Prior to calling a plumber to deal with sink clogging, a decision has to be made. Ask yourself “Is the clog only getting worse the more you try to fix it?” If you answered YES, you may need immediate help, this is a plumbing emergency! A plumber should be called right away before your pipes start to backup. On the other hand, if you answered no, then here are some steps that can help you unclog your sink. Most people own some kind of plunger. Begin by heating up a large pot of water to a boil. Next pour the boiling water into the sink. As the sink starts to fill with water you may begin to plunge the sink or let the hot water make its way down the drain. Boiling water is used as a natural and effective way to unclog sinks and toilets when their drainage pipes have accumulated matter. If you decide to plunge make sure you repeat the process a couple times. The trial is successful, immediately after the water begins to pour down the sink. Turn on the sink faucet and leave it running to make sure nothing is interrupting the water flow. Another option is going under the sink unscrewing the pipe that connects the sink to the drain and cleaning it out. When the pipe is clean of remnants reattach it to the sink and drain, and perform a water flow test. If both attempts failed, a cable snake will be required.
Cable snakes are drain cleaning tools averaging at around $80-$250, these snakes can be purchased at a local hardware store. If you would rather have a professional unclog a sink they will go through the trouble themselves to find the source of the clog. Plumbers may be your safest alternative as they arrive with the proper tools and avoid you from leaving your home to go out and purchase tools and products that may not be effective for your situation. If in any case you do purchase a cable snake to unclog a sink, cut the main water line and remove the pipe connecting the sink to the drain. Next turn on the cable snake and push it through the drain; the item blocking the drain should get trapped around the snake if it is reachable. Lastly, pull the snake out with the clogging item, reconnect the pipes, turn on the main water line, and conduct a water flow test. If at this moment while running a water test it still seems to be clogged the clog is further down the pipe. You will want to refrain from pouring a conventional drain cleaner down the sink if this is your next option. I suggest calling a plumber before you decide to pour drain cleaner down a drain for fast results as over time they are known to damage pipes and emit fumes when in contact with water. Have this be your last attempt, if you are unwilling to hire a professional. However, if the last three previous tasks were unsuccessful, chances are drain cleaning chemicals will not be effective. At this point in time, the best idea is to get a plumber to unclog the sink.
When should you call a plumber for a clogged drain?
Similar to the question above, is the clogged drain a plumbing emergency? A plumbing emergency should be dealt with quickly because it can ruin the infrastructure of the building. All the steps mentioned above can be performed on a clogged drain as well, with a few minor exceptions. Depending on the structure of the home or building, there may or may not be pipes that connect showers and toilets to the drain. Some of those pipes can be located under the building or in the walls making them difficult to remove for cleaning. Before contacting a plumber you may want to purchase and use a snake cable to see if the drain can be unclogged without hiring a specialist. If the blockage is near the entry of the drain pipe, a cable snake is most effective. Again drain cleaners can be poured down your drain in hope of destroying the blockage if it is reachable, however, chances are the drain cleaner will eat away at the pipes when doing so. Nonetheless, if you notice nothing you do is able to unclog the drain a cable drum is required. Cable drums are like cable snakes, except they are larger and longer allowing them to travel deeper down the plumbing system. Some stores carry cable drums, however, the value for cable drums range in the upper hundreds or thousands. Reaching out to a plumber who charges a flat fee for the use of a cable drum is more cost effective as clogs are not a frequent problem in most homes if preventive maintenance is practiced.
To summarize, an emergency clogged drain or sink demands immediate attention; a plumber should be contacted right away if you are unable to unclog a drain on your own. On the contrary, if you are willing to unclog your drain on your own do so with our tips in hopes you are successful.