Kitchen Sink Clog: The Most Common Plumbing Problem
Plumbers get more calls about a kitchen sink clog than anything else. Sometimes clogs come from regular usage, but many are preventable. Here are some tips to prevent a clogged kitchen drain.
Preventing a Kitchen Drain Clog
Where Do Kitchen Sink Clogs Come From?
The kitchen sink is the most used sink in the house, and it is the one that gets clogged most frequently. Kitchen sink stoppages are usually caused by liquid fats (e.g. oils or meat fats) that congeal somewhere in your pipes. These fats dissolve in warm dishwater and flow down the drain through your pipes. As the fats cool, they become more solid and begin to accumulate on the walls of your pipes. Solid food matter like coffee grounds and other particulates get caught in the cool sticky fat and accumulate to cause a stoppage.
How to Prevent a Kitchen Sink Clog
The easiest way to prevent kitchen sink clogs is to get in the habit of pouring liquid fats into the garbage instead of the sink. If you’re concerned that fats might drip into the garbage, then put them in a ziploc bag or a tin can before putting in the garbage.
If you have a “garbage disposal” or “food disposer”, make sure to use plenty of cold water to flush masticated material thoroughly through your pipes. Using more water will help food material dissolved in the waste water to get out of your home plumbing system before it cools and can congeal in the pipes of your home.
What to do When Your Kitchen Sink is Clogged
A “plumber’s friend” (aka a plunger) can unclog your sink similar to the way that a plunger unclogs a clogged toilet. I know, I shouldn’t have to say it, but DON’T USE THE SAME PLUNGER. Don’t say you weren’t warned.
If you have a double sink in your kitchen, seal the second (unclogged) drain to prevent the water from splashing out. Simply putting the plunger over the drain and plunging vigorously several times is often enough to dislodge a simple clog. You can also try adding a mixture of baking soda and vinegar to the drain. This will often push some simple clogs out.
If these things don’t clear your drain, it may be time to call Henry Plumbing.
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- Found Your Kitchen Sink Clogged? Here’s What You Can Do