So your relatives are coming over in hour, you just did a bunch of cooking and cleaning, and now the kitchen sink isnt draining! What now? Buy some drain-o or liquid plummer chemicals and dump them in? Call the plumber? Call roto-rooter to unclog the nasty old kitchen sink? Use a plunger? Use a drain snake? HELP, my kitchen sink is filled with gross water!
I have seen this situation all too often. The kitchen sink is the most common drain to clog in the entire house plumbing system. Why? Well the kitchen drain pipes are not very big for one thing. Then there is the fact that the kitchen sink gets used all day and soap, grease, food chunks, and god knows what else is always going down the sink drain. If you have a garbage disposal, then its even worse! Potato peels, fibrous vegetables, pasta, bones! I have seen people try to stuff all kinds of things down the garbage disposer, and they wonder why the sink drain clogs up!
DO NOT USE CHEMICALS in your kitchen sink drain clog!
I cant begin to tell you how many empty bottles of clog-busting goop I have seen on the counters of people that finally decided to call the plumber. Drain chemicals are dangerous, some are caustic, some can damage your lungs or skin, some can damage your plumbing pipes., drain chemicals rarely work, they make it harder for you or the plumber to actually work on the drain, and they are a WASTE OF MONEY!
Step 1) Use a plunger (or two!) on the kitchen drain.
Using a plunger is surprisingly effective on kitchen drains, but you have to know what you are doing! If you have a single bowl kitchen sink with singel drain, then you can just use the plunger normally, seal the plunger to the sink, and build up some suction by pumping the plunger up and down until it starts to suck to the sink and feel like it is vacuuming the drain. Once you have a good suction going, then pull the plunger up forcefully as if you were sucking the clog UP out pf the drain, this is usually enough to knock it loose.
If you are like most people, you have a double-sink bowl and two kitchen drains in your sink. You already tried the plunger and the gross, stinky water just came up the on the other side of the sink! Now what? If you have a partner to help you this will make a big difference. If you have two plungers, even better.
Kitchen sink drain clog clearing guide
First, have one person seal off one of the kitchen sink drain with a plunger, or rubber plug or kitchen drain strainer plug. Then the other person uses the plunger on the other sink drain. This prevents the water from coming up on the other side of the drain, so you can develop some suction with the plunger.
Step 2) The plunger isnt working on my kitchen sink drain clog now what?
If the plunger method isnt working, and you can hear the drain water sloshing about in the drain pipes when you plunger, chances are the drain is further down past the kitchen drain vent pipe and a plunger wont work as the pressure is just escaping out the vent pipe in the wall.
Garbage disposer clogs.
If you have a garbage disposal that is clogged and the plunger isnt working, you might have to take the drain pipe apart and remove the food debris manually (using rubber gloves of course).
Step 3) Use a powered drain snake or Call a plumber.
In this case, you will need to get an electric powered drain snake, or better yet, you really should call a professional drain service plumber at this point! Good powered drain snake cable machines are expensive and dangerous to use. Youll probably save some money and headache by just calling a drain professional, instead of attempting to buy your own drain snake and snake it yourself.