Wondering why your sink is blocked? If you can’t see the blockage, it may be difficult to figure out how to get it draining again. Here are four common causes of sink blockage and how to recognize them. Remember, even for minor clogs, always call in a professional when basic unclogging techniques fail on the first try.
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Hair doesn’t degrade easily and can clog in the bends of your sink pipes. Hair can bind with grease and soap to form an even larger clog. Investing in a hair-catcher for all your drains is a must, and that includes a catcher for the sink in your kitchen. Maybe that’s cringe-worthy, but hair falls out constantly and builds up over time, especially if you have longer or thicker hair. So even a few minutes over the sink can cause sink blockage.
Getting a professional to clear the drain is usually necessary if you suspect hair is the culprit, especially if the clog is beyond the reach of most home unclogging equipment. Commercial chemical blockage breakers also don’t break down hair as easily as other organic matter.
- Liquid Soap
It seems like it would actually help clean the pipes, but excess soap actually binds with other debris and the grease hardens, creating a hard clog. For hand-washing, consider switching to bar soap, which suds up before going down the drain, making it less likely to clog. Be sure to not let small slivers of the bar soap get down the drain, however. Be vigilant about not letting soap fall directly into the sink. You may even want to consider a foaming soap since it uses less product to get hands and dishes clean. Once a drain is clogged, it can be difficult to get the soap buildup out.
- Food Scraps
Food scraps are another common culprit for sink blockages. Something that makes these blockages even more of a nuisance is that they may not stop at your kitchen sink. The scraps can travel to where your pipes converge, which may affect other sinks. So when you think your blockage is in your bathroom sink, it may have originated from your kitchen.
Many people think because food is natural that it will easily degrade in the sink pipes. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Scrape as much food from dishes as possible before washing to minimize the number of food remnants that get into the sink. After that, be sure to use a strainer to keep particles from going down the drain — even if you have a garbage disposal. Food-related blockages also include blockages caused by coffee grounds, which a lot of people mistakenly throw down the drain as well.
Leaks can cause your sink to drain slower, giving the appearance of a blockage. You may need a professional to determine whether you have a leak and repair it. Leaks can be caused by a number of factors, and unless you know your way around your plumbing, it’s best left to the professionals.
Sink blockages are one of the most annoying aspects of a home, due to the guesswork it takes to figure out how to get rid of them. If home remedies and store-bought solutions don’t help you remove the blockage, it’s recommended you hire a professional before the problem gets worse.