Unclogging a Kitchen Sink Using a Drain Snake
Before starting any type of home plumbing task, you need to make sure that you have the tools necessary to accomplish the job. There are only four things that you will need in order to properly accomplish this job, and those four things are a bucket, a pair of adjustable pliers, a drain auger (or snake) and an old towel. If you do not already have a snake, you can purchase one at any department or hardware store. The price is going to range between $6.00 and $39.00 depending on brand, type, and which store you purchase it at.
Once you have these four items, you are ready to begin the job.
- When considering whether you want to snake your drain, you need to make sure that you know what kind of pipes your plumbing is made from. Are the pipes metallic or from PVC? This is an important thing to know, since if the pipes are made from PVC you could potentially break them if you are not careful when removing the blockage.
- Look under the sink to see if you can find the water shutoff valve. It is going to look similar to what you use to turn on or off your sprinklers. You want to make sure that you have turned off the water since if you haven't you are going to have a really big mess on your hands.
- After you shut off the water, set your bucket under the bend in the sink's pipe. This bend in the pipe is what is commonly known as the trap. This is the area where the blockage typically forms, since it is designed to keep things from coming back up the drain.
- Use the adjustable pliers to loosen the nuts that are holding the pipe bend in place at both ends. As you are loosening the pipe water and gunk is going to be coming out from the loosened pipe. Don't worry; this is why you have the bucket under the pipe. Simply let everything fall into the bucket, including the pipe bend.
- Take your drain auger and stick it into the end of the drainpipe that goes into the wall. Place the corkscrew end in and turn the handle clockwise as you go. You are going to keep feeding the snake into the wall until you have reached the blockage. Gently but firmly push the snake through the blockage. Once you have pushed through the blockage, reverse the snake and it should pull some of the blockage back out of the pipe. Let the clog drop into your bucket. This is going be messy, so this is why you have that towel. Be ready to clean up the mess by using the towel to wipe off the snake as you bring it back out of the drainpipe.
- If there was no blockage in the wall, check the pipe bend that you previously removed. You can clear this out by simply pushing the end of the snake through the trap or by using at table knife to dislodge any blockage.
- Replace the trap and tighten the nuts that hold the trap in place. Do not over-tighten them, but make sure they are snug enough that there will be no leakage around the connection.
- Turn your water back on and run some water through the drain. If you successfully removed the clog in the drain, the water should empty normally. If you successfully tightened the nuts around the trap, you should not have any leakage around the trap.
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