How to Unclog a Sink Drain

ImageA clogged sink drain is one of the more common plumbing issues you’re bound to face.  There are sink drains located in various spots of any house, and while they will typically become clogged by different means, the same solutions apply. 

Try to avoid using any harsh chemicals in your drains, and stick to more natural means to release the clog. 


A classic, inexpensive plunger is one of the more useful tools you can have around the house.  If you notice that one of your sink drains is clogged up, reach for the plunger before anything else. 

If there is an overflow hole, be sure to plug it up before you begin. If the clog is in a double sink, use a stopper or wet rag to block the drain in the other sink.  This will help increase the suction in the plunger. 

Make sure there’s enough water in the sink to cover the base of the plunger, then position the plunger over the drain and push down.  Pull up slightly, then repeat the motion 10 to 15 times.  You will feel the suction, and if it works any water that’s in the sink will run down the drain.  Continue the plunging action as much as you’d like, but if it doesn’t work after the first handful of times, it probably isn’t going to work. 

Before you move on to an auger, you can try removing the u-shaped trap under the sink.  Just bail out any water and set a bucket under the trap before loosening the nuts that hold the trap in place.  If the trap has a clean out plug at the bottom, remove the plug and try to get to the clog that way. 


If you can’t get to the clog the easy way, it’s probably located a little farther down.  For this kind of clog, an auger or snake will usually do the job. 

If you removed the trap, you can start the auger there, or start at the drain if you haven’t.  Be sure to follow the instructions for your model of auger, so you give yourself the best chance of removing the clog. 

When to Call

Naturally, not everyone has the tools, skill or desire to try and tackle a clogged drain themselves.  If you’d rather leave it to the experts from the get go, just call your plumber or local drain experts as soon as you notice a problem. 

If you’ve tried a plunger and auger yourself and still can’t seem to get it cleared, you should also give the experts a call.  There are many reasons why your sink drain may be clogged, and professionals have the knowledge and experience to deal with all of them.  Some of the more reputable companies will even perform a whole diagnostic check up on your system to make sure there aren’t any serious problems.  You can always try to clear out each clog as it happens, but if you really want results, call in professionals and get it done right.


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