Bathroom sink gets repeatedly clogged. What to do?

don’t leave bleach set in the sink or drain; it does nothing for this problem and is a hazard if drain cleaner is used later.

the sink may have a longer path before going down in the wall compared to a vanity sink, run cold water at some good flow during shaving to wash the whiskers down. i would just grow a beard as a solution.

Someone mentioned lather. What kind of shaving cream does he use? Maybe he can switch to a gel of some sort? I recommend King of Shaves, which lubricates without foaming.

I’m not opposed to trying a few things on your own, but when the problem came back after the first Drano use, that showed you need more help. Call the management next (unless there’s some reason you’re reluctant to do that). This is the sort of thing that they’re supposed to fix.

When I used a manual safety razor I had the same problem. I think it was more the shaving cream than anything else. I switched to a dry electric razor just to save time in the morning, and while the shave sucks, I serendipitously solved the problem of the clogging drain.

Kaio, you’re on the wrong track. The problem is not the whiskers. There’s something blocking the drain. You apparently can move it or loosen it when you futz around with your bleach and so forth, but it’s still there. Whiskers are not big enough to clog a drain.

If you have access to a plumbers snake, run it down the drain and get the real problem out of the way. If you don’t have a snake or don’t want to mess with it, call the landlord and have him take care of it.

The vent is another possibility. If the vent is clogged, then you’ll have only so much suction before the sink stops draining each time. So shaving might be the only activity that keeps the water running long enough to start the problem going. Then by the time you get the drano in there, it might have cleared enough to have some gravity-fed suction again. Then when you run the water for a while again, the suction runs out, and it seems to you as if the clog has just moved.

IANAPlumber, just guessing.

Have you given it a really good plunging? I would do that before resorting to Drano. If this is a rental, call the management company so they can figure out what is causing the drains to clog up.

Post #8 by JPL. The stopper (plug) probably has a bunch of lint and gunk around the base. Remove it and clean it, and replace. You can probably find a how to video on youtube.

What’s hot water supposed to do, dissolve the dead bird?

The simplest, cheapest and least time-consuming solution, obviously, is for him to just let his beard grow.

We’ve had this happen repeatedly to one vanity-type sink. We take the elbow joint (trap) off and clean out a bunch of black slime, and then it works fine for a few months before gradually slowing down. We can keep using it when it drains slowly, but eventually we steel ourselves for the black slime again.

The trap itself and the pipe going down to it get very clean when we clean them, but there might be something in the pipe that goes into the wall, even though we’ve snaked that with a DIY snake from Home Depot. As far as I can tell, the trap joint and the pipes near it are chrome-plated metal of some kind, but I don’t know what’s inside the wall deeper in.

A plumber we called said “you have the old-style pipes; this will keep happening until you get all new pipes put in,” to paraphrase my wife’s version of what he said.

Does that make ANY sense? It sounds like an attempt to upsell us on a lot of work. Are there such things as “old” pipes that get slimed even if they’re cleaned out, whereas new pipes are immune?

Put a bucket under the trap, remove the trap. Remove the pop-up stopper if you have one (the sink, not your browser). Wad up a piece of toilet paper and get it wet. It should be big enough that you have to force it down the hole. Force toilet paper wad down the hole and out where the trap used to be and into the bucket. You might get a nice cylinder of black slime. Wad up a small bit of paper towel and wet it down. Then shove it into a vent and force it all the way through with your snake until it reaches the drain tube and out in the bucket. Then reassemble and dump the slime and water in the toilet.

iron pipes can rust and have a rough surface that catches stuff which then builds up. plastic drain pipe will have a tendency to not build up crude as quickly. changing exposed drain pipe like where there are traps might be helpful.

Okay, so if I’m reading this correctly:

[ul]
[li]I’ve already tried about as much as I can do as a tenant, without getting into the business of plumbing the pipes myself, which would garner some disapproval from management.[/li][li]There’s nothing inherent to a pedestal sink, such as being built with narrower pipes, or the pipes have a more oblique/acute U-bend, or whatever, that would basically mean I have to suck it up and accept that this is a kind of sink that gets clogged all the time.[/li][/ul]

Yes? So it’s reasonable to expect that it can be fixed, and the next best step is to have management fix it? (As many minor problems crop up sequentially around here, management is likely sick of hearing from us… :p)

Shortly after buying my house we had a pretty bad clog effecting the laundry room and kitchen. In desperation, I removed the elbow joint beneath the laundry room sink, positioned a bucket beneath it, and started pumping the kitchen sink with a plunger. I managed to dislodge a lot of really, really nasty shit from the pipes into the bucket. I followed that up with an application of Draino, and the pipes are still clear 7 years later.

a pedestal sink will likely have a tiny bit longer horizontal run which might slow the flow some. running more water constantly might help.

nuthin. That’s what hot water was supposed to do. Nuthin’. And you know what? It worked.

Now get off my lawn you whippersnapper.

if it was a waxwing it might melt.

Perhaps I’m missing something but I’m confused why you haven’t just called the management or the landlord? Have you called them already and they refused to do the work? Just speaking as a landlord myself, plumbing problems are the first thing I’d want to know about, and the last thing I’d want the tenant to tackle themselves with a little DIY.

First time it happened, it was shortly after we moved in, I pretty much figured it for build-up from the previous tenant and didn’t think much of it. I’ve had to Drano my prior vanity sinks once every couple years. We Dranoed it and forgot about it.

Second time it happened, we also tried the plastic drain snake, and as it turned out, we managed to pull up a bottle cap for something like a lotion or perfume bottle that had been down there who knows how long. We figured that must’ve been the culprit, the water was flowing normally, and we resolved to use the hair trap when he shaved, so we figured that would take care of it.

This is the third time, so I wanted to know if this is “normal” for pedestal sinks, or if something else is going on. Hence the thread.