OCT 30, 2017

Whether in the kitchen, bathroom or laundry room, a clogged sink can start as a mild annoyance, but can quickly turn into a full-blown plumbing nightmare.The best way to deal with a clogged sink is to take steps to avoid it in the first place. In this article, we’ll cover preventative measures as well as what to do if you are unfortunate enough to already have a clogged sink.


Just because it fits doesn’t mean it goes: This is especially true for kitchen sinks, but it can also be an issue in bathrooms and other sinks. Just because something technically fits down the drain does not mean you should put it down the drain — even if you have a garbage disposal. Common clogged sink contributors include cooking oils, celery, coffee grounds and potato peels. All of those items are better off being thrown in the garbage. In addition to making sure you do not put any of these things in the sink, let other members of the household know that they can cause a clogged sink as well.

Keep it clean: No matter how vigilant you are, the reality is that some things with the potential to cause a clogged sink will inevitably go down the drain. For instance, hair washing down your bathroom sink is likely, especially for men who shave their faces. While we encourage steps to keep it from happening (like considering screens to cover drains), sometimes the best you can do is clean up after it has already been done.

In addition to cleaning out your sink when you are done using it (without simply rinsing clippings down the drain), pick a day of the week to make a point of lifting stoppers to clean them thoroughly. Get into the habit of rinsing hot water through your sink after each use to avoid a clogged sink and consider pouring boiling water down sinks on a monthly basis to help clear anything else you may have missed.

Consider hydro jetting: For homeowners who deal with a repetitively clogged sink or are concerned with aging pipes, hydro jetting provides a more thorough alternative to pipe snaking that can clean up residual buildup around the pipes and even be used in some cases to break up clogs. Hydro jetting, also known as indirect pressure drain cleaning, uses pressurized water and a specially fitted nozzle to get your pipes squeaky clean, which is precisely why it is such a great method for fixing clogs both before and after the fact.


Now, if you were too late in finding this article to take our advice or, worse yet, you have a clogged sink despite your best efforts to avoid one, let’s cover how to go about clearing a clogged sink. When it comes time to clear a clogged sink, where the clog is in the plumbing line will be one of the factors dictating which type of tool you will need.

Hopefully you are dealing with a clogged sink resulting from a blockage very close to the drain. In this case, you can usually just use a plunger to clear the clog. Flushing the drain with some hot water following the plunging process is a solid method when you are clearing a clogged sink.

You may also want to remove the trap to see if by chance the clog is there. With the water turned off, use a pipe wrench (sometimes large PVC traps can be removed using just your hands) and check to see if there is anything that could explain your clogged sink that you can clear away before restoring the trap to its spot under the sink.

For a clogged sink with a blockage further down the line, an auger or plumber’s snake will be necessary. Depending on where the blockage is, the required length will vary. If you happen to have the requisite equipment, go ahead and try to clear the clogged sink yourself. But many homeowners opt to call a professional plumber in this scenario rather than going out and buying a cable auger that may end up being too short to touch the clog anyway. Extremely large clogs or clogs that are really far down the line may even require an electric power auger — something that the typical homeowner does not have laying around in the garage.

If you are serious about fixing a clogged sink for good, give us a call! Whether you have questions about hydro jetting, preventative maintenance you can do yourself or you need some help with a clogged sink immediately, we are here to serve you. We offer same-day appointments and there is absolutely no job too big or too small.