Your kitchen sink may clog due to food scraps or grease which naturally block drains over time. Although you may need to hire a plumber to unclog your kitchen drain, sometimes you can do it yourself. Here are steps to follow when unclogging your kitchen drain:
Run hot water into the drain
You need to run a steady stream of hot water into the clogged drain for a few minutes to dissolve any built up grease or grim. It is recommended to run hot water into your drain every week to prevent future drain clogging. Since you wash your utensils in your sink, you probably have grease clogging your drains, and one of the easiest ways to fix the problem is using hot water. After running hot water into the drain for a couple of minutes, wait for about 15 minutes for the grease and fats to melt and unblock the pipes. However, if you still have a clogged drain, you need to do something more drastic.
Plunge the sink drain
If using hot water did not help to unclog, you can try plunging the drain. To plunge effectively, use a wet rag to ensure force exerted during plunging is concentrated on the source of the clog. The wet rag also prevents the overflow of the sink or the drain in case you’ve a double sink from overflowing. Fill the sink with a small amount of water to facilitate plunging. Then, hold the head of the plunger firmly over the clogged drain. Push and pull vigorously for a few minutes. The pressure exerted will help unclog the drain.
Snake the drain
Snaking the drain is recommended if hot water and plunging did not unclog the drains. You will have to remove the trap and the tail piece which attaches the pipe to the floor or the wall. You can begin the snaking process by placing a bucket under the drain pipe to collect water that will flow out when the trap is removed. This reduces the cleaning process and also reduces flooding or water damage in your kitchen. You can then use a wrench to twist and remove the trap.
You will have to use a hand auger to snake the drain pipe. To prevent the auger from getting caught inside the drain, insert the corkscrewed end of the auger only. Then, turn the handle in a clockwise direction and then drive it down the drain slowly until you are unable to turn the handle. When you cannot turn the handle, it means you’ve come into contact with the source of the clog. Try turning the handle, if possible, to penetrate the clog using the snake end. You will have to be careful when turning the auger handle to prevent damaging the pipes. When you’ve penetrated the clog, you will have to turn the handle in an anticlockwise direction to remove the auger from the drain.
Before reassembling the trap, you can clean it using warm water and mild soap to remove any fats or oils. To prevent further clogging, you should run hot water through the drain pipe at least once a week.