When bathroom and kitchen sinks fall into disrepair, it becomes necessary to unclog it or even replace it. A sink drain might corrode, rust or become clogged which can lead to leakage of water between the sink pipes. This can eventually damage the rest of the sink and also the flooring beneath the sink. As repair costs are considerable, you can try repairing it at home. For repairing sink drain, the services of a plumber is not required, provided that the problem is a minor one.
How to Repair a Sink Drain
A sink drain might get clogged due to gradual build up of dirt and food particles. Clogging might also be due to wedging of a foreign object in the pipe of the sink. Whatever the cause maybe, it is necessary to clear the buildup of dirt or remove the foreign object so that the water can flow through the sink. In a bathroom sink, clogging is mainly due to an accumulation of soap, hair and dirt. The first thing that you can do to unclog the sink is to use a plunger. Place the plunger cap vertically over the sink drain and pour water into the basin until it covers the cap. Make sure that the plunger's suction cup is large enough to cover the opening of the drain. Now apply petroleum jelly on the rim of the plunger cup so that it is tightly sealed. Push the plunger up and down the sink drain ten to twelve times. On the final thrust, pull the plunger out with a rapid upward movement which will allow the water to drain out, thereby unclogging the drain.
If repair is unsuccessful by this method, you can purchase chemical drainage powder or fluid from a hardware store. Just sprinkle the powder inside the sink drain and pour a cup of very hot water and leave it undisturbed overnight.
If you still unable to unclog the sink drain with the chemical drain cleaner as well as the suction cup, place a bucket underneath the sink trap and remove the cleanout plug along with the washer. If the drain is clogged in this U shaped portion of the pipe, a few sharp probes with a screwdriver may solve the problem. If the screwdriver doesn't open it, use a drain auger through the pipe. Remove all filters and washers and guide the drain auger through the drain opening. Now rotate the drain auger around bends in the piping as you feed it in a short distance. If you get stuck, remove the drain auger completely and then rotate it again. Run scalding hot water through the pipe to wash away any accumulation.
Sometimes unclogging the sink drain by cleaning the residue from a drain is not sufficient for sink drain repair. If you have tried chemical drain solutions and cleaning by a drain auger to dislodge dirt from the drain, but were not successful, you should consider replacing the sink drain altogether. This will entail replacing the piping beneath the sink drain, such as the s-bend or the u-bend.
Before you attempt to do this project, and begin working on the pipes, you will need to place a bucket under the piping to catch any excess fluid that will flow out from the pipe after the bend has been removed. To replace the S-bend, remove the screws and nuts that hold the two pieces of the pipe together with the help of a common household wrench and screwdriver. After they are loosened, you can remove the screws and the drain pipes. Replace the damaged drain pipes with new ones from the hardware store making sure that you purchase identical ones.
If you follow these instructions thoroughly, you will be able to unclog a bathroom or kitchen sink. Be careful while handling chemical cleaners as they give off toxic fumes and will cause inflammation if you accidentally spill it on your hands.