How To Unclog a Sink Drain
Bathroom sinks tend to clog up because they are exposed to an abundance of hair, soap and other greasy product that can slow down or stop a drain.
Steps on HOW TO UNCLOG A SINK DRAIN
1. Get out the Plunger
The first step in unclogging a sink drain is with a plunger. To do this, partially fill the sink with water to cover the plunger head, then plunge up and down vigorously, keeping the plunger sealed against the bottom of the sink. If you do not feel the water swishing back and forth or enough resistance, then air may be escaping through the second drain or overflow opening. To stop this air intake simply hold the water rag firmly in place over the opening. Once you have broken the clog loose, run hot water or a drain cleaner through the drain to flush out the debris.
2. Drain auger aka – Snake
If the clog is too stubborn for the plunger, it is time to try the drain auger.With an auger, you can go down the drain, or you can remove the trap and go into the horizontal drain line. Use your judgment based on where you think the clog is located.
NOTE: Chemical treatments can be used to unclog a sink drain. It is very important to read the instructions on the product before using.
3. Through the drain
If the Clog is in the sink trap, use the auger (also known as the snake) to carefully drill down the trap to remove the clog. You may need to remove the drain basket. The most suitable auger is a coiled cable that is wrapped inside a housing. The Housing should have a handle and a crank on it for spinning the cable inside the drain. With limited force, feed the cable into the drain, and when you feel some resistance, you are probably against your clog. Make sure you flush the drain with boiling water to loosen and flush any remaining debris.
NOTE: You will have to replace the top seals if worn.
4. Remove the sink trap
If the clog is beyond the trap and you cannot get at it from using above, remove the trap using a channel lock or a pipe wrench to access the horizontal stretch of pipe. Careful not to prevent the teeth of the tool from marring the pipe surface – remove the two nuts that hold the trap to catch the water container in the trap. Be sure to put a bucket under the trap to catch the water contained in the trap. Follow the instructions above and keep extending the cable until it pushes the blockage into the larger vertical pipe. Pull the cable back out, cleaning it and feeding it back into the housing as you go.
5. Replace the sink trap
If you removed the trap, carefully replace it making sure not to over tighten the nuts. Once the trap is replaced, run hot water or a drain cleaner through the drain to flush it out. If the water backs up, there may still be some loose debris in the line left behind by the auger. Try plunging to get rid of this debris. Again, flush the drain with hot water.