Engineer unblocking a sink

18 Sep. 17

Help Centre: How to unblock a kitchen sink

There are various reasons why a kitchen sink may get blocked but the main reason is the carelessness people have when it comes to throwing stuff down the sink, from leftover food to oil and grease; thinking some soap and hot water will help ease them down the pipes. Over time, these congeal and start to restrict the flow of the pipe; it will start with the sink not draining as fast as it used to, until gradually it doesn’t drain at all.

A blocked sink is not something that anyone would want, it is a very annoying problem to deal with but we’ve done some research along with our own experience and list below a few DIY methods you can use to try and clear the blockage yourself, although you should be aware that carrying out too much DIY repairs may permanently damage your plumbing system and should these DIY repairs continuously fail, then it is advised that you call in a professional.

1. Use a plunger

This is a tried and tested method to remove a blockage; be it from a sink, toilet or bathtub. You should always try to use a plunger before any other DIY method. To use a plunger just follow these easy steps:

– Place the plunger over the drain, make sure that it completely covers the whole drain.

– Make sure that any other opening i.e. a second drain hole is covered up so the air doesn’t escape the pipework. You can use a wet cloth or a drain plug to cover this up.

– Holding the plunger in an upright position, continuously plunge the drain at least 10 times. Remove the plunger and see if the water drains, if not repeat process until the blockage has been removed.

2. Use a mixture of vinegar and baking soda

Note, this method may take several tries until it works.

– Pour ½ a cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by ½ cup of white vinegar; this should cause an acidic reaction within the drain clearing up the blockage

– Follow this up with hot (not boiling) water. The blockage should then have been removed.

Don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t work the first time, just keep repeating the process until the blockage has been removed.

3. Use a baking soda and salt mixture

As with the baking soda-vinegar method, this may take several tries before you see any results.

– Pour 1 cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by ½ a cup of salt.

– Leave the mixture for a few hours (or overnight)

– After letting the mixture sit either for a few hours or overnight, pour 2 cups of boiling hot water down the drain to wash down the mixture.

– Test if this cleared the blockage by running the tap and seeing if the water drains properly.

4. Use a metal wire hanger

Using a metal wire hanger, you can either try and fish out the cause of the blockage or push it down further the pipe towards the discharge point. (Please be advised to be careful not to get the hanger stuck down the pipework.

– Unbend the wire hanger and make it straight to act as a hook.

– Feed it through the drain opening towards the blockage and see if you can fish it out, if not try and push it down further pipe work until the discharge point towards the gully.

– Once you’ve fished out the blockage or pushed it down further, test out the sink by turning on the tap and seeing if it drains normally.

If you have tried all the methods above and find that the sink is still blocked, then the next step is to either check your outside drains by opening the manhole to see if this is the problem or call in a professional like Drain 247 to take care of the problem.

If the outside drains are the problem then you can check out our How to Unblock an Outside Drain or Gully post for DIY methods to try and unblock your drains without having to call in a professional.

If all of that fails, however, and you need a good drain unblocking service – give us a call today!