Discover How to Clean Out Your Sink Trap

A clogged sink can be a source of undue panic and frustration. Your first thought might be the expense of getting a plumber in to fix it but before you do that, see what you can do yourself by checking the trap. If you’ve never done this before, don’t be alarmed, it’s not that difficult and you’re in the right place to learn how to clear out your sink trap before you need to call expert plumbers Red Deer counts on like Solutions Plumbing.

What to Try First

Before going into the sink trap itself, try running the hot water to dislodge the blockage. If that doesn’t work, you can move on to a plunger to force the clog out by pushing down slowly and pulling up quickly. If it’s still clogged, let’s move ahead.

What You Will Need to Clear Your Sink Trap

Grab these items and tools you likely already have at home:

  • Bucket
  • Wrench
  • Rags
  • Cleaning brush
  • Duct tape

What to Look for Under the Sink

The P-trap under the sink consists of:

  • The tailpiece comes down from the sink drain
  • The J-Shaped trap extends from there
  • A waste arm attaches to the J-trap and extends into the pipe that moves the water along
  • On both ends of the J-trap, you will see the slip-joint nuts to turn and loosen

Here’s What to Do to Clear the Drain Blockage

With the bucket in place, loosen the slip-joint nuts. You may or may not need the wrench for this but if you do, you can use a rag or some duct tape to protect the pipes from the wrench teeth. Keep track of the O-ring that is on the pipes, you will need it to seal the P-trap back up later.

To prevent a backup of gases, shove a damp rag into the waste pipe. Then you can use your cleaning brush to remove the debris causing the blockage. Use another sink in the home to give it all a thorough cleaning.

Once everything is cleaned, you may begin reassembling the P-trap in the reverse order that you used to disassemble it. Make sure you hand tighten the slip joint nuts as much as possible before using the wrench to tighten it only another quarter turn. It’s important to ensure proper threading as you turn and do not over tighten beyond that quarter turn or you may end up cracking the pipes.

Other Things to Consider

Your P-trap may have a cleanout plug at the bottom. This will allow you to simply unscrew the plug and fish out the clog rather than dismantling the entire contraption.

If you have to leave the sink in pieces, ensure no one uses it in your absence by adding some tape, a towel, or a note.

While there are chemical solutions that can work to clear out your sink trap, it is not recommended unless as a last resort. These chemicals are very powerful, toxic, and can harm your pipes, not to mention you if not handled properly.