Every once in a while, you might ask yourself why is my kitchen sink not draining. It can be a nuisance and often indicates a blockage in your drainpipe. But don’t worry! There are a few things you can do to fix the problem.
Before passing the job off to a professional, try some DIY methods to fix a slow-draining sink. If it’s your first time dealing with a clogged sink, don’t worry. With a little patience and tips up your sleeve, you should be able to get your kitchen sink draining properly in no time.
Common Reasons Why Your Kitchen Sink Is Not Draining
Before we get into how to fix a not draining sink, let’s go over some of the most common reasons why is my kitchen sink not draining. That way, you can try to avoid the issue in the future. If you’re already dealing with a clog, this may give you some insight into what caused it.
Over time, grease can build up on the walls of your drainpipe and create a blockage. It is especially common in kitchen sinks since they’re often used to wash greasy dishes. It usually happens gradually, so you may not notice it until the clog is quite severe.
Hair is another common culprit when it comes to slow-draining sinks. It can collect in the drain and form a blockage, especially with long hair. It’s often compounded by the fact that hair doesn’t break down easily, so it just keeps accumulating over time.
Another possible cause of slow drain is soap scum. Soap scum is what happens when soap mixes with water and hardens. It builds up the walls of your drainpipe and can eventually cause a blockage.
Sometimes, foreign objects can fall into your sink and create a blockage. It is more common if you have small children in the house who like to play with things like toys or coins. It can also happen if someone accidentally drops something down the drain.
Another common cause of slow-draining kitchen sinks is food scraps. If you don’t have a garbage disposal, it’s especially important to be careful about what goes down your drain. Even if you have a garbage disposal, you should still avoid putting certain things down the drain, like chicken bones and coffee grounds.
If you have long hair, it’s important to be extra careful about what goes down your drain. Hair can build up over time and create a blockage. It’s often compounded by the fact that hair doesn’t break down easily, so it just keeps accumulating over time.
Top Reasons Why You Need to Fix a Clogged Drain
You might not think that a slow-draining sink is a big deal, but it can actually lead to many problems if you don’t take care of it. Here are some of the top reasons why you need to fix a clogged drain:
If your sink is full of water and isn’t draining, then there is a chance that it could overflow. And if the leak is bad enough, it could cause water damage to your floors, walls, or even the ceiling.
Another problem that can occur if you don’t fix a clogged sink is sewage backup. If the blockage is bad enough, it can prevent sewage from flowing out of your home. It can lead to a nasty mess and a bad smell. It can also be a health hazard if you come into contact with the sewage.
A slow-draining sink can also lead to foul odors. The water that is sitting in your sink will start to stagnate and produce a bad smell. It can be really unpleasant, making your whole house smell bad.
If your sink is full of water, it can also grow molds. Mold loves damp and humid conditions, so a sink full of water is the perfect environment for it to grow. Not only is mold unsightly, but it can also be a health hazard.
Another consequence of slow-draining sinks is that they can attract pests. If there is standing water in your sink, it can attract bugs and other pests. It is especially true if there is food build-up in the drain.
10 Best Tools for Unclogging Your Kitchen Sink
As technology advances, more and more products on the market can help you with clogged drains. Here are 10 of the best tools for unclogging your kitchen sink.
A plunger is one of the most common and effective tools for unclogging a sink. It works by using air pressure to push the blockage out of the drain.
A drain snake is a long, flexible piece of wire that you insert into the drain to remove the blockage. It’s especially useful for hair build-up.
✔Chemical Drain Cleaners
If you’re dealing with a particularly stubborn clog, you may need to use a chemical drain cleaner. These products contain harsh chemicals that can break down the blockage.
If you’re looking for a more natural way to unclog your sink, you can try using baking soda. The bubbling action helps to break down the blockage.
White vinegar is another natural way to unclog your sink. The acidity helps to break down the blockage.
✔Manual Drain Auger
A manual drain auger is a hand-cranked device that you insert into the drain to remove the blockage. It’s similar to a drain snake, but it’s less likely to damage your pipes.
✔Electric Drain Auger
An electric drain auger is a power tool that you insert into the drain to remove the blockage. It’s more powerful than a manual auger and can be used for tougher clogs.
An air compressor can be used to unclog a sink by blowing the blockage out of the drain. Using an air compressor is more likely to damage your pipes if you’re not careful, so it’s best to use this method as a last resort.
A water jetter is a powerful device that uses high-pressure water to remove the blockage. It’s similar to an air compressor, but it’s less likely to damage your pipes.
✔Handheld Drain Cleaner
A handheld drain cleaner is a small, portable device that you insert into the drain to remove the blockage. It’s less powerful than an electric or air compressor, but it’s more convenient and easier to use.
Different Ways to Fix Your Clogged Kitchen Sink
Now that we’ve gone over some of the most common reasons kitchen sinks drain slowly, let’s talk about how to fix them. There are a few different methods you can try, depending on what you have on hand and how severe the clog is.
One way to fix a slow-draining sink is to use a drain snake. It is a long, flexible tool that you insert into the drain to remove the blockage. It’s especially effective for removing hair build-up. You can usually find drain snakes at your local hardware store. Here’s how to use one:
- Start by removing the drain stopper.
- Then, insert the drain snake into the drain.
- Turn the handle clockwise to rotate the snake and break up the clog.
- Push the snake down as far as it will go.
- Once you hit the blockage, continue turning the handle until you feel resistance.
- Then, pull the snake out of the drain and dispose of the debris.
When you do this, be careful not to push too hard. You don’t want to damage your pipes. Just use enough force to break up the clog.
Another simple way to fix a slow-draining sink is to use a plunger. It’s one of the most common tools for clearing clogged drains since it’s so effective. Here’s how to use it:
- Start by filling the sink with enough water to cover the plunger.
- Then, place the plunger over the drain and push down.
- Pull the plunger up and repeat.
- Continue doing this until the clog is gone.
- Once the clog is gone, flush the drain with hot water to remove any debris.
The key to using a plunger effectively is to create a seal. If there are any gaps around the plunger, it won’t work as well. So, make sure the plunger is fully seated on the drain before you start plunging.
3️⃣Vinegar and Baking Soda
If you’re looking for a natural way to clear a slow-draining sink, try vinegar and baking soda. It is especially effective for soap scum build-up. Here’s how to do it:
- Start by mixing 1/2 cup of baking soda with 1/2 cup of vinegar.
- Pour the mixture down the drain and let it sit for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, flush the drain with hot water.
- Then, run the disposal to clear any remaining debris.
Trying the vinegar and baking soda method is safe to use on most pipes. However, if you have a septic system, you should avoid using vinegar since it can kill the bacteria that help break down waste.
Another simple way to clear a slow-draining sink is to pour boiling water down the drain. It’s the easiest way to clear a sink full of soap scum. Here’s how to do it:
- Bring a pot of water to a boil.
- Pour the boiling water down the drain and let it sit for 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes, flush the drain with hot water.
If your sink is still slow-draining, you can repeat this process until it’s clear. Be careful when using boiling water since it can damage some pipes. If you’re not sure if your pipes can handle it, test a small amount first.
5️⃣Baking Soda and Salt
If you have a grease build-up, baking soda and salt are good to break it up. Here’s how to use them:
- First, mix 1/2 cup of baking soda with a 1/4 cup of salt.
- Then, pour it down the drain and let it sit for at least an hour.
- After an hour, flush the drain with hot water.
You can also use this method to clear clogged disposal. It’s a good way to clean it out if it’s starting to smell.
Another option you can try is hydrogen peroxide. It’s a natural disinfectant that can also help clear clogs. Here’s how to use it:
- Start by pouring 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide down the drain.
- Let it sit for 30 minutes, then flush the drain with hot water.
- You can repeat this process if necessary.
Like vinegar, hydrogen peroxide is also safe to use on most pipes. However, it can damage septic tanks, so avoid using it if you have one.
7️⃣CLR or Other Commercial Drain Cleaner
If you’ve tried all of the methods above and your sink is still slow-draining, you can try using a commercial drain cleaner. These are powerful chemicals that can break up even the toughest clogs. However, they can also be dangerous if used improperly. So, be sure to follow the directions on the product label carefully. But here’s a general idea of how to use one:
- Start by pouring the drain cleaner into the sink.
- Then, wait for the amount of time specified on the label.
- After that, flush the drain with hot water.
You should only use a commercial drain cleaner as a last resort since it can damage your pipes if used too often. So, if you find yourself using them frequently, it’s best to call a plumber to fix the underlying issue.
8️⃣Call a Plumber
After trying all of the methods above and your sink is still not draining, it’s time to call a plumber. They can help identify the problem and fix it, so your sink drains properly again. Here’s what they can do:
- The plumber will first use a plunger to try to clear the blockage.
- If that doesn’t work, they will use a drain snake to try to break up the clog.
- If the clog is still not cleared, they may need to use a hydro jet to blast it away.
- Once the clog is cleared, they will be able to identify the cause and make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Calling a plumber is usually the best option for a severe clog. But it’s also the most expensive. So, if you’re not sure you can afford it, there are a few other options you can try first.
When to Call a Plumber
For most clogged drains, you can use one of the tools mentioned above to fix the problem yourself. However, there are some cases where it’s best to call a plumber. Here are some:
Plumbers have the experience and the tools to deal with even the toughest clogs. If you’re unsure what to do, it’s always best to call a professional. They’ll be able to help you solve the problem quickly and efficiently.
How to Prevent Clogged Kitchen Sinks in the First Place
The best way to deal with a clogged sink is to prevent it from happening in the first place. By following a few simple tips, you can keep your sink flowing freely. So here are a few things you can do to prevent clogs:
👍Never Pour Grease Down The Drain
Grease is one of the most common causes of clogged drains. When it cools, it becomes hard and can cling to your pipes. Over time, this can build up and cause a blockage. So, it’s best to avoid pouring grease down the drain altogether. Instead, dispose of it in the trash can. Or, if you have a lot of greases, you can even collect them in a jar and throw them away when it’s full.
👍Run Hot Water Down The Drain Regularly
Another way to prevent clogs is to run hot water down the drain regularly. It will help break up any grease or other build-up that could cause a blockage. Just turn on the hot water and let it run for a few minutes. You can do this once a week or even every day.
👍Use A Drain Cover
If you have a kitchen sink with garbage disposal, it’s a good idea to use a drain cover. It will catch any food scraps or other debris that could otherwise go down the drain and cause a clog. You can find drain covers at most hardware stores.
👍Don’t Wait To Call A Plumber
If you notice your sink is draining slowly or starting to back up, don’t wait to call a plumber. The sooner you call, the easier it will be to fix the problem. And the longer you wait, the worse the problem can get. So, if you’re having trouble with your sink, don’t hesitate to call a plumber.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. What is the best way to prevent clogged drains?
The best way to prevent clogged drains is to be careful of what you put down the drain. Avoid pouring grease down the drain and use a drain cover if you have a garbage disposal. You should also run hot water down the drain regularly to help break up any build-up.
2. What is the best way to unclog a drain?
If you have a clogged drain, the best way to unclog it is to call a plumber. They have the experience and the tools to deal with even the toughest clogs. However, if you’re not sure you can afford it, there are a few other options you can try first. You can use a plunger, a drain snake, or a hydro jet to try to clear the blockage yourself.
3. How do I know if I need to call a plumber?
If you’ve tried everything and the clog is still not budging, it’s probably time to call a plumber. They’ll be able to diagnose the problem and come up with a solution. If you have a plumbing emergency, such as a burst pipe, it’s best to call a plumber right away.
4. How often should I run hot water down the drain?
You should run hot water down the drain regularly to help break up any grease or other build-up that could cause a blockage. Just turn on the hot water and let it run for a few minutes. You can do this once a week or even every day.
5. What is a drain cover?
A drain cover is a device that covers the opening of your drain to catch any food scraps or other debris that could otherwise go down the drain and cause a clog. You can find drain covers at most hardware stores.
Clogged kitchen sinks are a pain, but luckily there are a few things you can do to fix the problem of why is my kitchen sink not draining. So, if your sink is giving you trouble, try one of the above methods to get it flowing freely again. For more kitchen repair tips, click here.