.
Make sure that there is no water on the sink when you use the air plunger or the water must be up to the drain only. This is to avoid splashing of water once the air pressure is released from the air plunger. If you have a double sink, cover the drain of the other sink with cloth so that the air pressure is concentrated within the pipe and not released to the other hole.
There are different kinds of air plunger today but the most common one has to be pumped first to obtain the desired pressure. Once it is obtained, the air plunger is aimed at the sink hole and a button is pressed to fire the pressure. See the video on how it is used by clicking the following link.
Unlike an air plunger, water is needed in using an ordinary plunger to push the clog. You need not remove the undrained water on the sink unless it is very dirty. Replace it with clean water if needed preferably hot water. Again, if using a double sink, cover the drain of the other sink with cloth.
Position the plunger on top of drain ensuring to create a seal between the mouth of the plunger and the kitchen sink surface. Pump the plunger several times then pull it out. See if the water drains normally. Repeat until water drains fast. See video on how it is done by clicking the following link.
Step 3.Clean the P-trap. The P-trap is that inverted P-shaped pipe under your sink. This catches the dirt, grease, oil, food scrap and other materials that may clog your sink. P-trap for kitchen sink can be cleansed thru its opening at the bottom or by removing or detaching it. Please see pictures below.
Please ready a pale or a basin to catch the water from the sink when opening or detaching a p-trap. Please click the link below to see the video.
Pour water to check if clog is removed after cleaning the P-trap. If not, proceed to step 4.
Step 4.Use drain snake. Drain snake is that spring wire that can bend and penetrate curved pipes. We have used this in times when our plunger was out of order or when the clog can’t be moved by air or water pressure. Actually, this step can be done interchangeably with step 2
The drain snake can be inserted through the sink hole or through the p-trap. If you don’t want to open or detach your P-trap then you can use the drain snake by inserting it through the sink hole. See video by clicking the link below.
If you have cleansed your P-trap and still your kitchen is clogged then the blockage is in the pipe after the P-trap. You can insert the drain snake through the P-trap to clean the pipe further.
Step 5. Use Vinegar, hot water and baking soda. When all the previous steps are not working then that just means the accumulated dirt, grease, oil and food scraps have already thickened and became a very hard clog that is difficult to break. When this happens, you have to soften or melt the clog. There are two ways you can do that. One is by using vinegar, baking soda and hot water and the other is by using liquid lye. Before using a strong chemical such as liquid lye, try using vinegar, hot water and baking soda first. Here is what to do.
a. Remove the standing water in the sink using a basin or a bowl
b. Pour a cup of baking soda down the drain.
c. Pour a cup of white vinegar down the drain.
d. Wait for 15 minutes .
e. Pour at least 2 cups of hot water then wait for another 15 minutes.
f. Pour tap water and observe if the water drains faster.
Click the following link to view the video.
If this step gives an improvement in draining the water, it can be repeated to solve the problem totally. Otherwise proceed to next step. .
Step 6. Use liquid Sosa or liquid lye. Liquid Sosa is a liquid lye that can be used to soften or melt clogs caused by grease, oil and food scraps. The instructions in using it must be strictly followed because it can be harmful to you and to your sink. Read the instructions from its label carefully before using liquid Sosa.
Step 7. Call a plumber. If none of the steps above worked an expert on the matter must be consulted. Call a plumber.
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