Unclogging the Kitchen Sink

Unclogging the kitchen sink yourself can save you the expense of having to call out a plumber, not to mention the inconvenience of having to go without one of the most used areas of your home until the problem is resolved. Depending on what the issue is, just like replacing chipped tiles in your home, there are a few solutions that you can do yourself to help cut down on repair costs. Most clogs in the kitchen stem from food getting stuck in the pipe, so it is simply a matter of breaking down the material enough to get it through.

Breaking Down Food

Some food can simply be dissolved and the clog will come free. Boil some water on the stove and pour it down the drain. Wait a few minutes to give the water time to reach and work on the clog and then turn on the sink. If water does not back up into the sink then you are all set. If you still have a clog issue, remove all excess water from the sink before trying any other techniques to prevent overflow. It may be necessary to siphon the water out of the pipe to make sure any further attempts are not hindered before they can reach the clog.

A combination of vinegar and baking soda will often break down a clog or create enough pressure to push it loose. Combine equal parts of the two ingredients in a container large enough to hold the fizz their combination will create. Pour this mixture down the drain and wait a few minutes for it to reach and break down the clog. You may need to repeat this two or three times to get the full effect of the solution. Again, check your success by running water down the drain and waiting for backup.

If the clog occurred when using the garbage disposal, a chunk of food may be stuck in the pipe because there was not enough pressure to force it down. Fill the sink with the disposal water, making sure to plug the drain in both basins if you have a divided sink. Turn on your disposal and remove the stopper. Often, the pressure created from the water running through the disposal will be enough to push the clog free. If you notice that this is not working, shut the disposal off and remove the excess water before trying any other techniques.

Opening the Pipes

If the pipes for your sink are exposed in the cabinet below, then you may be able to remove the clog by hand. Empty the contents of the cabinet, laydown a water proof layer, and place a bucket under the pipe. Make sure the water to the pipe is turned off before attempting to remove any piece of the piping. Unscrew the section of pipe that hangs below the sink from the wall and the adjacent pipe and pour any water inside into your bucket. If you can see the clog pull it loose or push it out with a pipe snake or metal coat hanger and reattach the pipe.

If are unfamiliar with working with pipes, or you cannot see any clog when you take the pipes apart it may be time to call in a plumber. You do not want to run the risk of damaging the pipes or the wall in your kitchen by toying with something past the point where you are being effective. More often than not unclogging the kitchen sink is an easy repair you can do yourself. It is simply a matter of finding the most effective technique.

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