How To Unclog Your Kitchen Sink
There is nothing more important to a home’s functionality than a working kitchen sink. The kitchen is the hub of the house and when the sink is out of order it can create chaos. This article will discuss the causes of kitchen sink clogs, how to unclog them, and suggestions on how to prevent clogs in the first place.
An Ounce of Prevention
There are ways to prevent clogs in your kitchen sink once you become aware of some of the culprits. Grease, fats, and oils are the number one enemy of sinks and should never be poured down the drain. The hot liquid congeals when it meets the cool pipes and hardens into blockages within the pipes. When frying foods or cooking bacon, allow the pan to cool completely and either pour the grease into an old storage container or line the pan with absorbent paper towels and wipe it clean.
Certain foods that contain high amounts of starch will also clog the sink pipes. Foods such as potatoes, rice, and pasta produce a thick paste when mixed with water, and coffee grinds become heavy and are unable to clear the pipes. Other fibrous foods such as broccoli and celery can become stringy and catch in the sink’s P-trap or wrap around the blades in your garbage disposal creating a web to catch food particles.
Tree roots can also create issues with your sink pipes and are often the offender when more than one sink is not draining. Tree roots search for moisture within the soil they grow. Even a tiny crack in your soil pipe will release enough water to attract tree roots. Over time, the roots intertwine with the pipes causing serious damage and costly repairs.
Once the sink is blocked swift action is needed. Before any solution is attempted it is best to remove as much water as possible from the sink. Begin by trying an easy home remedy concoction that works well and requires very little effort. Mix one cup baking soda with one cup white vinegar and pour it into the sink. Cover the drain, wait 20 minutes and then flush the drain with very hot water. If that does not do the trick get out a standard sink plunger also known as a cup plunger. This type of plunger works best because it sits firmly on the sink bottom and creates a good suction. Completely cover the drain with the cup and thrust down on the plunger at least 20 times to release the clog.
If this method does not work you will need an auger-cable or a plumbing snake which can be easily found in the hardware store. Pull out a foot or so of cable and then lock it. Slowly insert the cable into the drain and begin turning the crank on the side of the snake. Continue feeding more and more cable until you feel less resistance. Remove the auger and flush the drain with hot water. Sometimes you will need to open the P-trap and feed the cable into the drainpipe or wall pipe to remove more stubborn clogs. If none of these procedures work it is time to call a professional plumber to release your clog.
On-going Maintenance for a Healthy Sink
Maintaining your sink pipes is easy and will help eliminate future problems. One clever idea is to mix equal parts of water and vinegar and freeze the liquid in ice cube trays. Once frozen, toss a few down the drain or into your garbage disposal to keep your drain pipes clean and fresh. At the end of each day run hot water down your sink with a drop of kitchen dish soap and once a week do the same with boiling water. This will melt any accumulated bits of food and grease that potentially could cause you problems.
Avoid the temptation to use harsh anti-clogging chemicals because, despite their advertised advantages, they are acidic and will eventually erode and weaken your pipes. Weak pipes lead to leaking pipes.
Keeping your kitchen sink in good working order saves you time and aggravation. Using the tips in this article and your own good sense your sink will remain clean, fresh-smelling, and flowing smoothly and will prevent costly problems in the future.
Need help unclogging your kitchen sink? Contact us today. We are drain cleaning experts in Irvine and the rest of Orange County.