Unclogging a kitchen sink drain may seem like a simple task, but there are definitely right and wrong ways to do it. Here are some do's and don'ts to keep in mind so you get it done effectively.
Do: Use a plunger first
Many people only think about using a plunger when their toilet is having problems, but they are actually very useful with kitchen sink clogs. Since they are so simple to use, this is the very first thing you should try. Plunge the side of the sink with the garbage disposal, but don't stop there. Also try plunging the opposite side of the sink. If the water starts going down, test it by running hot water in the sink. This will help to break up anything else that is stuck to the drains and might cause future clogs.
Do: Check the trap
If plunging doesn't work, you can also try removing and checking the trap. It is located beneath your kitchen sink and is a pipe that holds waste before it goes down the drain. If the trap is clogged, it will prevent anything from going down the drain, which is often why the water is draining slow. To remove the trap, first place a bucket or other container underneath it to catch any water or waste. Next, unscrew the nuts that are holding the trap in place by using large pliers.
Pull it down and drain all of the contents into the bucket. Rinse out the trap in another sink to be sure it is clear. You can now check the two drain pipes it was connected to and remove any food or debris that is lodged in there. Then, reattach the trap and test the water to see if it runs clear.
Don't: Overuse drain cleaner
While drain cleaner can help to take care of minor clogs, such as hair or a small amount of grease in the drain, it won't help with major clogs. Don't keep pouring in the entire bottle of drain cleaner just to get it to work. If you want to try drain cleaner, follow the directions on the bottle exactly. You should not only avoid overusing each time, but don't use it too frequently. Drain cleaner is very strong and can corrode the pipes and joint connections over time. Instead of using drain cleaner, try cleaning the drains with baking soda, vinegar, and boiling water.
Don't: Hesitate in calling a plumber
If these basic tips don't help to clear the drain, call a professional. It is possible that your problem isn't in the kitchen drain pipes, but is a main sewer line clog. This is not something you can fix on your own, so you will need to contact a plumbing contractor. The problem can worsen if you keep putting it off, so make sure to call for help as soon as you can. Companies like Doctor Fix-It can answer your clog questions.