Kitchen sinks are one of the most utilized plumbing fixtures and the one that usually gets clogged. Aside from the hassle and stress brought about by a clogged kitchen sink drain and pipes, it also brings danger to your property and health when not addressed as quickly as possible.
Knowing what causes a clogged kitchen sink is handy when fixing it and preventing it from happening again.
Common Causes of Kitchen Sink Clogs
There is a variety of items that clog kitchen sink drains, but here are the usual suspects:
Food is one of the main reasons why kitchen sinks get clogged. Excess food from plates, pans, and bowls that wasn’t removed before washing accumulates in the J-trap, blocking water from flowing down the drain pipes. It also breaks, creates leaks, and misaligns the J-traps and drain pipes. Some examples of food that clogs your kitchen sink at home are rice, coffee grinds, baby carrots, and corn kernels.
2. Grease Buildup
Grease is one the nastiest culprits of a smelly, clogged kitchen sink drain. It solidifies when exposed to cold or ambient temperatures and sticks to the walls of your drain pipes. The pipes then become narrow and reduce water flow.
Some people wash their hair in the kitchen sink. The body sheds hair every day that clumps together, traps other debris, and clogs your sink.
4. Small Objects
Small objects often get stuck in the traps and pipes of your kitchen sink. If you have kids at home, chances are, Lego pieces and Barbie hairbrushes end up in your pipes. You might also see some eggshells, tissue paper, and plastics. These small, insoluble objects can easily block your drain pipes and cause clogging when not quickly removed.
Methods to Unclog Your Kitchen Sink
Calling a professional plumber to unclog your sink is always the best option. However, there are still some things you can try to clear a clogged kitchen sink.
Give these a whirl:
1. Pour Boiling Water
When there is an accumulation of soap scum, hair, and grease in your kitchen sink, using boiling water to unclog it is the simplest fix that you can try. Be careful of this method though; if your pipes are made of PVC, hot water will damage them.
Just follow these instructions:
- Bring water to a boil.
- Pour it down the drain.
- Turn on your faucet, and check if the water drains properly.
- If it doesn’t, repeat the steps.
2. Check Your Garbage Disposal
If pouring boiling water didn’t do much to unclog your kitchen sink, try checking the garbage disposal.
Turn it on to break up the blockage. Usually, this solves the problem, but sometimes it isn’t enough. Try restarting if it has overheated or malfunctioned. It might also be damaged and need repair; seek help from the professionals instead.
If you still have a clogged sink, don’t fret. There are still other solutions to try.
3. Plunge Away
If your garbage disposal isn’t the cause of the problem, try using a flat-bottomed plunger:
- Pour hot water until your sink is half full.
- Position your plunger at the exact opening of the drain, and start pumping up and down.
- Check if the water is draining properly.
- Repeat the process until the water steadily drains.
4. Use Baking Soda and Vinegar
While there are chemical drain cleaners available on the market, it is not advisable to use them since they can damage the walls of your pipes and irritate your skin. The good news is there is a natural alternative: baking soda and vinegar.
Simply follow these steps:
- Remove the water from the sink.
- Pour a cup of baking soda exactly at the drain opening.
- Use a spoon or spatula to push the baking soda down the drain.
- Pour a cup of vinegar.
- Cover the drain.
- Let the mixture work its magic for about 15 minutes.
- Uncover the drain, and pour hot water or boiling water for intense clogs.
6. Use a Plumber’s Snake
If all else fails, bring out the plumber’s snake or a wire coat hanger if you don’t have one at home. Carefully feed it down your drain, but don’t push too much; you might accidentally push the clogs into the pipes. Once the tip of your plumber’s snake or wire coat hanger hits an obstruction, gently pull it up to get the debris out.
How A Better Plumber Can Help
Unclogging a kitchen sink involves a lot of messy and complicated tasks. Help from the professional plumbers can save you time and effort and give you assurance and confidence that the job is done right.
At A Better Plumber, we have plumbers with extensive experience and knowledge on how to fix a clogged kitchen sink. They undergo continuous training to ensure that we always provide the best plumbing services. Our plumbers serve Littleton, CO. If you need us, we’re one call away!