The most used plumbing fixture, the kitchen sink, is also the one that gets blocked the most. If this gets clogged, along with the drain pipes, you won’t only experience stress and inconvenience, you’ll also be exposed to various health risks.
It is important to understand what leads to a blocked kitchen sink so you can fix this immediately and prevent it from happening again.
Causes of Clogged Kitchen Sink
There are many things that can block kitchen sink drains, and often, we are not aware of them. Here are some of the most common culprits:
Kitchen sinks can get clogged when food is involved. The J-trap of the sink collects excess food from plates, pots, and bowls when these aren’t removed before washing. The food excess blocks water from draining down the pipes, and can also cause leaks, breaks, and misalignment of the J-trap as well as the drain pipes. Rice, coffee grinds, and baby carrots are just a few of the foods that can clog your kitchen sink.
- Grease and Oil
Grease is the most common cause of a clogged kitchen sink drain. When exposed to cold or ambient temperature, grease solidifies and sticks to your drain pipes. These pipes could eventually become narrower, resulting in restricted water flow.
Some people wash their hair and their pets in the kitchen sink. As your hair and that of your pet sheds, they can clump together and trap other debris that comes their way. This serves as the foundation for your sink to become clogged eventually.
- Small Objects
Small objects can get caught in the pipes and in the traps of your kitchen sink. Chances are high that your pipes will get clogged with Lego pieces or Barbie hairbrushes if you have children playing near the kitchen. There could also be eggshells, tissue papers, and plastics that can get thrown down your sink. If not removed quickly, these small insoluble objects can eventually block the drain pipes.
How To Unclog Your Kitchen Sink
It is always a good idea to call a professional plumber in order to unclog your sink. Nevertheless, there are a few things you can do on your own to try removing the clog. This includes the following:
- Pour boiling water down the sink.
Boiling water is the best way to clear your kitchen sink of grease, soap scum, and hair. Hot water can damage PVC pipes, though, so extreme care is needed when considering this method.
Bring your water to a boil but be careful when pouring this into the drain. Turn on the faucet afterwards to see if water is already draining properly. Repeat the process until you confirm that your sink is free of clogs.
- Check your garbage disposal for signs of clogging.
If boiling water doesn’t clear your kitchen sink, you might try cleaning the garbage disposal. If this is clogged, turn it on to break down the blockage. This will usually solve the problem but if it persists, try restarting the garbage disposal unit. If this still doesn’t work, your garbage disposal may already be damaged, and you’ll have to get it repaired or replaced.
- Use a plunger to remove the clog.
A flat-bottomed plunger is a good tool to use when unclogging the kitchen sink. Pour hot water into the sink until it is half-full. Place the plunger directly on the drain opening and start pumping up and down. Continue the process until you notice that the sink has begun to drain properly.
- Use baking soda and vinegar as a clog removal solution.
There are many drain cleaners available on the market. However, they can cause undue damage to your pipes and can even result in skin irritation in some cases. Baking soda and vinegar are natural alternatives to these chemically-manufactured drain cleaners.
The first thing you have to do is take out excess water from the sink. This will enable you to see the sink opening more clearly. Next, pour a cup of baking soda directly down the drain.
After pouring, carefully push down the baking soda by using a spatula or a spoon and follow this up by pouring a cup of vinegar. Cover the drain with a cloth or any material available. Allow the mixture to work its magic for approximately 15 minutes. Remove the cover afterwards and pour boiling water down the open drain to get rid of any stubborn clogs.
- Use a plumber snake for unclogging.
If all else fails, bring out the plumber’s snake, but if you don’t have one, a wire coat hooker will do. Be careful when feeding the snake down the drain. Don’t force it too hard as you could accidentally push the clogs further down the pipes.
Once the clogs get attached to the snake or to the coat wire, pull this up gently.
Kitchen sinks are prone to clogging, especially if the users are not mindful of what they dispose of. As a rule of thumb, food, oil, and other solid material should not go down the drain – be it in the kitchen sink or in any other drain system. Unfortunately, you can’t always monitor what your kitchen sink receives every single day.
If clogging takes place, there are several ways of getting rid of the material blocking the passage of water. Then again, if you’re unsure on what to do, it is best to call professional plumbers. These people are normally equipped with the right tools that will allow them to fix issues in your plumbing system easily. The next time your plumbing encounters trouble, consult a Denver plumbing company.