5 Tips on How to Unclog a Bathroom Sink Drain
In this age of microwaves and high speed Internet, we want everything to work quickly. Waiting for the bathroom sink to slowly drain definitely does not meet our expectations. So, what can you do to unclog that bathroom sink?
Chemical Drain Cleaners
You can purchase gel, powder, or liquid cleaners from your local home repair store. These products usually contain strong chemicals designed to loosen clogs or create heat-producing reactions to melt congealed grease. Carefully follow the use instructions to avoid damaging your system, particularly if you have older, metal pipes.
Baking Soda and Vinegar
Take a natural approach to unclogging the drain by using baking soda and vinegar to create a reaction that will clear the blockage. Pour 1/4 cup of baking soda directly into the drain followed by one cup of white vinegar. The reaction of the soda with the vinegar creates a chemical reaction that loosens the clog. Wait approximately 15 minutes. Then pour boiling water into the drain. Repeat the process, if necessary, until the water drains easily.
Before you plunge the sink, remove the stopper. Add water to the sink to cover the drain for approximately one inch. Position a clean toilet or sink plunger over the drain and press down to create a seal. Plunge vigorously. Remove the plunger and, using a flashlight, see if the clog is within your reach. If not, continue the plunging process until you can pull the blockage from the drain. Do not plunge an undermount sink because you could pull the mounts out of the countertop.
You may want to use rubber gloves for this process; it’s messy, but it’s an easy way for an amateur to snake your own drain. Begin by straightening a wire clothes hanger, leaving a small loop at one end. Snake the wire down the drain until you reach the clog. Then pull up and dispose of debris. Continue the process until you have removed most of the clog. Pour boiling water down the drain to wash away any lingering debris and ensure water flows freely down the drain.
Using a shop vacuum involves removing the P-trap located beneath the sink. (If you are not comfortable removing and replacing the P-trap, contact a licensed plumber to unclog the sink drain for you.) Place a bucket beneath the trap to catch any water. Remove the P-trap and insert the shop vac nozzle into the vertical pipe running up to the sink.
Put the stopper in the drain and plug any open pipes with rags. Turn on the vacuum, using the wet setting, and attempt to loosen the blockage. If the vacuum’s suction does not pull the clog into the shop vac’s bag, remove the nozzle and pull out the remainder of the plug by hand. Replace the P-trap.
Some bathroom drain blockages prove too stubborn for you to tackle. If so, contact a professional that has the tools and methods to clear these difficult clogs and to ensure your sinks are draining quickly again.
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