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Why Does My Sink Keep Getting Blocked?

Constantly dealing with a clogged kitchen or bathroom sink? Find out the common causes and fixes for sink blockages in this guide. Learn why your sink drain keeps getting blocked and how to unblock it for good. Discover the do’s and don'ts of your sink drain system and tips to prevent future clogs from hair, grease, soap scum and more.

Plunger Sink

It’s one of the most frustrating household headaches - you’re peacefully washing dishes or brushing your teeth when suddenly the water backs up and your sink becomes clogged. A blocked kitchen or bathroom sink can quickly disrupt your routine and leave you wondering about what’s causing the backup.

If you find yourself frequently dealing with slow-draining or fully-clogged sink drains, you’re not alone. Many homeowners struggle to keep their sinks free-flowing and functioning properly over time. The good news is that fixing a stubborn sink blockage is often easier than you think.

This guide will cover the most common culprits of sink clogs and blockages. You’ll learn what causes grease, hair, and other debris to accumulate and create drain bottlenecks.

We’ll also explore simple solutions for clearing a clogged sink on your own and tips for preventing future problems. Read on to unlock the secrets to a blockage-free sink and restore free-flowing drains in your kitchen and bathrooms.

Why Does My Sink Keep Blocking?

There are a few common reasons bathroom and kitchen sinks get clogged repeatedly. Build-up of hair, soap scum, and food debris (even if you have a garbage disposal) is a major culprit, as these materials can get tangled and stuck in pipes over time. Keeping food scraps out of your pipes is the best way to stop kitchen drain blockages before they happen.

Prevent Blocked Drains

Pouring fats, oils, and grease down the drain also leads to thick blockages as they cool and congeal. Old pipes that have accumulated mineral deposits or become corroded can impede drainage systems and cause backups.

Using chemical drain cleaners too frequently can damage pipes and lead to obstructions. Finally, roots or tree debris entering exterior vent pipes can cause recurrent clogs. Proper use and regular maintenance are key to preventing recurring sink blockages.

Clearing a Blocked Sink Drain

When faced with a stubbornly clogged sink, you can try several DIY methods before calling a professional plumber. Simple tools like plungers, baking soda, vinegar, and wire snakes can often break up blockages and keep your drains flowing freely.

Using a Plunger

Plunging is often the first line of defence against sink clogs. Fill the sink halfway with water, seal off the overflow hole with a wet rag, then vigorously plunge up and down over the drain opening. The suction can help dislodge the drain blockage. Repeat several times for the best effect. Plunging can clear out the worst of a FOG clog, but it usually can’t blast the residue from the pipe walls.

Baking Soda and Vinegar

For organic clogs like fat oils, hair, grease, and food, boiling water and baking soda can help break things down. Pour 1/2 cup baking soda down the drain, followed by 1/2 cup white vinegar. Cover the drain and let the fizzing reaction work for 10-15 minutes. Then flush with boiling water.

Unblock Drain

Unclogging with a Wire Snake

For deeper clogs, a wire snake or auger can reach down into the pipes and hook debris to pull it out. Slowly turn the handle as you feed the snake down the drain. Once you feel resistance, twist and work the clog-free. Rinse with hot water.

Removing the P-Trap

If other methods fail, unscrew and remove the curved p-trap section under the sink to manually inspect and clean the drain. Place a bucket beneath to catch water, unscrew the trap, clean it out, and then reattach.

Preventing Future Sink Clogs

Once you’ve cleared blocked drains, it’s equally important to take steps to prevent future blockages. With some simple habits and sink maintenance, you can keep your drains free-flowing and eliminate recurring clog headaches.

Use a Drain Catcher

Fitting sink strainers or drain catchers over your drains prevents food scraps and hair from going down the clogged pipes. Empty and clean them regularly to keep debris from building up. Mesh styles are best for catching small particles.

Avoid Pouring Grease Down the Drain

Let cooked oils and grease cool and solidify, then dispose of it in the trash. Scrape plates and cookware before washing to remove fats and oils that can stick to pipes.

Clear Blocked Drains

Regularly Flush with Hot Water

Run very hot water down your sink for 1-2 minutes at least once a month. The heat helps dissolve grease and hair buildup. For really stubborn buildup, boil water on the stove and carefully pour it down. Remember to never pour boiling water into PVC pipes, which can damage them. Also, some dish soap can help lubricate the clog and break it apart. We recommend pouring a generous squirt of dish soap down the drain and following it up with hot water.

Use Natural Drain Cleaners

Avoid commercial drain cleaners, which can damage pipes. Instead, use a periodic mixture of vinegar and baking soda to deodorise and break up gunk.

Know What Not to Put Down the Drain

Coffee grounds, eggshells, pasta, rice, and vegetables can accumulate over time. Dispose of food waste in the trash instead of the drain pipe.

Keep Your Drains Free-Flowing

Clogged and slow-draining sinks can be something other than a pesky fixture in your home. You can often troubleshoot and remedy blocked drain on your own without calling professional plumbers. You can keep your bathroom and kitchen sinks free-flowing by understanding what causes sink clogs and learning DIY unclogging techniques. Implementing preventative habits like using drain catchers and avoiding grease buildup will also minimise blockages going forward.

However, if you have a serious sink clog or drain plumbing issue that persistently reappears, it may be time to contact the professionals. The plumbing experts at Fixed Today have seen it all when it comes to sink blockages and can inspect your drains to find solutions. Don’t tolerate a chronically stubborn clogged sink - call Fixed Today to schedule an appointment and get your home’s sinks and drains working optimally again.

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