Bathroom & Kitchen Guide

Your complete guide to remodeling, design and new products.


How to unclog a blocked kitchen sink drain

There are a few ways you can go about unclogging a kitchen sink drain.

-    Use a drain cleaning solution
-    Use a plunger to try and dislodge the blockage
-    Undo the catchment pipe under the sink and see what you find
-    Or call a handy man

Since we are talking DIY the last option is for extreme measures. The first option of using a drain cleaning solution is the easiest. There are a lot of products on the market that you can use. Most are strong granules that you tip into the drain and leave over night. Remember that these products are very caustic and should be handled with care and use gloves. Never use more than one product at a time and keep the area well ventilated. Make sure you rinse away any residue that is left around.  You can make a solution yourself using 1/3 cup of baking soda and 1/3 cup of vinegar. When you mix these together it will fizz up so mix it in a large bowl or container. If this technique doesn’t work, then move on to the next technique.

To use a plunger to unclog the sink you need to own one to start with. A Plunger can be purchased at any hardware store and most major supermarkets and department stores. A plunger works by creating an air tight seal and forces the air in the pipe to push or suck the blockage. Place the plunger over the drain in the sink and push and pull the plunger. You should be able to hear the movement and when you pull the plunger completely off the drain is should gurgle a bit while the drain clears. Flush the drain with some hot water if the drain still seems clog than you have something large in the way and you will need to take the next step of undoing the pipes under the sink.

To undo the pipes under the sink you will need a plumber’s wrench and some towels and maybe a bucket as the water that is in the sink and pipes is going to gush out at you. Under the sink there should be an “S bend” shaped pipe. This catches waste in the pipe so you don’t clog the pipes further down the system. There should be two collars over each end of this S bend pipe. This is what you will need to unscrew. Using the plumber’s wrench unscrew the collars releasing the s bend piece of piping.

Once you have unscrewed this and probably mopped up the water that gushed out clear the S bend from anything that is clogging or blocking it.  Once it is completely clear screw the piping back together. If you have older piping use some plumbers tape to make sure you get a water tight seal on the pipe where the collars will be. When it is all put back together run some water through your kitchen sink and see that it is not leaking and now fully unclogged. If it is still clogging then you have a blockage further down the line somewhere and it is probably a good idea to call a handyman or professional to investigate this.

To help prevent a clogged sink you can buy a drain strainer at most supermarkets and hardware stores. This sits over the top of the kitchen sink drain and catches bits of food that would normally wash down the sink. After each wash pull out the strainer and empty it in the bin.

Now that you have an unclogged kitchen sink we are sure you have a lot of washing up to do so we will let you get back to it!

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