How Do I Unclog My Kitchen Sink?

When the kitchen sink gets clogged, many homeowners reach for the chemical drain cleaner. At Terry’s Plumbing, we encourage our customers to use non-chemical methods of clearing their clogs. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the best methods for unclogging your kitchen sink.

Use a Wet Dry Vacuum to Suck Out the Water

If your sink is completely clogged, the sink itself might be filled with water. This makes it hard to see the drain to unclog it. To solve this problem, use a a wet dry vacuum to suck the water from the basin. If you have no vacuum that can suck water from the basin, use a sponge to suck as much water as possible from the sink. Removing the water from the sink makes it easier to do your task.

Try Different Methods

There are many different methods that you can use to unclog your kitchen sink. The best method to use will depend on the severity of the clog and the products you have on hand to fix the problem.

  • Natural household products: Natural household products like vinegar, lemon juice and baking soda are all good in their own way for breaking down tough clogs and clearing pipes. There are many sources online that suggest combinations of these products for clearing your drain. We recommend using equal portions of vinegar and one other drain clearing product (lemon juice or baking soda) to pour down the drain. Leave the product sitting in the drain for at least an hour, or longer if desired, then use hot water to flush the drain. This is an effective method if your drain is slow moving but not completely clogged.
  • Coat hanger: Straighten a coat hanger, then twist the end into a hook. Insert the hook into the drain and root around in the pipe to catch the clog on the end of the hook.
  • Plumber’s auger: An auger is similar to the professional snakes used by plumbers, but augers are manually powered. Augers work well, but won’t fit through the slots in the kitchen sink basket strainer. To modify your auger so that it will fit through the strainer, use wire cutters to cut off the wire tip end, then use needle nosed pliers to unwind the end of the coil to form a hook. If you’re not sure how to use a plumber’s auger, follow the instructions provided in this online video:

You can also learn about using an auger in this online tutorial. If you’re not able to reach the clog by entering through the basket strainer, then you’ll need to unscrew the P trap and waste arm underneath the sink. Put a bucket under the drain to catch any waste water caught in the pipe. Once the P trap and waste arm has been removed, insert the auger directly into the waste line that leads down to the sewer.

Contact a Plumber

If none of these methods work, then it’s time to contact a plumber. It could be that your sewer is the problem, or the clog could simply be farther down than your tools can reach. We recommend staying away from chemical drain cleaner, because chemical drain cleaner is bad for the environment, bad for pipes and is incapable of solving the problem in a long-term way. As your plumber serving Pittsburgh and the surrounding area, the professionals at Terry’s Plumbing can find the source of your clog and help you solve the problem for good. To make an appointment, contact us today at (412) 364-9114. We answer our phone 24 hours per day, 7 days per week!