How to Unclog Your Kitchen Sink


One of the most common drainage issues is a clogged kitchen sink. Before you spend your hard-earned money on a plumber, you can use a plunger and a snake to clear up clogs:

First, check to see if your garbage disposal is clogged. A clogged disposal is one of the most common reasons for a clogged drain. If you turn on your disposal and hear nothing but a low humming sound, it is likely that your disposal is jammed or broken. Do not stick your hand in the disposal! Disconnect the power and attempt to turn the blades manually with an Allen wrench via the hole in the bottom of the disposal.

Under the sink disposal

If you’ve established that the disposal is not the problem, then it's time to plunge the drain. Pro Tip: Clamp the flexible dishwasher drain hose if it connects to the same drain and use the plunger. Make sure there is enough water to make a seal around the drain.  If plunging fixes the problem, the water will drain away.

If water is still not draining correctly, there could be a blockage in the P-trap, located directly underneath your sink. Make sure you place a bucket underneath the drain BEFORE you remove the P-trap! Loosen the slip nuts on either end of the P-trap to remove it. If the blockage is in the P-trap, clear it, replace the parts, and test the drain to see if there is another clog further down the line.

If the clog seems to be further down from the P-trap, you’ll need to try snaking the line. While the P-trap is removed, feed a few feet of the snake line at a time into the drain. When you feel an obstruction, keep cranking the handle and pushing the cable through the clog. Once you feel it break through, turn the handle counter-clockwise and pull out the cable - and the gunk. Keep a bucket handy for this step, too.

Repeat as necessary until there are no more blockages. Reassemble the drain pieces and test it out. If you’re more of a visual learner The Family Handyman has a good video:

If your sink is still not draining, it’s time to call in the professionals.

HomeServe is here to help and offers affordable home repair plans in your area.