A slow-draining sink can be frustrating and inconvenience daily tasks like washing dishes, brushing teeth or shaving. There are a few common causes for a slow draining sink including clogs blocked, clogs blocked further down the plumbing or broken garbage disposal if you have one installed. Here are some tips to unclog a slow-draining sink and get your water flowing freely again.
1. Use a liquid drain cleaner
For light clogs, pouring a commercial liquid drain cleaner like Drano or Liquid-Plumr can help unclog drains. Let it sit for 15-30 minutes and then flush with hot water. The chemicals can help break up clogs. For tougher clogs, you may need to use a plunger or plumber’s snake.
2. Use a plunger
Place a wet rag over the drain to get suction and plunge forcefully up and down until you break up the clog. Repeat if necessary. A plunger can dislodge clogs caused by soap scum, hair, grease or food particles.
3. Use a plumber’s snake
Rent a plumber’s snake or drain auger from your hardware store. Feed the snake down the drain to break up clogs further down in the pipes. Twist and pull to grab onto clogs then pull out to unclog the drain.
4. Call a plumber
If the clogs persist or you hit obstruction from further down in the pipes, it’s best to call a licensed plumber. They have professional tools to fully unclog tough clogs without causing damage to your plumbing. Root causes of persistent slow drains like collapsed pipes, offsets or incorrect venting can also be diagnosed and repaired by a plumber.
Some prevention tips for a slow draining sink:
•Use a drain strainer or stopper to catch hair and debris. Clean hair out on a regular basis.
•Run garbage disposals regularly. For manual disposals, flush with citrus peels or bread which helps deodorize and grind built up grease & grime.
•Never pour grease or oils down drains. Scrape grease and oils into the garbage. They harden and clog drains.
•Limit soap use. Only use what’s needed in the sink instead of over-sudsing which leads to extra soap residue and bars.
•Run hot water for 10-15 seconds after finishing meals. The hot water helps prevent residue buildup further down the pipes.
If the above methods cannot unclog a slow draining sink in the house, remember to contact a professional plumber as soon as possible to check and perform the corresponding plumbing repairs and maintenance. Avoid further serious plumbing problems.