How to unclog a blocked sink
No matter how careful you are or how clean your kitchen and bathroom are, kitchen sinks are prone to being clogged by a build up of food waste from washing up and bathroom sinks from hair and soap scum. A blocked sink is inconvenient, you don't realise how often you use your sink until it is clogged and you can't!
You might not need to call an emergency plumber just yet. Follow the simple steps below and you might be able to solve your drainage problem yourself and get your water flowing freely again.
Ten simple steps to unblock a sink
- Before you start to unblock your clogged sink, you'll need: protective glasses and gloves, a plunger, a dish cloth or small towel, some baking soda, white vinegar, and a washing-up bowl or bucket.
- Manually clean out the plughole by unscrewing it if you can. Have a good look in the plughole and clean out any bits of debris or grime that might be stuck. It is likely that you have already improved the flow.
- Create an airtight seal for the plunger by covering the plughole with a couple of inches of water.
- Dampen the dish cloth and use it to block the overflow, making sure you've got an airtight seal. Depending on the type of overflow, you might need to get someone else to help you by holding the cloth over it.
- Place the plunger over the plughole so that it covers it, and then gently push the plunger up and down to create suction until the blockage is dislodged.
- Hopefully, a little plunging has managed to clear the blocked sink. But if it hasn't, you can try putting a couple of teaspoons of baking soda down the plughole, followed by a cup of white vinegar. Wait a couple of minutes for this to take effect. You should see or hear some fizzing as the baking soda and vinegar work to break down debris and grime. Then you can wash the mixture down the drain with some hot water.
- If you've got a particularly badly blocked sink, you might need to remove and clean out the U-bend. Just look for the first bend in the pipe underneath the sink. You'll need to clear an area around the U-bend in order to gain better access and reduce mess.
- Place a washing-up bowl or a bucket underneath the U-bend, to catch any water or debris that spills out. An old towel might be a good idea too. It might be useful to snap a photograph of the U-bend before you take it apart so you have reference when the blockage is cleared and you are reassembling it.
- Carefully unscrew the plastic fitting where the U-bend joins the bottom of the sink. Once you see water start to run out, stop unscrewing and let all of the water drain into the bucket.
- Once the water stops draining out, you can remove the U-bend completely and take a look inside. Pull out any objects or debris, then reattach the clean U-bend to the bottom of the sink firmly so there are no leaks!
Hopefully you have been able to unblock your sink, but if you were not comfortable to complete all of the steps or you have a more complex drainage problem, contact us and a qualified plumber will come to take a look at your drainage issue.
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