Guide To Unblocking Your Bathroom Sink
Is the thought of a blocked bathroom sink making you frustrated? Then we’re here to your rescue with a brief guide on the best DIY methods to unblock it.
Stagnant, foul-smelling water in a sink is synonymous with a nightmare!
Aside from making it impossible to go near it, such a situation can cause severe damages to the pipe, wall, or floors. And you may not have the luxury of calling professionals at the very moment you see a blocked bathroom sink.
That’s why we have curated this guide with some of our favourite DIY ways to deal with this issue. And don’t worry, none of them will make you break the bank.
So, let’s get started!
We didn’t want to intimidate you from the get-go, so we had to start the list with something simple yet effective. And hot water fits both these criteria.
Just take some water in a pot or container and bring it to a boil. Once done, wait for a few minutes to bring down the temperature a little and pour it into the mouth of the drain from a considerable height. But be careful to not splash the hot water on your clothes or body.
Wait for some time to allow the heat and water to break down the materials, and then pour some cold water down the drain to see if the clog has reduced. Depending on the nature of the clog, you may have to employ this method multiple times a day or regularly for a few days.
However, keep in mind that pouring boiling water wouldn’t be a good idea to clear pipes made from PVC or heat-sensitive materials.
If hot water isn’t doing the trick and you want to feel like a scientist while unclogging the drain of your bathroom sink, then our next suggestion is worth checking out. Head to the kitchen, measure out one cup of baking soda and vinegar and pour them simultaneously into the sink opening.
The resultant, fizzy chemical reaction does the magic of breaking up clogs, especially the ones formed from the prolonged accumulation of organic matter. Wait for about 30 minutes to an hour and then flush the drain by pouring some hot (not boiling) water. And run some more water to see if the flow has improved.
If you don’t have enough vinegar for this method and don’t feel like stepping out to get some either, replace it with cooking salt and employ the same process.
We know that this may read weird, but fizzy drinks may come in handy for unlocking your bathroom sink drain. Now, we wouldn’t recommend buying a bottle just for this purpose, but you can try this technique if you have unopened expired bottles or cans of soda lying around in the house.
Pour some of it at a time, wait for 20-30 minutes, and repeat until the clog is cleared. You can check if the water flow has resumed by pouring a little water before pouring the next round of soda. And once you’re satisfied, wash the sink by running hot water.
Caustic soda or sodium hydroxide is a common household chemical used to break down clogs. However, it’s essentially corrosive, meaning you need to make some preparations before using it.
Firstly, protect your skin and eyes by wearing sufficiently long clothes, gloves, and eye protectors to limit the possibility of coming in contact with caustic soda. You’d need to dilute the chemical using cold water, and we’d suggest using wooden utensils (bowl and spoon) for the purpose.
After the mixture is prepared, pour it down the sink and let it work for about 30 minutes. You will hear a fizzing sound, which is just the caustic soda breaking through the clogs. In hindsight, it generates the heat required to penetrate the clog, thereby destroying it in the process.
Pour a considerable amount of hot water to flush down everything, which will, in turn, help resume normal water flow. Again, you may need to repeat this method a couple of times before the drain is completely cleared of the clog.
Sometimes, the clog may be too intense to break on its own, despite being exposed to the chemicals mentioned above and solutions. In such cases, you may need to physically remove some (or all) of it, which is why we will now talk about a few handy tools and how to use them.
If you have an old wire hanger that doesn’t belong to your wardrobe anymore, use it to remove hair, paper, and other such materials from your pipe.
Unravel the hanger using pliers to get a straight piece of wire and bend one of its ends to form a hook-like shape. We’d strongly recommend using gloves for this step, as the wire might cut or scratch your hands.
Then remove the drain stopper and insert the hook of the wire. Keep pushing it in until you face resistance- this will likely be the source of the blockage. Slowly rotate the wire in an anticlockwise or clockwise motion for the hook to collect the debris.
Once you think you have done enough, pull it slowly to bring out the collected gunk. Repeat it a few times until you have removed most of the debris. Put back the stopper and pour hot water for final flushing.
Plungers work best when the stagnant water in the sink doesn’t flow down, which is generally caused by a clogged drain stopper. Place the plunger head as close to the drain stopper as possible and create a tight seal around it. At the same time, block any other drain openings by inserting old racks.
Then, use the handle to employ gentle to and fro motions. This will help break down the clog and restore the water flow.
A drain snake is an effective tool for clearing stubborn clogs accumulated over time. It can be used pretty much like the wire hanger we have mentioned earlier, so you’d start by inserting the snakehead into the pipe and stop when there’s resistance.
As the next step, rotate the manual crank or handle to break down the clog-causing materials and collect the debris like hair, thread, pieces of paper, etc. After you’re done, slowly pull the snakehead out and pour hot water into the sink.
Of course, it is essential to understand the signs of a clog and how to prevent them. The easiest trick to avoid a clog is placing a drain filter to stop the entry of materials like food particles, hair strands, paper, soap pieces, etc., into the drain. You can remove it and discard the accumulated waste at the end of the day.
Other than that, you can employ a few of our suggestions every once or twice a month, even if there isn’t a clog to keep the pipes free and clean.
Clogs can also be caused if the pipes become old, as the damaged and corrupted interior can slow down the water flow. If you see that the pipe’s exterior has started rusting or losing its colour, then it may be time to replace it.
Now that you’re more equipped to tackle a clogged bathroom sink, you can bid your anxieties goodbye. But some cases may require you to dismantle the pipe and clean it thoroughly.
So, if you haven’t removed the U-trap (the part below the sink) before, we’d suggest getting professional help. Note down the contact details of your nearest plumbing services, especially those that attend emergencies.
And we will soon be back with more such guides!
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