How to unclog a sink at home

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How to unclog a sink at home
How to unclog a sink at home

Reasons for the formation of blockages in the sink. Mechanical devices and chemicals for debris removal, cleaning technology. The cost of removing the blockage of the sink.

Cleaning a blockage in a sink is the removal of debris by a mechanical, chemical or other method permitted by the design of the device. For this, special devices and substances are used, designed for such work. You can find out how to clear a blockage in a sink in our article.

Reasons for a clogged sink

Sink clogged

In the photo, the sink is clogged

Over time, any sinks become clogged and stop letting dirty water into the sewer system. A non-working drain creates discomfort for residents: you cannot cook food, an unpleasant odor appears in the room. The owners get worried and decide what to do if the sink is clogged. To fix the problem yourself, you need to examine the weak points of the structure.

The reason for the periodically appearing trouble is a special form of drainage of the device. The design consists of the following parts:

  • Water intake… Directly adjacent to the outlet of the container and designed to drain water. It is equipped with a coarse filter that retains large objects.
  • Hydraulic seal (siphon)… Has a U-shape or other shape, in which the flow of water abruptly changes the direction of movement. There is always liquid at the bottom of the part to prevent fumes from the sewer system from entering the room. The siphon is considered the most vulnerable to clogging. Potato skins, napkin or other waste that fails to pass this bottleneck will block the drain.
  • Branch connecting the hydraulic valve with the sewer riser… It is usually made from corrugated pipe, which also collects debris.

There are such types of drains:

  • Pipe… They are U-shaped and replace traditional siphons. They are filled with water to create a hydraulic seal. The parts cannot be disassembled, so they clean it with special devices.
  • Bottle… The product has a removable part that resembles the bottom of a bottle. To clean it, you must unscrew and remove the contents manually. This is the most successful design for sinks.
  • Corrugated… They are intended for use in locations where standard fixtures cannot be fitted. It is usually made from a bent corrugated pipe. However, debris collects in the folds of the outlet and quickly clogs the device. In addition, the pipe does not withstand hot water.
  • Hidden… The design is disguised in a box.
  • With overflow… The siphon is connected to the sink with a second tube through which excess water is removed.
  • With double or tee… The siphon has additional inputs for a washing machine or dishwasher.
  • Flat. They are installed if large household appliances, such as a washing machine, are installed under a sink.
Reasons for a clogged sink

A blockage in the sink can happen for the following reasons:

  • A thick coating of grease from food waste has appeared on the walls of the drain parts. Often the flow area overlaps after prolonged operation of the device and lack of preventive maintenance.
  • Waste products of organic and inorganic origin have accumulated in the siphon and pipes near the sink.
  • The design of the device and the drain for this point has been poorly chosen.
  • The water in the plumbing system is poorly treated or of poor quality.
  • The siphon is incorrectly installed, or the slope of the sewer pipe is too small.

You can get rid of the blockage mechanically and chemically. Chemical cleaning is performed using special reagents that dissolve organic matter. But they will not remove the plug of inorganic elements. The tool will remove plaque from solid debris for a short period of time, and then it will reappear.

It is possible to free the drain and the line from solid elements only mechanically: using a plunger, a plumbing cable or hydrodynamic action. Under the action of an external load, the plug is pushed into the wide part of the sewer pipe or removed outward by a device. The mechanical cleaning method has a number of disadvantages: it is ineffective for structures with a large number of turns and is dangerous for plastic lines.

To keep your kitchen sink clogged up as little as possible, do the following:

  • Install a safety net at the outlet of the sink to trap large items.
  • Perform preventive maintenance periodically: flush the drain with special compounds that dissolve fats, but do not damage the sewer pipes.
  • Drain off hot water every few days for 10 minutes to remove accumulated grease from the walls.
  • Install a food chopper in your kitchen. It grinds the smallest particles of accidentally trapped debris, which passes through all bottlenecks without any problems.

See also the causes of blockage in the sewer riser.

Selection of tools and chemicals for cleaning the sink

To clear the blockage in the sink at home, various devices and reagents are used. Their choice depends on the composition of the trash plug and the design of the drain. Below are the main characteristics of the funds and their purpose.

Sink clogging plunger

Plunger for cleaning the sink from a blockage

The plunger is used for mechanical cleaning of sinks, siphons or pipes near devices. When working with a device, pressure and vacuum are alternately created in the system, which destroy the plugs. The product is simple to work with, has a simple design and is inexpensive. The tool can be used daily without the risk of damaging system components.

There are two types of plungers: mechanical and pneumatic. The mechanical tool has a very simple design: a wooden handle is attached to the rubber cap. When pressed on it, a water hammer is created, affecting the problem area. The pressure of the water pushes the debris out into a wider area and then further down the drain. A mechanical plunger will help get rid of simple fresh blockages: fatty deposits, fine dirt. But such household appliances create a little pressure that is not able to break through strong plugs or if they are far from the sink.

The high pressure is created by a pneumatic plunger. Its design resembles an air pump with a rubber tip, which ensures a snug fit of the product to the surface. The volume of the pneumatic device can be up to 2 liters.

Plunger tips are made of various shapes and sizes, which increases the scope of the device:

  • The bowl-shaped fixture handles small blockages.
  • The black rubber cone nozzle securely closes the drain hole and punches through tight plugs.
  • A syringe-shaped nozzle comes complete with powerful pneumatic devices that can push the congestion far from the sink.
  • The wide tip is considered versatile and is suitable for removing blockages in bathroom sinks, toilet bowls and kitchen sinks.
  • The swivel adapter goes through U-shaped drain and sharp pipe bends.
  • Professional devices are sold with a set of accessories that are suitable for kitchen sinks, showers, toilet bowls and other devices.

If the force from the plunger is not enough to clean the pipes near the sink, special devices are used that supply water to the system under high pressure. They are used in cases of poor access to clogged nodes. They include a blower that directs water into pipes under high pressure.

Plumbing cable for cleaning the sink

Plumbing cable for cleaning the sink from clogging

It is a long, thin, flexible piece with a handle at one end and a tip at the other. It is used if debris has accumulated in the pipes near the sink and the pressure of the plunger is insufficient to remove it. It will cope with a rag or cardboard lump, but is useless when the line is worn and there is a lot of rust.

The device has the following advantages:

  • During operation, a large torque is generated, which allows you to get rid of old plugs;
  • Very easy to use;
  • Has an ideal balance of elasticity and flexibility;
  • Safe for the user;
  • Effective for most blockages;
  • It is possible to attach various attachments.

There are few disadvantages of a plumbing cable: after prolonged operation, the wire loses its strength and can break; when removing a tight congestion, a large amount of torque must be applied to the handle.

The standard device has a length of 2-5 m, but for cleaning the sink, products of small length are used - 1.5-3 m. At a great distance from the edge of the pipe, the cable is useless. He either will not reach him, or he will not be able to punch.

There are several types of cables, which differ in the manufacturing method and purpose:

  • Rope - a classic device twisted from steel wires.
  • Spring - is a hollow spring made of flexible wire. The small model is often used to clean pipes near the sink.
  • Spring-wound - consists of an elastic core around which a wire is wound.
  • Tape is a flat product with a width of 1-4 cm. Such a cable is less flexible than a wire one, which allows you to break through dense blockages. It is used for cleaning large diameter pipes without bends.
  • Rubberized cables - products are enclosed in a rubber tube to protect the line from damage. They are designed for plastic pipes.

When choosing a cable to clear the blockage in the sink, use the table:

Diameter of line elements Rope diameter, mm
Pipe 10-20 mm 3-4 mm
Pipe up to 50 mm 6-10 mm
Pipe 50-110 mm 10-16 mm
Pipe over 110 mm more than 16 mm

It is not recommended to work with a very thin cable due to the danger of its breaking. It can only be used to clean the siphon, but only in case of slight blockage.

If the attachments do not have a tip, professional plumbers advise fluffing up the end of the cable so that the hard wires will catch the debris. However, protruding ends can damage the pipe, so this option is only suitable for metal products.

More expensive devices are equipped with threaded tips, to which you can attach a variety of attachments. The types of nozzles and their purpose are shown in the table:

Tip type Design Appointment
Spring gimbal It resembles a spring with a bent end. For tearing and pulling away debris. It is wound around the tip and removed after removing the cable.
Spade nozzle It has a conical flat shape. For striking hard deposits on the walls of drainage elements.
Spiral hook It is made in the form of a spiral. For winding up debris and removing it from a siphon or pipe.
Ruff It looks like a metal brush. Removal of organic deposits from the walls of the drain and pipes.
Hook Made in the form of a classic hook. Removing large objects from a non-separable drain or pipe.
Scraper Made in the form of teeth. Maintenance work on the sink drain.

You can make a plumbing cable yourself from a thick flexible wire with a bent end.It can only be used to clean the straight pipe section near the sink.

It is made as follows:

  • Find a piece with a length of 1-3 m. A piece of steel wire is ideal.
  • Untwist one end and make it in the form of a brush.
  • On the other side, twist the cable and attach the handle to it.
  • Coat the fixture with an anti-corrosion agent.

Sink clogging chemicals

Sink clogging chemicals

The use of chemicals does not require the presence of a plumber and allows you to solve the problem yourself. To choose the right remedy for a blockage in the sink, you need to find out what caused the trouble. A substance that dissolves one type of debris well may not cope with another.

The active ingredient in cleaning agents is alkali or acid. Lye works well with grease and soap stains in kitchen sinks and pipes. It is safe for PVC pipes, in contrast to mechanical means that damage the surface of the pipeline. The acid is good at eating away organic debris - hair, paper, etc.

Sometimes craftsmen advise pouring pure hydrochloric acid into the pipes. You shouldn't do this, because she will quickly go through the sewer pipes.

All information about the tool can be obtained from the instructions for the drug. It must necessarily indicate what the agent corrodes and for which pipe material it is safe.

Consider the most popular chemicals:

  • Mister Muscle… The product is designed to remove light blockages. It will remove fat deposits from the walls, cope with food debris and hair. The solution removes the unpleasant odor from the sewage system. destroys bacteria. Available in gel and foam form. Can be used as a prophylactic agent to prevent sink clogging.
  • Bagi Pothan… Designed to eliminate light blockages. Differs in high productivity: the result is visible in a few minutes. The substance is very toxic, so work with gloves.

Ways to clear a blockage in a sink

There are many different ways to remove debris from your sink. Some use modern technologies, while others can solve the problem at minimal cost. The sequence of work when cleaning drains in different ways is shown below.

Manual sink cleaning method

Manual cleaning of the sink from the blockage

You can get rid of the trouble without using special tools if you have access to the trash jam. For example, a bottle siphon is cleaned in this way.

Manual cleaning of the sink from the blockage is carried out as follows:

  • Place a bowl under the drain to collect the water in the product.
  • Disconnect the siphon from the outlet pipe and remove from the inlet.
  • Unscrew the settling cup and empty the water.
  • Use a long screwdriver to remove hard debris and build-up from the walls.
  • Rinse the device with hot water and detergent.
  • Check the integrity of the gaskets on the siphon.
  • Assemble the device and install it in its original place.
  • Turn on the water and make sure that no water leaks at the joints of the siphon with other elements.

The cast-iron siphon is cleaned using a plumbing cable without dismantling and disassembling it. The device is installed into the system through the drain hole of the sink and rotated.

Using a plunger to clean the sink

Unclogging a sink with a plunger

The procedure is performed as follows:

  • Close the top overflow hole in the sink with a plug or other object.
  • Pour in water, half full. The liquid should cover the rubber nozzle of the plunger.
  • Press the tip against the outlet and make sure it sticks to the surface. Lubricate the edges of the rubber with Vaseline if necessary.
  • Press and release the device several times sharply without moving it, similar to the movements when inflating a tire with a pump. Usually 3-5 times are enough to get a visible result. If a characteristic suction sound occurs, the plug is broken.
  • After the water starts to flow out, repeat the operation to increase the flow rate. The effect of using a plunger will increase if chemicals are pre-poured into the drain hole.

To clean the sink with a piston device, fill a container with water, press the device with the tip to the hole and push firmly on the piston handle. A pressurized water jet will push the plug into the riser. Repeat the procedure if necessary. Make sure that dirty water does not spill under pressure from the hole in the opposite direction, into the room.

Using a plumbing cable to clean the sink

Cleaning the sink from clogging with a plumbing cable

A plumbing cable is used as follows:

  • Before you clear the blockage in the sink with a cable, make sure that the product is free from defects and will not break during operation. Getting it out of the highway will be problematic.
  • Remove the siphon and run the device into the pipe until it stops.
  • Rotate the cable by the handle, applying force if necessary. Turn the knob clockwise only. In this case, the spiral will contract, increasing the pressure on the plug.
  • Rotate the cable a few times and pull it out with debris that will catch on the tip. Professional plumbers use electrical tools, such as a low-speed drill, to turn the fixture. Mechanization of work will facilitate and speed up the procedure.
  • Repeat this process several times until the tip passes the problem area. However, you must make sure in advance that this is an accumulation of debris, and not a bend in the line.
  • If the cable is jammed, slowly rotate the device several times in different directions. You can't pull it.
  • After removing the plug, flush the pipe with plenty of hot water and detergent.
  • Wipe the rope with a dry cloth and dry.
  • Store the device rolled up in a dry place.

Cleaning up a blockage in a sink with chemicals

Cleaning up a blockage in a sink with chemicals

To find out how to get rid of a blockage in a sink with a purchased drug, carefully read the instructions that came with it.

The rules for using a chemical agent are as follows:

  • Make sure that the reagent is neutral to the materials from which the sink drain parts and sewer pipes are made.
  • Determine the amount of the substance for your case and the time of its action. During this period, the tool is most effective, but in the future it becomes dangerous for pipes. Usually it is poured or poured over for 30 minutes.
  • Wait until the water is completely drained from the sink, or empty it out by hand.
  • Prepare a working solution if necessary.
  • Pour or pour the product into the drain hole.
  • After a specified period of time, flush the system with warm water.

When cleaning the sink, adhere to the following safety precautions:

  • Do not lean towards the hole, especially if gurgling sounds are coming from it. The substance can come into contact with the skin and eyes.
  • It is not recommended to pour the product into the sink with water, as the solution may damage the container lining.
  • Do not mix different preparations containing acidic and alkaline preparations. The reaction can harm your health.

This method has disadvantages: some products can corrode rubber gaskets. Therefore, it is recommended to use them no more than once every 3 months. In addition, sometimes a reaction occurs with the release of a large amount of heat, which can damage plastic pipes.

Folk remedies for removing clogging of the sink

Unclogging a sink with baking soda

If there are no special preparations and tools at hand and you do not know how to remove a blockage in the sink, use home remedies:

  • Baking soda… With its help, you can dissolve fats accumulated on the surface of the drain walls. Wait for the water to drain completely from the sink. Pour 3 tablespoons of baking soda into the drain hole. You can add washing powder in equal proportions and then a little vinegar.After half an hour, pour hot water there, which will wash off the dissolved fat. Pour 150 g of soda into a hot frying pan and heat for 15 minutes. Pour 200 g of water into it and mix thoroughly, then pour it into the sink. Then flush the system with plenty of hot water.
  • Brine… Make a strong saline solution and pour it into a siphon. After 1-1.5 hours, use a plunger to destroy the weakened plug.

Also, cleaning the blockage of the sink is carried out using the pressure of water from the home water system. Remove the spray nozzle from the shower hose and insert it into the hole in the sink. Close all openings in pipes and other parts associated with the drain and sewer outlet to it. Turn off the hot water tap completely and hold the hose in this position until the blockage is removed.

Cleaning a sink clogged with a powerful vacuum cleaner is done as follows:

  1. Remove the dust container from the product.
  2. Set the vacuum cleaner to blow out.
  3. Connect one end of the hose to the appropriate port on the product.
  4. Insert the second one into the sink drain.
  5. Turn on the vacuum cleaner and hold the hose until the plug is pushed into the wide drain pipe.

The price of cleaning a blockage in a sink

How to unclog a sink

When you remove debris from the drain on your own, the cost of the procedure will be minimal. In this case, the cost of cleaning the blockage in the sink will be equal to the cost of purchasing a device or reagents. The cost of cleaning products and plumbing cables is shown below.

The price of chemicals for cleaning a blockage in a sink in Russia:

Means Product type Weight, g Cost, rub.
House manager Granules 80 g 11, 3-12, 9
Sky style Granules 60 g 41, 5-44, 8
Mr Muskul Granules 70 g 40, 6-45, 2
Mole Liquid 1000 ml 39, 5-43, 7
Tytan Gel 500 ml 98, 8-107, 9

The price of chemicals for cleaning the blockage of the sink in Ukraine:

Means Product type Weight, g Cost, UAH
House manager Granules 80 g 5, 3-6
Sky style Granules 60 g 19, 7-12, 9
Mr Muskul Granules 70 g 19, 6-21, 8
Mole Liquid 1000 ml 18, 7-21, 4
Tytan Gel 500 ml 49, 2-52, 6

Price of plumbing cables for cleaning the sink in Russia:

Diameter, mm Length, m price, rub.
6 3 700-730
8 5 1400-1520
10 5 1640-1670
10 10 3340-3380
10 15 4920-4950
10 20 6590-6640
10 30 9900-9924
12 10 3760-3780
12 15 5625-5678
12 20 7530-7546

Price of plumbing cables for cleaning the sink in Ukraine:

Diameter, mm Length, m Price, UAH.
6 3 330-410
8 5 610-640
10 5 710-750
10 10 1230-1290
10 15 2102-2190
10 20 3120-3180
10 30 4400-4490
12 10 1730-1750
12 15 2560-2590
12 20 3550-3590

Price for ropes of non-standard sizes in Russia:

Diameter 12 mm Diameter 14 mm Diameter 16 mm
Length, m price, rub. Length, m price, rub. Length, m price, rub.
6 1704-1745 6 2102-2016 5 2100-2130
8 2248-2278 7 2423-2456 6 2530-2555
9 2555-2598 8 2801-2834 7 2930-2970

Price of ropes of non-standard sizes in Ukraine:

Diameter 12 mm Diameter 14 mm Diameter 16 mm
Length, m Price, UAH. Length, m Price, UAH. Length, m Price, UAH.
6 720-780 6 880-940 5 970-1010
8 920-990 7 1260-1320 6 1190-1230
9 1080-1149 8 1125-1350 7 1250-1280

The price of removable tips for sewer cables in Russia:

Tip Hook Auger Cone Arrow S-shaped scraper U-shaped scraper
Cost, rub. 130-150 480-500 480-500 140-170 870-920 880-910

The price of removable tips for sewer cables in Ukraine:

Tip Hook Auger Cone Arrow S-shaped scraper U-shaped scraper
Cost, UAH 49-55 190-220 210-230 57-68 370-410 390-420

The cheapest mechanical means are simple plungers with a black rubber tip and a Russian-made wooden handle. Improved fixtures with plastic handles, corrugated nozzles of various shapes will cost you more.

To fix complex problems, you will have to call a plumber. The following factors affect the cost of the master's services:

  • The need to dismantle plumbing equipment or replace it;
  • Trash plug removal method;
  • Product drain design;
  • Material of elements of drains;
  • Urgency of work - the price of removing the blockage in the sink in case of an emergency call will be higher.

It should be noted that after an unsuccessful cleaning of the device on its own, the congestion only intensifies, so the master will take 1.5-2 times more for its elimination than before your participation.

The price of cleaning pipes from debris in Russia:

Name of service price, rub.
Sink cleaning (disassembling the siphon, flushing outlets) 1500-3000
Cleaning the sink (disassembling the siphon, flushing outlets) 1500-2500
Removing the clogging of the bath (bulkhead drain / overflow) 1500-3000
Eliminating the blockage of the bath (bulkhead drain / overflow + flushing outlets) 1500-3000
Removing the clogging of the shower 1500-3500
Removing toilet blockage 1500-2500
Cleaning of sinks with special equipment from 5000
Elimination of complex blockage (debris plug in the riser) 4000-10000

The price of cleaning pipes from garbage in Ukraine:

Name of service Price, UAH.
Sink cleaning (disassembling the siphon, flushing outlets) 620-1030
Cleaning the sink (disassembling the siphon, flushing outlets) 590-980
Removing the clogging of the bath (bulkhead drain / overflow) 620-1030
Eliminating the blockage of the bath (bulkhead drain / overflow + flushing outlets) 620-1030
Removing the clogging of the shower 620-1030
Removing toilet blockage 590-980
Cleaning of sinks with special equipment from 1900
Elimination of complex blockage (debris plug in the riser) 1900-4500

Note! When determining the cost of work, the coefficients of complexity are taken into account when carrying out manipulations in an inconvenient place and with expensive parts - 1, 5.

How to clear a blockage in the sink - watch the video:

The technologies for cleaning sinks from debris are simple, and in most cases the problem can be solved on your own. However, to get a good result, you need to be well prepared for work. Only in this case, everything will go smoothly, and the sewer system will not be harmed.

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