Clogged kitchen sink drain? With a few tools and a little practice you can clear up all but the most stubborn drain clogs in less than an hour. Save yourself the plumbing service call and unclog your drain yourself by following my step-by-step instructions.
A clogged kitchen sink can wreck a perfectly good evening in front of the tube. Instead of settling in to watch the Series, you’ll find yourself staring at a sink full of dirty, backed-up water and wondering whether to call in a plumber ($$$$$). However, with a snake and a little practice, you can fix this mess in less than an hour.
A snake (sometimes called a hand auger) ranges from cheap to inexpensive, depending on the size, length and turning mechanism. For all-around use, I recommend a 3/8-in.model that’s about 25 ft. long (sold at hardware stores and home centers). It’s easy to turn down into the drain. But shorter, 1/4-in. types will work for most clogs too. In addition, keep several other items handy—a bucket or a plastic bin that fits under your drain, rubber gloves and a good flashlight.
In this video, I show you how to use a snake to clear up all but the most stubborn drain clogs.
If you feel the cable hit an obstruction, continue cranking and pushing the cable through the clog until you feel the tip bite through. This should be obvious because the tension in the cable will drop. When you are through the clog, turn the crank counterclockwise and pull out the cable. Clean the cable as you pull; it’ll probably be covered with incredibly dirty gunk. You may get a large plug of material at the end of the snake, so keep that bucket handy. Repeat the process until you no longer feel blockage, then reassemble the trap and run plenty of warm water to flush the line.
After the drain is open, pour 1/2 cup of baking soda and 1/2 cup of white vinegar into the drain. Cover both openings and let it sit for a few minutes. Then run another gallon or so of warm water behind it to flush out the mixture. The combination of baking soda and vinegar can break down any leftover fat deposits and will leave your drain smelling fresh.
If you follow the steps of this video and still can’t clear the blockage, don’t hesitate to call in a plumber. You may have a clog far down the drain line beyond your reach, or stuck objects in the pipes.
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