When the water in the sink drains with difficulty, you have to react quickly. There are simple, effective and economical methods which avoid the intervention of a plumber. Before discovering some very useful tips and tricks for unclogging a sink quickly, let’s see what can cause the sink to clog.
The main causes of a clogged sink
A clogged pipe is the cause of a clogged sink. The most common causes are:
When you pour a fatty liquid into the sink, it freezes as it cools. The fat that accumulates tends to reduce the flow more and more until clog the pipes.
After a meal or after cooking, we tend to rinse plates and utensils before washing them or putting them in the dishwasher. Most of the residues eliminated in this way enter the sink siphon, which reduces the evacuation of waste water. The waste causes a clog in the piping, making flow nearly impossible.
A connection problem
Incorrectly connected pipes can cause a poor sewage disposal. Joining two pipes at 90° or at a T causes poor flow. It is the same when there is a succession of connecting bends. The slightest waste deposited in the sink will obstruct one of the elbows. A Y connection is the ideal solution to limit the sink being clogged. It allows a more abundant flow of waste water without causing a clog at the junction.
Limestone and tartar, the enemies of pipes
The presence of limestone and scale in the pipes promotes the formation of a deposit which attaches to the walls of the pipes. These two elements gradually clog the pipe until it is completely blocked, which makes evacuation more and more problematic.
Natural ways to unclog a sink
Rather than using chemicals, it is better to consider performing a few simple operations that are at least as effective. Here are the best solutions.
Remove the sink siphon
The trap is the part of the PVC piping located under the sink. Its role is to block insects likely to come up pipes. The siphon also helps to limit bad odors. It consists of two or three fittings depending on its type.
Before dismantling it, it is necessary to place a bucket in order to collect the water that will flow out. Then simply unscrew the rings, one at the sink drain and the other at the drain pipe. This operation removes the particles and waste stuck to the siphon walls. We take this opportunity to also clean the bung, fittings and seals with clean water. We go up the siphon by screwing the rings by hand, without forgetting to put the rubber seal at the place of the connections.
Natural products to remove accumulated tartar and limescale
The most effective method for eliminate scale and limescale in the pipes consists of pouring boiling water with white vinegar and sodium bicarbonate. This 100% natural mixture facilitates the removal of traces of limescale and scale from the walls of the pipes.
The coarse cooking salt mixed with white vinegar and baking soda is also recommended for unclogging a sink.
Useful accessories for unclogging drains
There are a few items specifically designed for unclogging drains.
Pipe unclog kit
It comes in the form of a flexible pipe of different lengths and with a diameter often between 7 and 10 mm. At one of the ends is a nozzle intended to be connected to a high pressure cleaner. At the other end is attached a nozzle. The use of this kit involves dismantling the siphon. Under the effect of the water pressure, the residues inside the pipe are expelled. The cleaner must be operated until the pipe is completely free of any residue.
The suction cup
This accessory used for several decades has lost none of its effectiveness, nor its notoriety for that matter. There are several models, the most common is composed of a handle and a rubber suction cup. The principle of operation consists in immersing the suction cup in the water which stagnates at the bottom of the sink due to the obstruction, then in positioning it on the bung cup. It is then sufficient to perform back and forth movements on the cup, which has the effect of pumping the air in order to evacuate the plug of detritus. Within seconds of pumping, the sink empties completely.
The drain ferret
It is an ideal accessory that can be used for unclog a pipe the maximum length of which is 3 m. It consists of a hose that is used manually, a brush located at one end and a crank at the other. After dismantling the siphon, insert the ferret into the pipe and activate the crank. Its rotation makes it possible to quickly unclog the pipe.
Chemical products to unclog a sink: yes, but…
Unclogging a sink with a chemical is one solution. However, these products can be polluting, even toxic, damaging PVC pipes on the one hand and weakening the environment on the other. They come in solid, liquid or gel form. These ready-to-use products should be poured into the clogged sink, respecting the quantity recommended by the manufacturer. After a few minutes, the impurities disappear and the water flows properly. Finally, you just have to rinse the sink well.
Before use, it is strongly recommended to carefully read the precautions for use present on the packaging label. Wearing gloves and protective goggles is essential. These products are dangerous: they can cause burns. They must be kept out of the reach of children.
Knowing how to unclog a sink is good, preventing it from clogging is better! To prevent the clogging of a sink, first wipe the dirty dishes with an absorbent paper. We use the coffee grounds by emptying the filter of the coffee maker directly into the sink and then rinsing with clear water. The coffee grounds have the effect of preventing grease from congealing on the pipes. It also eliminates bad odors coming from drains.