Read On To Help Prevent Clogged Kitchen Sinks!
Watching the kitchen sink fill up with water and fail to drain can be a nightmare scenario. Understanding what causes kitchen sinks to clog or drain poorly will help you prevent problems before they start and save you money in the long run.
Fortunately, several effective and inexpensive methods to unclog a kitchen sink drain do not require a plumber’s expertise. We’re here to tell you everything you need to know about your sink drain.
Common Causes Of Kitchen Sink Drain Clogs
Knowing What Causes Clogs Can Help Prevent Them In The Future
Kitchen sinks can begin to drain slowly or clog for several reasons, whether from food, grease, or something that inadvertently slips down the drain. While garbage disposals can effectively shred food waste into tiny pieces that go down drains without issue, there are some items you should dispose of in the trash instead.
Plumbing experts recommend you avoid putting coffee grinds, vegetable peels, animal fats, or cooking oils down a sink drain. These substances can stick to the drain and cause it to clog. Dispose of these items in the trash instead.
Non-Food Products & Grease Are Common Culprits
Other things to avoid putting in the garbage disposal include bones, which can dull the blades of your garbage disposal. Also, watch out for non-food products. Be careful to remove produce stickers and dispose of them when washing food in the sink.
Cooking oils, animal fats, and grease can build up over time and eventually cause a complete kitchen sink drain blockage. To dispose of these substances, wait until they cool, pour them into a juice container or beverage carton, and then place them in the trash. You can also put them into plastic bags and freeze them for later disposal. Use paper towels to wipe the grease off pots and pans before rinsing them.
(See our step-by-step guide on how to get rid of smelly bathroom drains!)
Do It Yourself Methods To Unclog A Kitchen Sink Drain
Sometimes Clogged Sinks Are Inevitable, Follow These Steps To Fix Them!
No matter how careful we are about preventing kitchen sink clogs, they are bound to happen. Suppose the kitchen sink begins to drain slowly or already has a clog. In that case, these do-it-yourself techniques may be helpful before calling a plumber. Remember that these methods are for minor clogs, and you will likely need an expert plumber for large clogs.
(See our other guide on how to clear a blocked drain in 8 easy steps!)
- Run the garbage disposal: Before using any tools, turn the faucet on and run the garbage disposal to see if the drain unclogs. If the garbage disposal is not working correctly, turn it off and carefully reach into the drain to see if something is stuck or blocking it from spinning.
- Pour boiling water: Boil a pot of tap water and pour it slowly down the drain. Boiled water can safely help eliminate small clogs and loosen large clogs before attempting additional troubleshooting.
- Use a plunger: Homeowners should keep a small plunger under their kitchen sink for when it clogs. To use the plunger, fill the sink with hot water and place it over the drain for suction. Pump it up and down several times for thirty to sixty seconds. You may need to repeat this process several times before the drain unclogs.
- Use Bio-Clean: Bio-Clean has enzymes and microbes that can help digest the substance causing the clog. It is chemical-free and safe for the environment, pipes, and drains.
- Use a plumbing cable auger: An auger is a long, flexible steel crank that wraps around a spool. The cable extends deep into the drain and can help break up a clog. It has a hand crank, so you can retract it after you dislodge the clog. You can buy a 15-foot auger on Amazon for under $20.
- Clear the P-trap: A P-trap is a U-shaped fixture under the sink that traps debris and stores a small amount of water. The water in the P-Trap prevents smelly odours from rising into the kitchen. To clear the P-trap, put on a pair of gloves, place a bucket under the drain, and use pliers or a wrench to remove the fixture. Once you remove the P-trap, use a knife or coat hanger to scrape the sides and dislodge any blockage. Once complete, reattach the P-trap and run the faucet.
Cleaning a P-trap is messy, and you could cause further damage to the plumbing. Consider calling a plumbing expert before attempting this.
Things To Avoid
Never use a chemical de-clogger like Drano in the kitchen sink. It can ruin garbage disposals, damage pipes, cause poisonous fumes, and is ineffective. If combined with other chemicals, it can also cause an explosion.
When To Call A Plumber
If All Else Fails, Call The Expert Kitchen Plumbing Team Here At Bayside Plumbing
If none of the above troubleshooting techniques works or you have to do them regularly, it may be time to contact a plumber. Additionally, you should always call a plumber if more than one drain is blocked or if foul odours permeate the kitchen.
Slow drains can worsen over time, and a clog can cause corrosion and rot in the pipes – this can lead to advanced problems that are very expensive to fix.
The fully-licensed experts at Bayside Plumbing are available 24/7 for plumbing emergencies and are experienced in treating all types of blocked drains, using state-of-the-art equipment and CCTV drain inspection cameras to identify the source of the clog. They can solve most kitchen sink clog and drainage problems on the same day.
Check out our other helpful guides, like our tips on how to change a tap washer or our breakdown of the average cost of a kitchen renovation in Australia.