Want to unclog that kitchen sink? We get questions about how to unclog kitchen drains all the time.

So here are some tips for you to try before you have to call a pro like Yes! Plumbing.

Kitchen drains are arguably the yuckiest drains to deal with in the house. Usually they are plugged due to years of greasy, sludgy, old deteriorated food and grease that has coagulated into the worst, blackest, stickiest stuff on earth. Don’t even try an off the shelf drain cleaner chemical on this. It will only “go right to the clog” if the clog happens to be right in the P-trap under your sink. That just is not too likely. Even if does manage to get your sink to drain, it will only make a tiny opening big enough to make the water go away and guess what else goes away? The drain opener. Now you’re left with a pencil size (or less) opening in your pipe just itchin’ to clog up with the next corn kernel you rinse off that makes it past the basket strainer.

So here’s what the average Joe (or Joline) can try. Stick a stiff wire (like an old metal coat hangar) down both openings in the sink and swirl it around a little. If the plug is in the trap, this might free it up. Do this with some water in the bowl so it can push the clog out if you happen to break it loose.

Next try the old plunger. Make sure you plug off one side of the sink before plunging so you don’t end up pushing water from one side to the other. This technique can unclog a short section of line as far along as where the vent connects to the drain. Usually this is about the first several feet. If the clog is further down the line or you have multiple clogs along the line, this won’t work.

Lastly, if you have a garbage disposal this is a really slick trick. FIRST: make sure all the connections under the sink are really solid and tight because this places a lot of pressure on those pipes and joints.

Once you’ve done that, fill the side of the sink that has the disposer to the top with water. Use only the factory drain plug for this technique as you don’t want something sucked into the disposer that shouldn’t be there. Next, if it’s a 2 bowl sink, plug off the other side so that it is water tight (use the basket strainer or another garbage disposer plug (best)). If you can’t plug the other side off completely then just fill it with water also to prevent flow from the garbage disposer side. Once both sides are ready, turn on the garbage disposer and pull the plug on the disposer side of the sink. The disposer will generate a very strong push into the sink drain and can sometimes clear the drain.

If none of these work, it’s time to call a professional who has commercial drain cleaning equipment. Yes! Plumbing answers the phone live 24/7 for such emergencies. Give us a call (708) 847-7045 for this and any other plumbing needs!

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