There’s nothing more frustrating than a clogged sink. Whether your bathroom sink is filling with toothpaste foam or the kitchen sink is reminding you of last night’s dinner. It’s a mess nobody wants to deal with.

A clogged sink doesn’t always look like a clogged sink, either. Some clogs let the sink drain slowly, giving the impression it’s not blocked. A slow-draining sink isn’t a healthy sink and should still be treated for the blockage.

The best way to treat a bad clog in Ambler is to call a professional like PlumbPRO Services. If you’re not ready to hand in the towel just yet, there are a few things you can try on your own. Here are 5 steps to unclogging any sink.

1. Take Out the Sink Stopper

Sink stoppers are used to stop water from draining from your sink. Unlike a flexible bathtub plug, the stopper is usually connected to the sink and made of metal. It includes a basket between the stopper on top and the metal connector below. The basket is sometimes the culprit of a clog.

The basket in the sink stopper collects debris as it washes down the sink. Cleaning the stopper might help the clog. To do so, follow these steps:

  • Find a metal strip connected to the drainpipe
  • Unscrew and remove the strip
  • Pull the central rod from the stopper
  • Remove the entire stopper assembly

Now it’s time to clean the stopper.

2. Remove Debris from the Sink Stopper

Sink stoppers take a beating through day-to-day hygiene. They trap everything from the hair that falls into the sink while you groom to the slime and Playdoh coming off your kids’ hands after playtime. The kitchen sink sees even more action in the form of food debris.

Put on a pair of rubber gloves and clear any obvious debris from the stopper. Next, swipe your finger or a wipe along the basket to clear any gunk, grease, or residue. If running water down the drain with the stopper out doesn’t display an empty basin, it’s time for step 3.

3. Use a Drain Auger

Drain augers are often referred to as snakes. You can buy a sink auger at most hardware, and even some department stores. There are different sizes and types of augers. The type you need depends on the drain you’re snaking, and the distance of the blockage from the drain.

A hand-cranked auger is small and easy to use. Simply feed the length of the snake down into the drain. Use the handle on the side to rotate the tip of the snake as it goes. This helps break up debris and grab anything stuck in the pipe.

Most sink clogs aren’t a solid mass. This means your snake will come back looking quite grimy. Keep snaking until it looks relatively clear, and there’s less resistance in the pipe. Then try running your water to see if the blockage was cleared.

4. Put Everything Back Together

If the sink basin empties easily after snaking, congratulations! You’re in the clear.  Now it’s time to put everything back together. Set aside the snake (the bathtub is a good place to set it down until you get a chance to wash it properly).

Put the sink stopper back in the same way you took it out. Reconnect the inner components and screw the nut back onto the exterior metal strip on the pipe. Test the stopper to make sure it comes up, and plugs the sink properly.

5. Dump the P-Trap (If Steps 1 to 3 Don’t Work)

If the stopper wasn’t the problem and the snake fails to drain the sink, prepare to check the p-trap. The p-trap is so named because it looks like a sideways p. It’s a u bend in the pipe beneath your sink, which collects water, so gases don’t leak up into your home.

Before you remove the p-trap, get a bucket. Place it beneath the U-shape in the pipe and loosen the connectors on either side. Carefully tip the contents of the pipe into the bucket. If it’s all clear, try running water through the p-trap while it’s removed (use the tub, not the sink or you’ll wind up with a full bucket).

Reattach the p-trap by reconnecting it with the connectors. Tighten it with a wrench and run your tap to make sure everything is secure.

Plan B: Call for Backup

If your sink still won’t drain after these steps, it’s time to call in a professional. In Ambler that means calling PlumbPRO Services. We help home and business owners across the city with issues just like this one. Call us today to fix that clog once and for all.