Your sink is draining very slowly, or maybe it appears to not be draining at all. Maintaining your sink drainage is not usually on the top of a homeowner’s priority list until it’s no longer working properly. Now that it’s inevitably happened, what should you do? Your initial thought might be to whip out a plunger and figure out if there’s some debris build-up clogging the way. After all, plunging works for a backed up toilet, right? When it comes to issues with your sink, plumbers are leery to recommend this tactic. If you’re unsure whether or not plunging your sink is a method you should test out before calling a plumber, let’s take a look at our clogged drain options.
WHEN & HOW
Professionals will likely tell you that plunging a double sink might end up clearing one sink, while simultaneously backing up the other one. Splash-back that results from plunging can create irrevocable damage, not to mention a costly job to fix.
On the other hand, knowing exactly how and when to plunge could effectively get the job done. If the drainpipe itself is hosting the clog, utilizing a cup plunger could force the build up into motion. If, however, you have already poured chemical cleaners down the drain, we advise you not to plunge, as the toxic chemicals could splash onto your face or skin. In non-chemical related instances, once you’re ready to plunge, ensure that there is a few inches of water in the sink. Using a wet rag, block the overflow drain to prevent water from leaking out. Position the rubber cup plunger overtop of the drain and begin to push up and down with firm pressure.
KEEP IT MODERATE
If a moderate amount of pressure has little to no effect on the drainage speed, do not add extra force. Attempting a harder plunge can backfire and end up causing leaks and other serious problems.
Using a drain snake or an auger is also known to get the bulk of the build up moving. Remove the sink strainer and insert the end of the drain snake or auger into the drain. With the auger, twist the handle so that the wire cable is released. Continue releasing the snake deeper into the drain until you can feel the first sign of the clog. Similarly, the snake will hit a point of resistance, where you can begin to rotate and move the blockage around. Just as you want to avoid adding extra pressure to the plunger, be careful not to shove the snake too deeply into the drain. Too much force can shove the blockage deeper into the pipes. When you pull the snake out, be prepared to pull out bits and pieces of physical items that have blocked the way.
If you’re ever uncertain as to whether or not this is a job for a professional, never hesitate to call your local plumber to address your concerns or to assess the situation. At Graydon Faulstick Plumbing, we are equipped to assist you in your plumbing needs. You can reach us at 570-992-0447 or 610-381-4171 for more information.