Clogged bathroom sinks

Bathroom sinks don’t get the kind of usage as kitchen sinks and tend to clog up easier. Their waste lines have a smaller diameter than kitchen sinks and therefore drain slower. Bathroom sink clogs are almost always caused by teenagers and/or anyone who is able to contort their body and with a head small enough to fit it under the faucet to wash their hair. Clogged sinks are usually discovered by the person that cleans the sink. Sink cleaners tend to be quite talented and their skills include the ability to unclog sinks. They tend to be fearless; the sight of sink gunk doesn’t scare them.

One of the first reactions to a clogged sink is to run down to the store and purchase a mystery chemical in a bottle and pour it down the drain. It’s a popular choice because it is easy. Chemicals rarely clear a blockage, they usually only reduce it. A full stoppage requires mechanical clearing. Few people enjoy that kind of work but their efforts are appreciated by all.

Sink clogs can usually be cleared with a plunger and a wet rag. Remove the sink stopper and clean out as much sink gunk as possible. Stuffing a wet rag into the overflow will direct the pressure from the plunging action down the drain. Place the plunger over the drain and fill the sink 2/3rds full of water. Gently start some plunging action to get a feel for the task. When you are confident give some hard quick plunges. Think of trying to suck the clog back up the sink. Make sure you try this several times.

If plunging doesn’t do the trick you will have to escalate your campaign to the next level. Use a snake. Guide the snake down the drain opening gently. Slowly and carefully work the snake around bends in the piping as you move it forward down the drain and past the blockage. Give the drain a good rinse with hot water and you are good to go.

A few more words on chemical drain cleaners. The products are caustic and are harmful to your skin and eyes. Chemical drain openers will damage porcelain enamel and should not be allowed to remain on the surface of your fixtures for any length of time. If you have used chemicals tell your plumber what you have put into the drain before he or she starts to work.

This column is dedicated to my wife.

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About the Author

When you need advice or guidance with DIY home improvement and repairs, Hugh Cairns can help you with the answers.

Home improvements can be rewarding, turn your home into a nicer more comfortable place to live, and increase its value.

Whether you are renovating your kitchen, converting a loft, giving a room a lick of paint or making improvements to your home’s energy efficiency, this column is here to guide you with useful information and key things to remember.

Do you have a renovation question or concern? Please feel free to send Hugh your questions. Contact him through www.subject2homeinspections.com

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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