Guide: How to Unclog a Sink Drain

To unclog a sink with a plunger, fill the sink halfway with hot water. Position the plunger over the drain, then work the plunger up and down until the water starts to drain. If you don’t have a plunger on hand, you can also unclog your sink with vinegar and baking soda. To do so, bail out any water that’s currently in the sink, and then push 1 cup (128 g) of baking soda down the drain. Pour 1 cup (240 mL) of vinegar into the drain, and let sit for 5 minutes. If your sink is still clogged, read below for advice on how to unclog the drain trap!

Hair and pieces of soap bars clogging the bathroom sink? Grease and food blocking up the one in the kitchen? Don’t fret, Clogged drains are one of the most common household plumbing problems.

If you’re stuck with a blocked sink, it’s not always obvious what the best approach is. Luckily, we’re here to tell you exactly what to do.

Just follow these simple steps to get your water flowing freely again without having to handle harsh chemicals.

Make sure you come prepared – Before you start to tackle your blocked sink, you’ll need:

  • protective glasses and gloves
  • a dishcloth
  • some baking soda and white vinegar
  • some soda crystals
  • a large bowl or a bucket
  • a plunger

Clean out the drain – First, you’ll need to unscrew the plug. Next, have a good look in the drain and clean out any bits of debris or grime that might be stuck in the drain.

Seal the drain – Make sure the drain is covered in water so you’ll have an airtight seal for the plunger.

Block up the overflow – Use the dishcloth to plug up the overflow – again, making sure you’ve got an airtight seal.

Bring the plunger out – Place the plunger over the plughole so that it covers it, and then gently push the plunger up and down. You might need to hold the dish cloth tightly against the overflow to ensure a good seal.

Add a little baking soda and vinegar – Hopefully, a little plunging has managed to clear the blocked sink. But if it hasn’t, you can try pouring a small amount of baking soda down the drain, followed by a cup of white vinegar.

Flush through with hot water – You should be able to see or hear some fizzing as the baking soda and vinegar work to break down debris and grime. After a few minutes, you can simply wash the mixture through the drain with some hot water from the tap.

Try using some soda crystals – Alternatively, you can dissolve half a packet of soda crystals into some boiling water, and then pour this solution down the drain to help remove any fats, grease or soap residues that might have built up.

Find the U-bend – If you’re really unlucky, and you’ve got a particularly stubborn blocked sink, you can try to remove and clean out the U-bend. Just look for the first bend in the pipe underneath the sink.

Get a bucket ready – Place a large bowl or a bucket underneath the U-bend, ready to catch any water that spills out.

Loosen the U-bend – Carefully unscrew the plastic fitting where the U-bend joins the bottom of the sink. Once you see water start to drip out, stop unscrewing and let all of the water drain into the bucket.

Inspect the U-bend – Once the water stops draining out, you can remove the U-bend completely and take a look inside. Pull out any objects or built-up debris that you can find, and then reattach the clean U-bend to the bottom of the sink.

No Luck? Time To Call A Professional Plumber.

If you’ve followed these steps carefully, you should now know how to unblock a sink yourself. But if you’re still having problems, or you’re not comfortable following these steps, just get in touch with a plumber from ClearView Plumbing and Heating in Calgary – they’ll be more than happy to come and take a look at the blocked sink for you.

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