How to Clear a Clogged Sink Drain Trap | Shelly Rhoades’s Guide

When it comes to a plumbing system, particularly if it is in the kitchen, we deal with clogging. And, unfortunately, we can't do anything about it. It is quite common. Our sink drain trap develops clog time and time again. The only option we have is to clear it with the right steps.

If your kitchen sink is draining slowly, or if there is standing water in it, it means you are dealing with a clogged sink drain trap.

Don't think that the clog will go away on its own.

It will never happen.

In fact, it will damage the plumbing system of your kitchen if you won't do anything about it immediately. You should prevent any standing water issue as soon as you can.

Luckily, it is possible and you can do that on your own. There is no need to call an expensive plumber, as they can charge a lot more than you can imagine.

Furthermore, you don't have to use hazardous chemicals either. There are just a few steps which you need to follow correctly.

Besides, if you trying to fix it on your own, you can do that using common household items, like vinegar and baking soda. You only need to call a professional plumber if the situation is old and requires proper cleaning.

Why Does A Sink Clog?

First, it is pertinent to know why the warning signs of clogging in the sink happen.

If you feel the sink is taking some time to drain, and if there is some weird kind of odor too, it means soon you are going to face the clogging. It appears slow in the beginning, but one day it blocks the drain completely. 

In worst cases, it can burst the pipelines and make your kitchen or bathroom useless.

  • The first reason why the sink drain trap clogs is we throw things inside it without thinking anything. From oils to eggs, small beans to dirt, everything goes inside it. All these things jam the garbage disposal or cause a buildup. Both situations are damaging and compel us to deal with clogged sink drain trap.
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    The only thing it can do is to delay the clogging process. In fact, when you use hot water with grease, your intention is to keep the draining system clean, but in reality, it pushes the grease down to the drainage system. It makes the situation worse and demands the cleaning of pipelines too.
  • Excess hair and gunk can be a reason for clogged sink drain trap too. If you have pets in the home, avoid washing their things in the sink, as the hairs aren't noticeable, but they can build up at the surface of the drain trap. It is better to clean their belongings in an open area through a water pipe.
  • Lastly, there are some certain foods that you should also avoid cleaning in the sink. Especially, foods which have high quantities of starch and fiber, such as potatoes and rice, can overload the garbage disposal and cause the buildup along the pipe wall too because of their unique properties. In addition, small pieces of meat are also a reason that leads to clogging.

Steps to Cleara Clogged Sink Drain Trap

Below are a few steps which you can use to clear your clogged sink drain trap.

Step #1 - Pull The Gunk Out:

Most people throw the chemical mixture straightaway, which doesn't give good results. The first thing you must do is to pull the gunk out of the drain system.

The simplest thing you can do is to get a bent wire hanger and straighten it out as best as you can. This will assist you in pulling out the gunk from deep inside the drain. Though, make sure there is a small hook on the corner of it. It will get stuck in the gunk and also allow you to pull hair which is usually on the surface of the garbage disposal.

The aim is to pull out as much gunk as you can rather than pushing it more into the drain system. Therefore, for this purpose, a bent wire hanger is the best option.

Step #2 - Prepare the Mixture:

Now, it is time to prepare the mixture. And, there are many ways to do that. You can create an effective mixture with common household items.

For example, you can use baking soda and vinegar for it. Both are powerful in their own specific ways. If vinegar creates the foaming reaction, the baking soda also acts as a multipurpose cleaner. You can create a mixture of them or throw them separately in the sink.

Some experts recommend using the solution of salt too, as according to them if the clogging is stubborn, the properties of salt will eat it away. Throw the salt solution in the sink and let it sit on the clogging for a few hours. You will notice its effects sooner than your expectations.

Step #3 - Clean The Drain Trap:

But, in order to do that, you have to do some plumbing job. In case you don't exactly know what is the drain trap, it is the u-shaped pipe which is under the sink.

Once you know how to clean it, the clogging issues won't disturb you again. Loosen up its nuts through the plumber's wrench and put the basket under it so that it can catch the solution which you will drop from the top of the sink inside the draining pipe.

Apart from draining the solution, you need to clear the trap too. Turn the u-shaped pipe upside down and clear all the debris from inside. You can use the bent wire hanger method for this too. You should also use a long brush for cleaning it from the inside. After cleaning it well, rinse it with water and put everything back together.

Concluding Thoughts

All in all, clearing a clogged sink drain trap is a straightforward process.

It doesn't require any special plumbing knowledge and you don't need to deal with hazardous chemicals either. You can use the above steps time and time again for the maintenance. It will keep your sink drain flow as smoothly as possible and keep it in top-notch condition always.

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