How to Fix a clogged Sink in 3 easy steps

Fixing a clogged sink yourself has two big advantages: You save time and you save money.

When you have a clogged drain in your kitchen or bathroom, pouring liberal doses of very hot water down the drain will often help by melting greasy clogs away.

If that doesn't cut it, here are three ways you can do the plumbing repair yourself:

1. Clean the sink Strainer.

Plumbing problems often happen at the strainer, and are easily fixed by removing the stainer or stopper and cleaning it.

Here's how:

  • Remove the stopper or strainer by turning and pulling up on it with your fingers.
  • Rinse away any soap scum, hair, food or grease attached to the strainer.

2. Plunge with Petroleum Jelly.

Sure, you put it there for the toilet, but plungers can often fix a clogged sink sink quite efficiently, too. Here's how:

  • If you don't already have standing water, turn on the faucet until there are several inches of water covering the drain. This water will help force the clog out. On bathroom drains, you'll need to cover the overflow valve near the rim.
  • Apply a thin ring of petroleum jelly around the rim of the rubber plunger cup. Doing this provides for a tighter seal against the drain - and improves the effectiveness of the pumping action.
  • Once the seal is established, as you gently push the plunger down, hold a slightly damp cloth over the overflow valve. Give the plunger three or four quick, powerful pumps. Wait a moment to see if it drains. If it doesn't, try again.
  • When the drain is cleared, run hot water to wash down any remaining clogged material that might be lingering in the drain.

3. Clear It With a Liquid Drain Cleaner.

As a last resort before calling that plumbing repair service, pour in a liquid drain cleaner.  These chemical cleaners can usually burn through all but the toughest of clogs quickly.

Be sure to follow the label's directions carefully.

If the drain opener or several short sessions with the plunger won't dislodge the blockage - or if you've noticed that several of your home's other drains are also draining sluggishly - the problem is likely to be deep inside your main house drain and well out of your reach.

It's now time to call that plumbing repair service.

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› Stopped Up Sink


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About the Author

Tara Aronson is a native Californian. Having grown up in San Diego, she studied journalism and Spanish to pursue a career in newspaper writing. Tara, whose three children - Chris, Lyndsay, and Payne - are the light of her life, now lives and writes in Los Angeles. She also regularly appears on television news programs throughout the U.S.