One of the most common issues when it comes to a home's plumbing system is clogged drains. Many of these service calls can be prevented by keeping an eye on what's going down the drain in the first place. Here's an example: sink stoppages are often caused by grease that has been dumped down the sink. This seemingly harmless liquid actually leaves fatty deposits along the way, gradually forming a layer of grease on the pipe wall. Food particles cling to this layer and before you know it, there's a clog in your pipe. To help prevent this from happening, pour excess grease - such as cooking oil - into a can or sack and throw it in the garbage.
If you do experience a clogged sink, follow the steps below. For a visual demonstration of this procedure, refer to the plumbing section of the Lennar Home Care Video:
TIP: Keep a separate plunger especially for your kitchen sink along with one designated for your toilets.
- Cup your sink plunger tightly over the drain, making sure it covers the entire drain opening. Make sure that there is enough water in the sink to cover the plunger's rubber cup.
- Plunge vigorously several times. If you are clearing a drain in a double sink, or a drain with an overflow outlet, make sure you seal the second drain or outlet. You can do this with a small towel. Sealing this helps create the required pressure and suction and helps keep the water and other materials from splashing back onto you.
If your attempts to clear the clogged drain using a plunger fail, another option is to try manually removing the clog by opening the under-cabinet sink trap. This can be very messy, but it may resolve the issue. Since the trap is in the shape of a "J", it is the most likely place for your clogs to occur.
- Place an empty bucket under the fixture to catch water coming from the pipe.
- You may need a wrench to help unscrew the two nuts keeping the drain trap in place. You will want to wrap them with a cloth first to protect them from scratches. If they are made of plastic, handle with care to avoid cracking the pipes.
- Unscrew the gaskets and remove the trap.
- Using a soft wire with a padded end, clear out the trap.
- Use a different sink to clean the trap with hot water and soap, and put the unit back together into its original form.
- When you reassemble the drain trap after cleaning, you may need to reseal the threads with pipe joint compound or Teflon tape.
- Once you are done, run water through your sink for a few minutes to make sure the drain is no longer clogged and the trap is not leaking where it has been reconnected.
If the stoppage still isn't cleared, try plunging once more to see if the debris shifted. If this technique fails we recommend you seek professional assistance.