View Full Version : How do I unlcog my sink?
03-31-2002, 06:26 PM
My bathroom sink is clogged. Not clogged so badly that it doesn't drain, but it drains about as quickly as the SDMB loads at noon on a work day.
I'm sorely tempted to just dump some Liquid Plumber down there, but I seem to remember reading somewhere that LP is actually bad for the pipes in the long run. Of course this could either be just faulty memory on my part. If it is true, OTOH, I guess I have to go with a different method (one that doesn't involve a real plumber, ideally).
03-31-2002, 06:49 PM
I'm guessing there is hair, soap and grime entangled around the drain plug. (you know, that thingy that pops up and down in the sink whenever you push the lever). If you remove that plug, I'd bet you'd find a bunch of nasty stuff stuck to it. Clean that off and replace the plug, that should set you up. You should note that different designs exist. The old house I lived in I was able to just lift the plug up and clean it out. In the new place, I have to get under the sink and detach a couple of plastic "C-clamps" and linkages to free up the plug.
03-31-2002, 09:00 PM
The best way is to use the old plunger (i.e., plumber's helper). Fill the sink with water, block off any overflow holes with a wet sponge, and plunge away. It will pull up most clogs and you can throw the crap away.
Use chemicals only as a last resort.
03-31-2002, 09:08 PM
Not much to add to the previous posts except that when doing the plunger thing remember that it's the upstroke that you're really going after. In other words, you want to suck the gunk out, not try to push it through.
04-01-2002, 02:28 AM
If it's hair clogging the drain you might be able to clean it out with a coat hanger. Straighten out the coat hanger, bend the tip into a little hook, feed it down the drain (hook first), and twirl it around for a minute or two so it snags all the hair in the trap.
If you did it correctly you should pull up something that looks like a large drowned rat. After you've disposed of the "rat", run the water down the drain for 30 seconds or so to flush out the leftover debris. Your sink should be as good as new.
04-01-2002, 08:46 AM
...and if all of the above fails, simply pull off the "P" trap (the u-shaped pipe immediately under the sink, designed to keep an air-tight seal between you and sewer gasses) and clean it out. That's where most clogs can be found...usually hair, soap, etc.
04-01-2002, 09:17 AM
If you do end up using chemicals (ie the clog is past the trap and/or you can't reach it with a coat hangar) try something with enzymes rather than something caustic. To the best of my knowledge enzymes won't eat away at pipes as caustic chemicals will.
04-01-2002, 09:30 AM
This is less gross and might work just as well. Fill a teakettle with water and set it to boiling. When it is, pour all that water down the drain. BE CAREFUL ABOUT THE STEAM (keep your face well away). Often the scalding-hot water is enough to melt the gunk and let the hair and other matter pass through the pipes.
It's a very cheap fix, at any rate, and if it doesn't work, then you can start the surgical procedures for extraction of the blockage.
04-01-2002, 10:45 AM
Usually, I wait to see how much water I have to put in it to see how far down the pipe the clog is(cool trick huh?) But I usually just take the J joint off under the sink, its usually plastic & I can take it off with my hands. & clean it out
04-01-2002, 11:45 AM
Pour in a 1/2 cup of baking soda, plug off the overflow, with a wet rag in one hand ready to cover the drain, pour in a cup of vinegar. The reaction should move things along.
04-01-2002, 06:06 PM
The best & fastest solution right here (usually works)
Fill a 2-liter soda bottle with water.
Plug overflow hole in sink with old cloth or something.
Invert soda bottle into drain.
The pressure is usually great enough to clear any blockage.
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