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All About Plumbing, Inc

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Unclog Sink Drain

Household drain systems remove wastewater from sinks, tubs, and showers, dumping it into your home's sewer or drainage system. A household drain system consists of the drain assembly at the sink, tub, shower, or floor and the pipes that conduct it out of the house. Most drains include a trap (a U-shaped pipe) below the fixture to trap sediment and to create a barrier that prevents drainage odors from traveling back up the pipe, through the drain, and into the room. Household drain systems also include a ventilation system to allow gases and odors to escape through a home's roof.

To unclock a sink drain, start with the easier solutions first. 


The most common reason for a bathroom sink to be clogged is the pop-up plug or strainer has become covered with hair. If you have a pop-up plug in your sink you can try removing it either by twisting it by the plug or by removing the pivot rod on the back side of the outlet pipe. Once the pivot arm has been removed, the plug will pull out and you can clean the hair out with needle nose pliers. Replace the pivot arm (minus the plug) and flush the drain with hot water. If this unclogs the sink replace the plug and your done, if not, its time for the Plunger!


Many say using a sink plunger is often all that is needed to unclog your home plumbing fixtures. Please remember if you choose to plunge your sink and the pipes are weak from age the plunging action may blow a hole in them. Costs go up when replacing pipes in a wall. Call us first and save money in the long run!


The P-Trap is a common place to find clogs. To remove it first place a bucket under your sink to collect the water that will come out of the drain pipe. With a set of large jawed pliers(careful not to scratch the finish) gently loosen the nuts on the trap and remove it. Don't pry or use excessive force or you'll damage the drain pipe and need to replace it. If the trap is full of gunk, clean it out and rinse clean at another sink. Replace the trap and run hot water to wash away the left over grime in the pipe.


If you don't have a drain auger on hand, your local plumbing supply store or hardware store probably sell a small hand auger in the $10-$20 range. You may also be able to rent a small power drain auger in your area but make sure you read the operating instructions first. The big power augers are used to open sewer lines., smaller versions are available for sink and tub drains.

To use an auger, first remove the trap or clean-out cap/plug. Pull out a couple feet of auger cable and feed it in the pipe until it hits an obstruction, which might just be a fitting to change the direction of the pipe. Spin the auger clockwise until you can move it forward some more, feeding in more cable. If you think the auger is to the clogged section spin it some more, and hopefully the end of the auger will grab on to the clog allowing you to pull it back or break it up. Repeat this a couple of times before replacing the trap and testing the drain.


NEVER use drain cleaners if the water in your sink doesn't drain at all, because if they don't clear the clog, your sink and drain line are going to be left full of very corrosive chemicals.After using a corrosive drain cleaner flush your pipes thoroughly. NOTE: We don't recommend using chemical drain cleaners, because if they don't open your drain you are stuck with corrosives in your pipes that can cause serious damage.

If all these steps have failed it is time to call All About Plumbing, Inc. your professional plumber. 248-542-7850

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