Home Improvement

How to Unclog a Sink Drain 

When hair, soap scum, food pieces and other debris make their way down your drain, they can quickly become a problem. A clogged sink can take a lot of time and frustration to get back into working order. 

Fortunately, there are some simple ways to unclog your sink drain. Learn how to use these methods and save yourself time, money and frustration. 

1. Plunger 

There are several ways to unclog a sink drain, but the most effective method is using a plunger. Plungers work by relying on physics to loosen clogs. When you seal the plunger cup over a drain, it creates an air-tight seal that forces water upward and downward via Boyle’s law. 

A plunger comes in many shapes and sizes. However, most people picture a basic standard plunger with a rubber cup at the end of a straight handle. 

This style of plunger works best on a flat surface, like a sink, where the cup should lay flat over the drain in order to create a vacuum. 

To use a plunger, fill the sink with water and place the rubber cup over the drain. Then, quickly and forcefully push and pull the plunger up and down for 10-20 times or up to 20 seconds. 

2. Drain Snake 

Using a drain snake can be an effective and inexpensive way to unclog your sink drain. However, they must be used correctly if you want to avoid damage to your pipes or drains. 

A plumbing snake (also known as an auger) is a long coiled wire with an attached hook or sharp cutter at one end. The other end has a handle. 

Step 1: Use a wrench or screwdriver to loosen the screw that attaches the drain snake or auger’s cable housing to its head. Loosen it and pull out about 6 to 10 inches of the cable. 

Repeat this until you feel resistance on the cable or clog in the pipe. Continue to feed the line into the drain and rotate the auger until you break through the clog. 

Once you have the clog free, flush the drain to get rid of any residue. Don’t use hot water, as this can cause remaining debris to congeal and re-clog the drain. 

3. Baking Soda & Vinegar 

If you have a sink drain that’s clogged, there are some simple things you can do to unclog it. One popular method is to mix baking soda and vinegar together. 

Baking soda and vinegar are two different chemicals that are on opposite sides of the pH scale (a measurement of how acidic or alkaline a chemical is). The

combination creates bubbles of carbon dioxide gas, which displaces air to help clear blockages and smells in your drain. 

The best ratio to use when cleaning your drain is 1:2 baking soda to vinegar. However, you can play around with it to suit the clog. 

Another way to use baking soda and vinegar is to make a homemade drain cleaner. Combine half a cup of baking soda with a teaspoon of salt and half a cup of vinegar. Pour the mixture down your drain and allow it to sit for 30 minutes or overnight. Then flush it out with boiling water. 

4. Wire Coat Hanger 

In a pinch, a wire coat hanger can help unclog a sink drain. The wire hook can push down and wiggle around to pick up hair and other gunk that is blocking the sink. 

Before attempting this trick, heat the wire hanger to dull red with a propane torch to soften it. This process, called annealing, also helps to remove any lacquer ash from the wire and make it easier to bend into intricate shapes. 

After heating the hanger, straighten it out as much as you can and then bend one end over into a small hook. Once you’ve twisted it, feed the hook into the drain and start fishing. 

This method is a great way to get rid of nasty sink clogs without using chemicals. Just remember to be gentle and not to push the hook down too far. Then, run some hot water to rinse away any lingering gunk. It’s simple, inexpensive, and surprisingly effective! For more information regarding plumbing, https://www.fixitrightplumbing.com.au/blocked-drains-adelaide/ has resourceful information on plumbing types and services. 

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