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Slow Draining Sink Repair

A slow draining sink is a common problem in many homes. This problem typically recurs if it is not fixed correctly. Knowing how to fix a slow draining sink can be very useful, especially if your home has different types of sinks.

Read on to learn different ways to fix slow draining sinks, whether in the bathroom or in the kitchen. This post will begin by considering the causes of slow drains. You will also learn about some other home repairs expert plumbers can help you with.

Causes Of Slow Drains

The following are some of the most common plumbing issues that many people experience in their kitchens and bathrooms.

Congealed fat

Kitchen sinks especially can become blocked when congealed fat builds up in the piping. Fats and oils sent down the sink solidify on the sides of the piping. They gang up with other debris like tea leaves and food particles and grow in mass, resulting in a blocked drain.

Bathroom gunk

Soap scum that sticks to the sides of the bathroom piping can combine with other waste like skin, hair, and other dirt to form general gunk. When this gunk accumulates to occupy the entire diameter of your waste pipe, it causes obstruction.

Physical objects

Objects like dental floss, hair clumps, or cotton swabs form a physical blockage causing slow drains. These objects do not dissolve, so waiting for the problem to resolve itself will only worsen things.

Sharply sloped piping

Your plumbing pipes need to have the proper slope angle for waste and water to flow out. Otherwise, if water runs too fast, it leaves behind waste that will accumulate over time and cause blockage. Find a qualified plumber and have them establish the root cause of your blockage.

How To Fix A Slow Draining Sink

You can always attempt to DIY your way out of a blocked sink by following the steps highlighted below:

Step One: Use baking soda and vinegar

Baking soda and white vinegar mixed is one way to go about it. Pour the solution into the drain and let it fizz for a few minutes. Then, flush with hot water. Repeat the process as required until the clog clears.

Some people feel the baking soda method is not practical. It may not clear the fat and residue blockage effectively. The vinegar and baking soda method do not yield a solution with degreasing properties. A degreaser does a better job.

Step Two: Use boiling water

Pour warm water down the drain. However, do not pour boiling water into PVC pipes. Boiling water may damage them. Try hand-hot water instead for plastic pipes. Pour a pot of warm, down the drain and softens the congealed fat.

Hot water and detergent

Use hot water and detergent for clogged kitchen sink drains. Add detergent to just below boiling point hot water. Then, slowly pour it down the sink. After that, follow it up with hot tap water.

The hot water softens the fat clogs and grease. Also, the hot detergent helps dissolve the fat and carry it away. Repeat the process as necessary until all of the clog is clear.

Hot water and salt

Alternatively, use coarse salt instead of detergent. Pour roughly half a cup of fine salt into a mixing bowl. Slowly add two litres of hot water, then pour the solution down the drain.

Step Three: Physical removal of blockage

There are instances when a blockage is too dense or is made up of a lot of debris. To fix this sort of problem, use a plunger. You may need a sink-only plunger instead of a toilet plunger. Simply visit a hardware store for one. A plunger uses the power of suction to push or pull the blockage.

Cover overflow spouts or second plug holes (if you have a double sink). Fill your sink with only enough water to cover the plunger's bell. Then plunge the drain using short and quick movements. This way, the clog will dislodge, and any water in the sink will drain away. After that, flush with hot water.

You can also straighten out a coat hanger and bend the end into a hook. You can use this to clear up clogged drains. Sometimes the blockage forms at the elbow joint of your drain. Unscrew the elbow pipe of the sink to gain more accessible and less messy access and remove the obstructing mass.

Step Four: Use drain cleaners

Try something more effective if the above methods prove inadequate. Use drain cleaners; commercial drain cleaning solutions are good at dissolving food, hair, grease, and other organic materials. However, use them as a last option. Wear gloves and ensure the room you are working in is well ventilated. Keep drain containers away from children and pets.

Step Five: Check the P-trap

The P-Trap – a U-shaped pipe beneath your sink – sometimes accumulates stubborn clogs. Cleaning them up as a DIY task is possible. However, be careful as you may cause further damage to your plumbing. Besides, such drain cleaning tasks can be pretty messy. It is best to allow plumbing experts to clear out the P-Trap.

Step Six: Use the zipit tool/remove the pop-up

Everyday use of sink drains can lead to hair and debris accumulating on the pop-up. Soap and other particles can also get in the drain pipes. They reduce the size of the drain and cause water to drain slowly. Such problems need a Zipit Tool. It can be placed in the drain to catch hair and other debris.

You can use the Zipit tool independently or together with a pop-up. The Zipit tool is a thin piece of plastic that you insert into the sink after removing any standing water. Manoeuvre it in as far as you can. Then pull it up. This action will dislodge any debris or push them through the pipes.

The clog may even come back up as you pull out the Zipit tool. Remove the pop-up from the sink drain to clear blocked drains. Reach behind the drain pipe to remove the pop-up nut. Then, pull out the pop-up. Reinstall the pop-up once you have unclogged your sink.

Step Seven: Clean the sink overflow

The overflow has an opening that diverts water into a drain. Its other function is to allow air into the drain when the sink fills with water. This way, water in the sink can drain faster. As such, if the sink overflow is blocked by built-up debris, your sink will drain slowly. That is how to clean the overflow if your other drain cleaning measures do not work.

Step Eight: Clean kitchen plumbing with a vacuum

A wet/dry vacuum can suck up debris lodged in kitchen plumbing. Begin by removing your drain stoppers and drain any remaining water in the sink. After that, insert the vacuum's nozzle inside the drain. Remember to use a rag or dish towel to pad out gaps. This will make everything air-tight.

Turn the vacuum on and allow it to sit in exhaust mode, so it warms up. You may hear some changes in sound as the clog is loosened. Otherwise, switch quickly to suction mode, then back to exhaust setting. This creates a plunger-like effect and effectively clears your drain.

Step Nine: Hire a plumber

Call a plumber if you still have plumbing issues relating to slow drains. The blockage could be further down in the drain pipe. Whatever the case, an expert plumber with the right tools will fix the problem.

Modern plumbing services offer several benefits, like using drain cameras to identify drain blockages. They may also have high-pressure hoses that help clean your drains without damaging your plumbing.

Hire A Plumber To Clear Clogs

After reading this post, you are now more aware of how to fix a slow-draining sink. You also read about the causes of slow drains and how to diagnose them. It might be wise for you to take care of it yourself. You can do that. However, you can leave it to the experts while focusing on other home jobs.

Plumbing companies specialise in sewer maintenance and fixing problems with sewer lines. Besides, they can generally use their skills to do other types of work around the house. This could include fixing a water heater or hot water tank, plus they're handy with installing sump pumps and toilet repairs.