Unclogging a Bathroom Sink Using a Wet/Dry Vacuum

Written by Doris Donnerman (last updated November 26, 2018)

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A bathroom sink can be a tad more difficult to unclog than a kitchen sink. The reason for this is that the layout is a little different from that of your kitchen sink, not to mention the layout of the bathroom itself is different from that of a kitchen.

Set up your wet/dry vacuum in the bathroom if you can. If you cannot, then set it up as close as you possibly can. Be sure that you have set up the vacuum as directed by the instructions that came with the vacuum or as told by the rental agent. You want to make sure, whenever you use any type of power tool that you follow all the instructions. This is for your safety, as well as ensuring that you do not damage the tool so that you can get your deposit back. Also, ensure that you have some old towels or sheets that you can use for cleanup if you need them. It may be a good idea to lay some sheets or drop cloths under the vacuum to catch any blowback if it happens.

Before actually trying to unclog the bathroom sink, you'll need to make sure that you remove the drain stopper from the sink. Different types of sinks have different types of drain stoppers. Some of them lift right out while others may need to be unscrewed. Examine your sink and figure out how to remove the stopper. If you don't, you won't be able to unclog the drain as easily.

You'll also want to see if your bathroom sink has an overflow outlet. Usually this type of outlet is near the front of the sink and is used as a "spillway" in case you try to overfill the sink. This overflow goes directly to the drain, so you are going to need to block it in some way. Try using some duct tape to cover the overflow. You can apply a couple of pieces, as long as the sink to which you are applying the tape is clean and dry.

You are now ready to unclog the sink:

  1. Hook the hose of the vacuum into the "blow" or "exhaust" position and stick the hose into the drain, forming as tight of a seal as you can. You are going to use the positive air pressure from the vacuum in an attempt to break up the clog in the drain. You are going to initially hear a high-pitched hum or whine from the vacuum as the air pressure is generated to break up the clog. When the blockage has been broken up, you are going to hear a distinct change in the sound generated by the vacuum's motor.
  2. There may be blowback from the air pressure, which can lead to a mess, so be prepared to clean up any dirt and gunk with old towels.
  3. If there doesn't seem to be any change in the drain's water flow, then you are going to want to switch the air hose to the suck position. By switching the position of the hose back and forth several times, you simulate the action of a plunger, but with greater force.
  4. Another benefit from using the suck position is that all of the mess gets sucked up into the holding canister of the vacuum. This leads to less mess and a much easier clean up, as long as you do not spill the canister.

When the drain is unclogged, remove any tape you placed on the overflow and replace your sink stopper. Your bathroom sink should now drain as good as new.

Author Bio

Doris Donnerman

Doris is a jack of all trades, writing on a variety of topics. Her articles have helped enlighten and entertain thousands over the years. ...

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What is two minus 1?

2015-09-23 14:45:31

Darcetha

Wow! Thanks for the great tip! I'll try this next time my sink get clogged.