Charlotte Plumber: How to Clear Drains – Part II

Charlotte plumbing services

How to Unclog a Sink

In our previous article, we discussed what tools you will need to unclog a stopped up kitchen sink, plugged up bathroom tub drain, or a floor drain. You can read details here.

In this article, we’ll describe how to tackle one of the most common household drain clearing problems: a clogged kitchen sink or plugged up bathroom sink.

How to Unclog a Sink

In most cases, you will be able to unclog your stopped up kitchen sink with a plunger, nothing else. You will not want to use harsh chemical drain cleaners like Drano; these will splash up into your eyes while you are trying to unstop the sink and can cause serious burns or blindness.

If you have already poured chemicals into the sink, you will need to just call a plumber right away. Do not try to unclog the sink filled with Drano or the like. The risk to your health is too high.

Follow these steps to unclog a kitchen or bathroom sink safely and easily:

  1. Add a couple inches of water to the sink.
  2. Put on safety goggles (it’s common for clogged sinks to splash quite a bit)
  3. Cover the second sink drain (if you have two drains or two kitchen sinks connected to each other) with a heavy wet rag so any splashing from the drain will be caught and forced back into the drain instead splashing all over you. If you are unclogging a bathroom sink, stuff a wet rag into the overflow hole.
  4. Using a plunger, plunge the clogged drain several times. Then quickly remove the plunger, allowing some air to get in there. Try this several times. In most cases, the plunger will work just fine.

If the plunger doesn’t do the trick, you will need to use the cable auger. Follow these steps to use a cable auger to unclog a sink:

  1. Get a pipe wrench and bucket and go under the sink.
  2. Put on safety goggles and rubber gloves. This is going to get messy; you don’t want junk to get in your eyes.
  3. Position the bucket under the trap.
  4. Use the pipe wrench to remove the sink trap. You should be able to unscrew the threaded coupling on the PVC trap by hand.
  5. Let the water in the trap go into the bucket.
  6. Poke around in the sink trap to make sure the clog is not in the trap. If it is, see if you can dislodge the clog using your gloved hands or a small paint stir stick.
  7. Take the trap arm (horizontal protrusion from the wall) off.
  8. Thread the auger cable into the stubout in the wall until you feel resistance.
  9. Tighten the lock on the cable (the lock screw).
  10. Crank the auger cable handle clockwise while pushing the cable into the clogged pipe.
  11. Pull out more cable and tighten the lockscrew again. Repeat step 10.
  12. Repeat steps 8-10 until the cable is clear.
  13. Retract the cable, cleaning it off with an old rag as you pull it out of the clogged pipe.
  14. Put back the trap arm and trap.
  15. Run the hot water. See if it drains properly.
  16. If it doesn’t drain, try plunging again, and then follow up with more hot water.

You should have a clear drain now!

When You Need to Call a Charlotte Plumber

If a stopped up sink, plugged up bathtub drain or clogged floor drain won’t clear in a few attempts, call a Charlotte plumber. If you exert too much force, you can inflict permanent damage to the pipes or to a fixture. The cost of replacing piping or fixtures will be more expensive than having a professional clear drains for you.

Need Charlotte Plumbing Services?

Are you interested in more information about drain cleaning services? Feel like you didn't learn enough about how to unclog a sink drain to do it on your own? Tried everything and it's still clogged?

Looking to find affordable drain cleaning? Need assistance or advice regarding clogged drains?

E.R. Services is open 24/7, 365 days a year. You don’t need to take time off work or wait until the morning because we never charge extra for nights or weekends. Just give us a call at 704-269-1066 or use our online contact form.

Learn more about Charlotte drain clearing here.

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Article Summary

Quick question & answer: How do I unclog a kitchen or bathroom sink?

You can unclog a kitchen or bathroom sink by adding a couple inches of water to the sink and putting on safety goggles. Cover the other drain (if you have two) with a heavy wet rag to keep it from splashing. Using a plunger, plunge the clogged drain several times, quickly removing it so air can get in there. 

Fort Mill SC Plumbers, How to Unclog a Sink

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