How to Clean Your Sink Drain Yourself: Part 2

If you sat through Part 1 with us, you now have all of your supplies and a loosened drain pipe in your hands. Now comes the fun part: it’s time to clean your sink drain.

Step 3: Remove Its Contents

When your sink drain pipe is loosened, you should be able to wiggle it free. It’s recommended that you keep your bucket directly under it while doing this. As you remove the pipe, some of the gunk blocking it may come free from where the pipe was attached and some water may escape where it was settled. This is why it’s wise to keep a towel under the entire site to avoid dirtying the inside of your cabinet.

With your pipe free, pull your pipe and bucket from under the sink and shake out the contents of the pipe into your bucket. It’s likely that the blockages aren’t very compacted in the pipe, and should come free fairly easily. This blockage is likely made up of mostly hair and whatever bacteria and rot has accumulated on it.

With this piece of your drain pipe emptied of its blockage, you’ll also want to check the parts it was attached to. A look up at the vertical pipe leading down from the drain might reveal some more gunk trapped there. It should be easily removed with your pointy object. We’ll assume you’ve got a cheap pipe cleaner on hand. You can use this to knock any gunk from the vertical pipe into your bucket. 

The horizontal pipe leading into the wall may also have its fair share of waste blocking it. If this blockage goes deeper than a couple inches past the edge of the pipe, you may need to employ a snake to remove it. However, this kind of blockage in a bathroom sink drain is unlikely. You should be able to bend the end of your pipe cleaner into a hook and pull out whatever is trapped there with ease.

Step 4: Clean Your Sink Drain

Next up, if you want a job well done to end in your drain feeling like new (and smelling like new too), it’s time to clean your sink drain. Set your bucket aside and use your rag to clean out the removed portion of drain pipe. You can simply push the rag through, pulling it out the other side to remove anything coating the pipe, or you can go all out and use soap and water. Whatever degree of cleaning satisfies you will do. 

Step 5: Return the Pipe

Finally, wiggle that piece of pipe back to where it sat before and start tightening those coupling nuts back on. You may need to finagle it a bit to get it in the right place. If you’re struggling to keep the threads aligned, try turning the nuts counterclockwise until they settle into the right spot, then tighten them into place.

When you’ve got the coupling nuts back in place, go ahead and turn on your faucet. Let it run for a minute and watch to make sure there’s no leaking before calling it a day.

If your sink drain didn’t have almost any blockage at all, or continues to struggle with draining after you clean your sink drain, the problem is likely further down. Give us a call today and we’ll be happy to get your sink back in working order.

How to Clean Your Sink Drain Yourself: Part 1

Tired of your sink not draining properly? Cleaning your sink drain is one piece of plumbing that is fairly good for beginners and easy to DIY. Not to mention, if you’re satisfied by the removal of gross things, it can be quite fun too. POM Plumbing is here for you, no matter how hard the plumbing project. But, we also love to see our Toronto neighbors expanding their knowledge of plumbing and getting into the thick of things themselves, when it’s safe to do so. So, we’ve put together a little guide to make it easy to clean your sink drain yourself.

Things You’ll Need

To begin, make sure you have everything you need. Here’s what we recommend:

  • A bucket. Don’t get a nice mixing bowl; this is going to get gross. You can also opt for a small, lined trash can.
  • A monkey wrench, if your drain pipe is attached with metal parts and is tightly secured.
  • Something long, like a pencil or a cheap pipe cleaner, that you won’t mind getting dirty or throwing out.
  • A rag or cloth, if you want to get things clean like new.
  • Rubber gloves, if you’re squeamish about touching gross things.

Step 1: Prepare

This may seem obvious, but make sure you keep your sink turned off. It’s easy to forget while in the middle of things and go to rinse something off your hands. After all, the sink is right there. If you’re the kind of person who might forget, mid-project, put some tape on the handles. The last thing you want is to flood the storage under your sink.

Next, remove anything stored under the sink. Some things may be pushed aside but, if you want to ensure nothing gets wet or covered in sink sludge, it’s best to remove it. You’ve got a whole bathroom floor at your disposal.

Finally, lay down a rag or hand towel that you don’t mind getting dirty beneath your drain pipe.

Step 2: Loosen Your Drain Pipe

Next up, it’s time to loosen that drain pipe. To clean your sink drain primarily means removing the drain pipe temporarily and removing all of the junk blocking it. There are chemical drain cleaners for this, but they damage your pipes and are bad for the environment. It’s best to simply empty the pipe yourself.

Your pipe should have two obvious rings around it. These are often plastic, with some ridges on the outside. As you can see, your pipe should dip down and then curve back up. These rings, called coupling nuts, should be placed, one above, and one after this dip. The piece of pipe between them is removable and these are what hold that piece in place.

Simply twist these coupling nuts counterclockwise to loosen them. If the coupling nuts on your sink are made of metal, they may be more tightly secured and may require a wrench to unscrew them.

Next Up: Clean Your Sink Drain

Ready for the really fun part of cleaning your sink drain? Continue on to Part 2 to get to the nitty gritty with us.