What To Do When Your Kitchen Sink Won’t Drain

Kitchen sink won’t unclog? Or is your kitchen sink draining water too slowly? Maybe you’ve found that the sink itself is not clogged, now what? Don’t get frustrated! You may be able to fix it yourself. If you run into any difficulty in getting a result after following our suggestions, you should call a professional plumber.

Call us – Benjamin Franklin Plumbing in the Bay Area. We are well known for being punctual, well-equipped, fast, and cost-effective. You could spend days attempting to unclog a drain that won’t clear. Our Benjamin Franklin Plumbing technicians can typically get the job done in under an hour for a less than what it might cost you in lost time and materials yourself.

The kitchen sink is by far the most heavily used sink in your home. It processes food waste, caustic cleaning chemicals and detergents, oils and fats, as well as fibrous vegetable materials. Most sinks include a garbage disposal which can present its own set of clogging problems that are sometimes tough to resolve.

Clogging can occur in new sinks as well those that have been in use for many decades. You may have put in a new sink to replace a vintage model, but the plumbing system beneath may not have been updated at the same time.

Here are a few options you can try that could unclog your kitchen sink drain:

Check Your Garbage Disposal

Turn on the disposal. Is it spinning freely or is it grinding without moving? Some garbage disposal issues are due to too much material being processed, without enough water. Sometimes the wrong things find their way down the drain, such as:

  • paper towels
  • grease
  • large amount of fibrous plant matter that the system is incapable of processing
  • Foreign objects like plastic bottle caps and plastic spoons.

If the garbage disposal isn’t working at all, push the reset button on either the bottom or side of the garbage disposal cylinder and fill the drain with water and see if that works. If not, use the ¼ inch hex wrench that will typically be attached to the disposal and fit it into the hex shaped hole at the bottom of disposal cylinder. Turn it both ways to work the jam loose.

If neither of these actions resolve your issue, and the garbage disposal won’t function, it’s time to call us. Most likely we can fix the problem, but if it is time to replace the garbage disposal, we probably have exactly what you need on our truck and can get you up and running in a very short time.

You may have inherited an older garbage disposal or have a less expensive model that doesn’t have high power or longevity. Any disposal we provide for you will give you good service and longevity at an excellent price.

Get Out the Plunger

Well, why not? A good plunger can make short work of some drain clogs. We recommend the kind of plunger that tapers down to a tight hole, as it exerts more hydrostatic force down on the clog. If you have a double sink, you need to stopper the other drain with a wet cloth or a drain stopper. Then fill the sink you will be working on with enough water to cover the bottom of the plunger. You want a tight seal for the most pressure. If this works, you will hear the clog free. Flush well with hot water.

DIY Clogged Sink Drain Fixes

So, your garbage disposal is working, but your drain is pooling water and not draining. Time to try some home remedies.

  • The easiest and cheapest solution is boiling water. Clogs are often caused by gummy or formerly-gummy-but-now-hardened materials that went down the drain. It is an accumulation that takes time to build up. If your sink has standing water, get rid of as much as you can, then pour boiling water down the drain. The whole kettle! Give it time. Does the water stand still? Repeat the process a few times. It may take several tries to clear out the sludge.
  • Pour about a half cup of salt down the drain and follow this with boiling water as above. Let it stand for a few minutes and if it works, be sure to flush the mixture away with hot tap water.
  • Vinegar and baking soda. Remove the standing water and toss a cup of baking soda down the drain and chase it down with white or apple cider vinegar. This will cause a chemical reaction – bubbling. When the bubbling stops, stopper the drain for a quarter of an hour and then run hot water to see if the clog has disappeared. This mixture is designed to loosen adhesions in the mass that is clogging the drain. If needed, repeat this.
  • Baking soda and salt. The measure is a cup of baking soda and a half-cup of salt. Proceed as in the solutions above. But let this mixture sit for several hours (unstoppered). Then pour boiling water down the drain and see if you are now clear. Repeat if needed.

Maybe It’s the P-Trap?

This is the under-the-counter pipe with a deep bend in it, like the letter P. The bend is supposed to catch debris before it clogs the waste line and keep sewer air from entering your home. The P-trap is easily removed by unscrewing the lock nuts. Put a tray underneath it to catch any water. Inspect the trap once removed for any gunk and clean it out. If you dare, inspect the gunk to see what has been going down your drain and causing trouble.

Snake It Out!

Your clog may be further down the system and out of reach of other solutions. After disassembling the drainpipe and P-trap so you can get to the pipe behind all this that comes out of the wall, under the sink. Use the snake, following the directions that came with it.

Benjamin Franklin Plumbing Bay Area: We’re On It.

If you’ve gotten this far, where you think you need to use a snake to remedy a clog, you will probably save more time and money by calling Benjamin Franklin Plumbing in the Bay Area. We not only will get your drains back in working order quickly, but we will inspect your sink plumbing and advise you of any upgrades that can help you avoid problems down the road. We arrive on time and leave your home in good order.