Whether it’s a malfunctioning garbage disposal, hair and soap in the bathroom or too much accumulated food, sinks eventually get clogged. However, there are many simple ways to deal with a clogged sink, and the materials you’ll need aren’t hard to come by. These solutions should be used in tandem to guarantee a clean drain.
Before sinking time into the project, check to see if your garbage disposal is clogged. If you hear a low hum from the disposal, but you don’t think the impellers are moving, it may be jammed or clogged. Turn off the disposal and unplug the unit. Then manually move the disposal’s motor shaft back and forth by inserting the jam key that came with your disposal (or a ¼ inch Allen wrench) into the center hole at the bottom of the disposal housing. This should free the object causing the jam. Once this is finished, plug the disposal back in and press the reset button.
If the problem isn’t with the disposal and seems to be deeper down the drain, try plunging to unclog the sink. Clamp the drain hose on your dishwasher before plunging, and if your sink has two or more drains, seal the unclogged drains with a drain stopper. Begin plunging for however long you deem necessary. If you’re successful, water will drain normally. If not, keep plunging or approach the project from another angle.
If plunging isn’t sufficient for clogged sink repair, or the clog is too far down for plunging to be effective, try snaking the drain by using a hand auger to remove the clog. A plumber’s auger is a long piece of steel wire or cable that you push down into pipes until you feel resistance (the clog). When using a snake, crank the handle to twist the snake through the clog. If it can’t be cranked easily, then you’ve hit a tough clog, not the curve of a pipe. Keep cranking 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. Have cleaning materials ready, since the clog may drip and cause a mess.
You can use a vinegar solution to clean your drain as well. Pour vinegar and baking soda down the drain (no more than one to 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 at least a minute. At this point, the drain should be clear, but you can always plunge again.
The problem could also lie in the P-trap under the sink. Simply place a bucket under the drain assembly to catch water, remove the P-trap, clean out the clog and reassemble.