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Water coming up through the sink is never fun or pleasant, but clogged drains and water backed up in the sink is the most common plumbing problem that most people face. It’s usually nothing major, but it’s helpful to know what might be causing the drain to clog and how to fix a clogged sink.

Common Causes

A red flag that your sink may be getting clogged is when the water drains very slowly. There are a number of reasons that might cause the water in the sink to back up. Below are some of the common causes of water coming up through the sink. Once you have a handle on the causes you can begin to go about fixing a clogged sink.

  • Food – Food is, by far, one of the most common causes of clogged drains. Many people dump leftover pieces of food, peels, egg shells, and other food particles down the drain. Even if you have a garbage disposal, these things can still build up and clog the drain over time.
  • Grease and Oil – Some people pour leftover grease and oil down the sink. These things can solidify as they get cold and over time, which then leaves build up with other things blocking the plumbing and causing the sink to back up.
  • Hair – More common in the bathroom sink, hair can cause a lot of problems when it comes to backing up the sink.
  • Roots – Roots tend to be a bigger issue with clogging the toilet and bathtub plumbing since those pipes tend to go right into the ground, but roots can grow into the plumbing and cause blockages typically closer to where the plumbing hits the ground).
  • Soap Scum and Other Bathroom Products – Have you ever seen that hard white gunk that ends up on the sides of the faucets and in and around the shower door and drain? That’s soap scum and it can also build up in the sink and bathtub. Additionally, other bathroom products such as toothpaste, hair products, and even floss can end up down the sink and wreak havoc on proper drainage.
Fixing a Clogged Sink

There’s really only a few things that you can do on your own to unclog a backed-up sink before having to call a professional for help. Here are just a few things you can to fix a clogged sink.

Warm Water & Vinegar
Before trying some of the methods, try putting a mixture of warm water and vinegar down the drain to see if that helps clean up and clear the plumbing. There are some liquid chemical drain cleaners, but these be ineffective and then expose yourself (or a plumber) to the chemicals.

Use a Plunger
The sink should be filled up part way with some water before placing a plunger over the opening of the drain. Similar to plunging a toilet, you will want to thrust the center of the plunger. This pushes a pocket of air from the plunger down into the drain, hopefully pushing any particles that may be blocking the drain down and through, clearing the pathway for the water to drain freely.

Try a Snake
A drain snake, also known as an auger, is helpful for placing a long wire down the drain and pushing through anything that may be blocking the sink. Sometimes it can even pull back up things, such as hair or other things blocking the plumbing. There are a variety of snakes that you can get to use to fix a common clogged sink. They are typically sold at a home improvement store, near the plungers!

Call a Professional
When the above methods fail, it’s time to call in the professionals. Plumbers are experienced with even the most complicated of clogged drains and can ensure proper removal of whatever is clogging the sink!

It is also important to note here that, for your safety, never try placing your fingers or hand down the sink to pull anything out, especially if there’s a garbage disposal. If you aren’t sure if there’s a garbage disposal, don’t take your chances! These result in some of the most horrific accidents!

How to Prevent a Clogged Sink

One of the best things you can do following a clogged sink is to try and prevent it from happening in the first place. Whether you have had a sink that’s backed up or not, knowing some of these good habits for preventing plumbing problems in the first place can help you save a lot of time, money and headaches down the road!

  • Scrape any leftovers and place peels and other items in the trash instead of down the kitchen sink.
  • Put strainers in the opening of the sink drain to prevent larger particles from going down the drain and clogging the plumbing.
  • Never put leftover grease or oil down the drain. Not only does this risk potential plumbing issues, but keep in mind where your waste may end up!
  • When showering or doing your hair in the bathroom, avoid large clumps of hair from going down the drain (again, a strainer can help to catch a lot of hair).
Contact Us

If you are located in and around the Los Angeles area and need a professional to help you unclog the sink or for any other plumbing needs, contact New Generation Plumbing today at 323-274-4863. The experienced professionals at New Generation Plumbing will help ensure that your clogged sink is up and running right away and a thing of the past!