Two Strategies For Clearing Out A Clogged Sink Drain

Nothing could be more frustrating--or more gross--than a backed-up sink. One thing it doesn't have to be, though, is expensive. If you have a clogged sink, or if you would like to prepare yourself for the next time you do, read on. This article will present two strategies for clearing a clogged sink.

The Sink Stopper

The overwhelming majority of slow-draining and clogged sinks are caused by hair and other gunk that has become tangled with the bottom part of the sink stopper. While there are numerous products on the market designed to address this issue, by far the most effective and economical solution is to remove the stopper yourself. All this task requires is a pair of adjustable pliers.

The stopper lever on top of your sink connects down to the so-called "pivot rod," which moves the stopper in and out of place. In order to remove and clean the stopper completely, it is necessary to first unscrew the retaining nut that keeps the pivot rod in place.

Before you attempt to remove this nut, however, you'll want to make sure there is no standing water left in the sink--otherwise you'll end up getting soaked once the nut is loose. Either give the sink enough time to drain, or, if it is completely backed up, use a thick sponge to transfer the water to a bucket. 

Once this is done, you may proceed to unscrew the retaining nut and remove the pivot rod. Now you should be able remove the stopper completely from the top of the sink. Be warned, you will likely be pulling out a slimy, nasty hairball along with it. After cleaning the stopper, put the assembly back together and then run some water to see if the problem is solved.

The Plunger

Chances are the above strategy will prove effective at eliminating your clog. But if the problem persists, it's time to get out your old friend, the plunger. This tool is highly effective at clearing out clogs that have developed below the stopper.

Plungers work best with the stopper removed, which can be done as explained above. Once you have taken the stopper out, however, be sure to reinsert the pivot rod and screw the retaining nut back into place. This will keep all that gross clog-water from escaping on the floor as you are plunging.

With the plunger in place, fill the sink with approximately two inches of water. Press a damp rag against the overflow holes at the edge of the sink--this will increase the effectiveness of the plunger by creating a temporary vacuum in the pipes. Two or three solid plunges should be all it takes to get the problem fixed.

For more information, contact a business such as Benjamin Franklin Plumbing.