There are many common causes of a clogged sink. And there are also helpful tips on how to troubleshoot a clogged sink. Utility sink, bathroom sink, and kitchen sinks can become clogged for various reasons. This problem has happened over and over again creating major inconvenience to homeowners, and disrupting the entire plumbing system in your home. In some cases, a professional plumber is the only resort you have depending on how severe the problem is.
Almost every homeowner in New York has experienced such a thing, and this inconvenient experience has taught us a lot of good lessons about the most common causes of a clogged sink and how to troubleshoot them, as briefly outlined below.
Leaves and trees can clog a drain or cause a clogged sink
When fall is coming, homeowners are busy keeping their gardens tidy, doing routine maintenance to make sure that all fallen leaves are not cluttering a home’s appearance. Besides housekeeping reasons, keeping your garden clean can also help to prevent clogged area drains as well. Leaves can be a major problem, as they accumulate they can block a drain, or even create a trip hazard. Of course after doing your garden clean up, do not empty the debris down your sink, no matter how tempting that may be. This is a common cause of a clogged sink.
Another common culprit of drain and sewer problems is tree roots that crack into the pipes and cause blockages.Naturally, that is a much bigger problem than a clogged area drain, or backed up sink. Our closely associated company, Balkan Sewer And Water Main Service, specializes in that sort of repair work.
• Troubleshooting tip: Make sure all the leaves from your garden are taken away to a safe place far from your home’s plumbing system. You can even bury them if you have the time to do it. An even better idea is to use them as garden mulch after grinding them up. Leaves on top of the garden may also provide a nesting place for birds, rodents, or other animals.
In addition leaves can clog or block your vent pipes. A good example of why this is a problem, is when you put a straw into a glass of water and cover the open end of the straw with your finger. When you lift the straw up, the water inside the straw will remain in it because there is no air to displace the water. If air can enter the vent freely, it may solve your a drain or slow running sink problem.
Fat or grease
Fatty substances are the most common causes of a clogged sink, but fortunately they are also the easiest to prevent. Any oily substance can stick to the inside of pipes, and it will accumulate over time to block flows of water.
To prevent this from happening, pay attention to any substance you decide to wash away. If you think the substance contains oil or fat, do not place it in the sink. use a receptacle for such items, to keep them away from your sink.
• Troubleshooting tip: grease or fatty substances should be thrown away in the garbage bin. If any of these items have already entered the drain, run your garbage disposal but with hot water. It may help to breakdown the fats so they can flow properly inside the pipe.
A clogged sink from hair
Basically any physical non-liquid object can cause a clogged sink including hair. Many people overlook this issue and think that because hair is very light, a rush of water will take them away. Some hair strands are typically left behind; accumulation of hair will eventually cause drainage problem.
• Troubleshooting tip: Install sink guards to prevent hair from entering the pipe. They are quite inexpensive and easy to clean.
Foods and paper
A clogged sink can happen anytime a large piece of food or paper enters the drain. Similar to other things, those materials will not instantly block the pipe, but it does not mean that you can continue throwing away foods into the drain. The materials will accumulate over time and prevent water from flowing properly. Toilet or towel paper should not go into the drain as well.
• Troubleshooting tip: Drain cleaner is a good way to solve this problem. If you can find an environmentally friendly drain cleaner, use it instead of the chemical-based ones. Chemical drain cleaners are generally toxic, and they can deteriorate the pipes. If you use such a cleaner anytime your drain is clogged, the pipes are probably getting damaged quicker than you expect. Drain pipe replacement will cost a lot more money than using the recommended drain cleaning product. In case drain cleaner does not solve your clogged sink problem, a professional plumber will be able to help you with that.
Feminine hygiene products
A clogged toilet is probably the most inconvenient of all drain problems. It happens mostly when people try to flush down items that are not actually flushable, for example female hygiene products.
Last year in New York, a dentist filed a lawsuit against a company that advertised its wipes as flushable because his pipes were clogged. Many products are advertised as flushable indeed, but you may not want to try to flush them just to proof that the advertisement is true.
• Troubleshooting tip: A plunger is your first line of defense. An effective plunger shoots water to clear anything that blocks the pipe. To make sure there is nothing left behind, use hand-powered auger. This is not a pleasant experience indeed but a hand auger has better reach, allowing you to go deeper to the toilet’s drain.
You may retrieve some culprits such as your child’s toy inside it. The best way to make sure it doesn’t happen again is to flush only waste and materials that dissolve easily in water.
Things that you should not flush in your drain to prevent a clogged sink:
• Acidic or corrosive substances
• Coffee grinds
• Oils from lawnmowers
• Paper towels
• Feminine hygiene products
• Paints, nail polish, solvents, polish remover
• Motor oil and any toxic chemicals
• Flammable substances
Consider a Professional Drain Cleaner
There are many reasons why you can have a clogged sink apart from the aforementioned. In some situations, the problems and culprits can be worse than you think. If you are not sure about your plumbing skills or what the actual reason is, calling a professional drain cleaner is a good idea. Even better, a professional can help to check other vulnerable areas and recommend best preventive methods.