A clogged kitchen sink can be prevented with timely garbage disposal maintenance, as well as scraping food from your dishes into the trash can before rinsing them in the sink. This guide will not only show you how to unclog your kitchen sink, but how to clear any clogged drain.
If you hear a low hum from your disposal, but you don’t think the blades are moving, the disposal may be jammed or clogged. There are simple steps to clear a kitchen drain clog in the disposal. Shut off the disposal and unplug the unit. Then manually move the motor shaft by inserting a ¼ inch Allen wrench into the center key hole at the bottom of the disposal housing. This should free the jam. But you may have to press the reset button to get the disposal to operate again.
If the problem isn’t with the disposal, try plunging to unclog the sink. Clamp the drain hose on the dishwasher before plunging, and if your sink has multiple drains, seal the unclogged drain with a sink stopper to prevent the pressure generated by the plunger from exiting. This ensures the plunger’s action will be directed directly against the clog itself. Begin plunging for however long you deem necessary. If you’re successful, water should soon drain normally. If not, keep plunging or approach the problem from another angle.
If plunging doesn’t solve the problem, you may need to snake the drain using a hand auger snake. They’re fairly inexpensive to rent or purchase at a hardware store. A plumber’s auger is a long piece of cable that you crank down into drainpipes. When using a snake, push the cable into the drainpipe until you feel resistance. If it can’t be cranked easily, then you’ve hit the clog. Keep turning the crank until you feel the tension in the wire give way; this is a sign that you’ve broken through the clog. Once you do, begin reeling the snake back, wiping the wire down as you go. Things can get messy when the cable comes out so be sure to have cleaning materials ready.
You can use a vinegar solution to clean your drain as well. Pour vinegar and baking soda down your drain (no more than one or two cups). Cover the drain with a cloth or seal and let sit for 15-30 minutes. Afterwards, run hot water down the drain for a minute or two. Use these three techniques to remove most sink drain clogs. But if the clog won’t clear, it may be time to call in a professionals at Roto-Rooter.