A clogged drain in the bathroom sink can be extremely aggravating, but it this happens to everyone from time to time. Knowing how to unclog a drain can alleviate some of the aggravation. The task becomes a little more difficult if you have a drain with a non-removable stopper. Unless you can plunge your clog loose or dissolve it with chemicals, you will end up taking the pipes apart under the sink, which will take more time.
Things You'll Need
- Rubber gloves
- Chemical drain opener
- Pipe wrench
- Plumbers snake
Use a small cup plunger to try removing the clog. Run a couple of inches of water into the sink. Place the plunger cup over the drain. The water helps the plunger create a seal over the drain. Plunge up and down several times. If the sink drains when you remove the plunger, you have unclogged the drain.
If the plunger does not do the job, use a chemical drain opener. Several brands are available on the market. The chemical drain opener will sink through the water to where the clog is located and dissolve the material causing the clog. After pouring the chemical into the sink, let it sit for the amount of time stated in the directions on the container. After the time has elapsed, run some warm water into the sink. If it drains properly, the clog has been dissolved. If it does not drain properly, try plunging again.
If the chemical and plunging do not work, remove the trap from under the sink. Place a bucket under the pipe extending down from the sink. Using a pipe wrench, loosen the curved piece of pipe from the straight pieces on either end of the curved piece. If the sink drains into the bucket, the clog is not in the pipe extending down from the sink. If it does not drain into the bucket, use a straightened coat hanger to reach up into the pipe to remove the material causing the clog.
Push a straightened coat hanger through the trap. If the clog is in the trap, the coat hanger should push it through to the end where you can pull it out by hand. Push the coat hanger through several times to make sure you get all of the material out of the pipe.
If the clog was not in the trap or the pipe extending down from the sink, it is further down the pipe. You will need a plumber's snake to reach further down the pipe. The snake is a long wire that spins around as it goes in and out of the pipe. It is designed to move objects out of the way. You will have no problem finding a snake because all hardware stores carry this item.
After using the snake, put the pipes back together under the sink using the pipe wrench.
Run water in the sink. If the sink drains properly, you have removed the clog; if it does not drain properly, you need a professional plumber because the problem is too far down the pipe. You will need specialized tools to remove it.
Tips & Warnings
- Put chemical drain openers down the drain once per month even if the drain is not clogged. This will keep the drain clear by dissolving materials that cause cloggs before they can build up and cause a clog.
- When using a pipe wrench, always make sure the pipe wrench is fitted properly on the pipe. You can strip the outside of a connection easily if the pipe wrench is not fitted properly, which will make the pipe very difficult to get off or disconnect.
- Always wear rubber gloves when working with chemicals. They protect your hands from burns or adverse reactions from the chemicals.
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