5 Effective Steps for Unclogging Your Sink Drains

A clogged up sink is a pain in the back teeth, and unfortunately, one that crops up far too often. As the sink is frequently used to clean dirty dishes and other such items, there’s plenty of opportunity for filth and other such gunk to build up in the pipes. This will eventually stop water from draining, leaving a nasty-smelling build up for you to enjoy in your kitchen. Leaving it in this state is, naturally, out of the question, both for reasons of hygiene and aesthetics.

It just so happens that there exist some ways for someone to unclog a sink drain, and none of them are especially difficult. They may, however, require a willingness to stick your hands somewhere nasty.

Call A Plumber

Sometimes the best methods are the simplest ones. Should you lack the tools, supplies and general willingness to unclog a drain yourself, there’s no shame in calling for a plumber, to do it for you. After all, it’s what they’re there to do. Think of it as supporting independent businessmen. While you should search for a good plumber before picking up the phone, you can be assured that the work done to unclog your drains will be professional and to a high standard, if you use a reputable service like A1 Plumbing.

Of course, plumbers cost money, and in most cases homeowners may find the costs of hiring a plumber to be not quite worth the value of the work done. Furthermore, some are uncomfortable with letting strangers, even professional ones, touch fragile parts of the house and may prefer to do it on their own.

Use a Pipe Cleaning Solution

A slightly cheaper alternative to hiring a plumber is to use specially formulated cleaning solutions designed to purge your pipes of any built up filth. These often work by creating thick, expanding columns of bleaches and acids that eat away and dislodge accumulated dirt from your pipes, before being washed away harmlessly with water. You can find all sorts of these in your local supermarket, and it’d take another article to faithfully compare them all. To work out which is best to use, avoid looking at adverts – their whole purpose is to present the product presented as being better than it probably is. Instead, go by personal testimony. Most home improvement and domestic message boards and websites will offer advice regarding the best pipe unclogging chemicals.

Be aware of course that these products can be expensive, and also utilise various chemicals that may be harmful to you or your family if not carefully used. Therefore, some homeowners seek alternative methods of cleaning up the mess themselves.
Use a Plunger

This will probably be the first remedy you use to unclog your sink drains after plumbers and bleaches.

Plungers are best used in the following fashion. First, fill the sink with hot water while making sure the plug is out of the sink. The hot water will hit against the blockage and soften it slightly, as well as providing further material for the plunger to work with. Once the sink has begun to fill again, place the plunger directly over the plughole and start to work it. If there is already a breach in the block, then this should only take a few seconds before its removed. Solid blocks may take more work, so don’t be surprised if you need to repeat the process some.

Now and then, remove the plunger from the drain to see if the water starts to descend. It should do so at a swift pace; sluggish drainage means there’s still, at least, a partial block somewhere in the pipe.

If you hear gurgling while pressing down or pulling up on the plunger, that’s a good sign. It means there’s a gap in the block that water can move through. Repeat the motions until the water makes the breach bigger, until at last the blockage is dislodged entirely. To make sure it’s completely removed, you may want to use some pipe cleaning liquids to clear any remaining debris off the pipe walls.

Baking Soda and Vinegar

A useful home recipe, make sure that there is no water in the sink and that the surface is bone dry. Otherwise, any standing water will cause the soda to dissolve. Pour one cup of baking soda down the drain, pushing any excess into the plug hole with a spoon or spatula if necessary. Then pour a cup of vinegar down with it, replacing the stopper.

Give the solution five minutes to work, and then pour hot or boiling water down the drain to see if it’s unclogged. If not, repeat the process. Careful! The solution will make quite the stink as its working!
Remove and Clean the Pipes

If all else fails, you can always remove and clean out the pipe sections yourself. Be warned, this can get very messy!

First, make sure you place a bucket beneath the pipes under your sink. This will catch any water or dirt that escapes your pipe. Remove the trap and pour any standing water into the bucket. If you find the blockage inside it, then dislodge as much of the build up as you can and deposit it into the bucket. Then replace the trap and run water through the drain again to see if it drains properly.

If there is still a problem with the drainage, then the block is probably further down the pipe. Remove the trap again, but this time, also remove the pipe that connects the trap to the stub pipe in the wall. Use a cable auger to probe inside the stub pipe and see if it meets resistance. If so, use the auger to remove carefully the blockage from the pipe until it’s clear again. Replace all the piping and see if the water starts to drain again.

Christian Mills, a homeowner and freelance writer is always seeking out ideas to improve his home. If you would like to learn more about Chrsitian, you can check out his google+ profile.

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