Why Won’t My Kitchen Sink Drain Properly?

Have you noticed that your sink is taking longer than usual to drain? Can you smell a strong odour coming from the sink? If so, your kitchen drain could be clogged, affecting your home plumbing system in a multitude of ways.  

Having a faulty kitchen sink can run the risk of damage to your pipework, can lead to an overflow of water, surface damage, unhygienic living situations and potential flooding. Your sink gets used daily and works hard to keep your kitchen clean, so if it fails, you can be left to deal with a significant inconvenience.  

Common Causes of a Blocked Kitchen Sink 

There are a few common causes as to why your drain or sink becomes clogged. These can happen over time, or instantly depending on the cause.  

Food Scraps: 

Over time food scraps can sit in your kitchen drain pipe and become lodged. This can cause a multitude of problems. These scraps can start to rot if stuck for long periods of time, leading to the foul smell that can occur coming from your sink. Larger or more solid scraps can block the pipes and stop water from draining down and flowing through your plumbing system, potentially causing an overflow. Sink catchers can aid in reducing food scraps from entering your drain. So, investing in one of these will be beneficial in solving this problem. 

Oil: 

Cooking oil and fats should not be poured down your kitchen sink. This is because once the oil has cooled, it solidifies and clings to the pipelining. This blockage narrows the passageway and slows down the flow of water through the pipes. You should dispose of oils and fats into the garbage to avoid this issue.   

Foreign Objects: 

Your home plumbing system is designed to handle water, waste and toilet paper. Any other items that are flushed down can cause an obstruction. When using your kitchen sink, it is vital to ensure that your pipework is protected from things that can cause damage. Only pouring water down your drain and using a catcher will ensure that no foreign household items fall into your plumbing system. 

Unclogging a Kitchen Sink 

If your sink is clogged, you will need to act fast to avoid overflow. There are many easy ways to combat this issue that use everyday household items.   

Plunger: 

This method is pretty straightforward. All you will need is a sturdy plunger that has a flat head and some elbow grease. Place the plunger around the drain and create a seal, ensure you have a firm grip on the handle and proceed with an up and down motion. This movement will create pressure and cause any obstruction to loosen. You may need to repeat this process a few times to clear the blockage.   

Wire Coat Hanger:

Untwist and straighten out an ordinary wire coat hanger and create a handle at one end for ease of use. Be sure to keep the opposite end straight. Insert the straight end of the hanger into the drain opening and twist in a clockwise motion. This motion should start to push the blockage down the pipeline and release the clog.   

Vinegar and Baking Soda Mixture: 

If you have an eco plumbing system installed in your home, this mixture is a natural alternative to chemical drain cleaners. Flush the drain with 1 cup of baking soda, then 1 cup of white vinegar, allow this mixture to sit for 15 minutes, then carefully pour 1 cup of boiling water down the drain. Repeat if necessary. This combination of vinegar and baking soda creates a chemical reaction that will break down any fats or oils stuck in your pipes.  

P Trap: 

You may have noticed a curved pipe that lives underneath your kitchen sink. This is known as the p trap. This pipe features a bend that catches and holds food scraps or other objects that can empty with the water from your sink. It also helps to stop odour from the sewer from entering your drain opening. If the p trap can be removed, inspect it for blockages. Clean the pipe thoroughly and reattach it. Ensure you wear gloves and place a bucket underneath to catch any water that leaks out. 

Sink Still Not Draining Properly? 

If you have tried a few of these methods and you find your sink is still not draining correctly, you may need to bring a professional in to have a look. A licensed plumber can use tools such as a high-pressure jet blaster, plumbers snake and special cameras to inspect the pipes further and locate the cause of the blockage. If you want to save yourself the time and effort it takes to fix this problem, call The Brisbane Plumbers to secure a day for us to come out. 

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