How To Unblock A Sink At Christmas

Christmas is a time for family, friends and everyone coming together. It’s also a time for large, multi-course dinners. This means there will often be various types of cooking and preparation that needs to be done. This is all great until the sink begins to drain slowly, which is the first sign that a clog is forming. If no preventive steps are taken, the blockage may form and plug up the drain, and that’s something no one wants to deal with at this time of year.

The Basics

The problem is many people are too busy or distracted to take preventive action. This can result in a sink that is unusable until the problem is resolved. Clearing the bad clog may be possible by the homeowner, but a plumber might need to address the problem. One thing you will need to keep in mind is a plumber may not be available over holidays, such as Christmas, which means you will need to find a way to unblock the sink yourself.


The Plunger

Plungers are typically associated with clearing toilets but they are also used to clear clogs in sinks. However, specific plungers can be made for a sink. If you do not have this type of plunger, then a standard plunger can be used. The one thing you will need to keep in mind about a plunger is the proper technique. Fill the sink with water, as the plunger needs to be submerged to work properly. Cover the drain opening and begin plunging. Continue the process about six to ten times until the sink is unblocked.

unplugging the sink

Metal Wire

Professional plumbers will typically use a snake to unblock a drain. Most homeowners usually do not have a plumbing snake at their disposal but a length of wire can be used as a snake. Metal coat hangers are the best objects for this purpose as they are easy to bend. If you do not have a coat hanger (or don’t want to use it for your sink), any other bendable piece of wire can be used. The wire is used to push the clog down the drain or pull a clog out.

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Cleaning Solution

Many professional plumbers recommend using baking soda and vinegar as a simple method to unblock a sink. One reason this method is recommended is the process will produce results and does not require any special tools. All you need to do is pour about ½ cup of baking soda down the sink and then pour a cup of vinegar. This will create a reaction that will eat away at the clog. Wait about four to five minutes and then pour a pot of boiling water to unblock the sink.

Clean the Trap

One of the common places for clogs to develop in a sink is at the trap. This is the u-bend that is located under the sink. The drain pipes under a standard sink are a type of plastic and do not require any tool to remove the u-bend. Once you remove the u-bend then take it outdoors to clean; the best way to do this is to use a bottle brush.

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The Final Word: Clog Prevention

The most common reason clogs develop in sinks is due to grease, food, and other debris. This depends on where the sink is located. However, the methods used to unblock the sink are the same. If you don’t want to deal with a blocked sink, then take a little care to keep food out of it. As the saying goes, prevention is greater than cure!

Fraser Ruthven is the Growth and Strategy Manager for the capitals leading drainage companies – London Drainage Facilities.