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How to Clean Your Sink Drain Yourself

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.

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