Written by Dale Richardson - Updated: June 23, 2023
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Enough is enough! Find out how you can fix a kitchen sink that clogs the whole time.
When a kitchen sink keeps getting clogged, there are two main reasons. A stubborn blockage keeps returning or the plumbing was incorrectly installed. You can fix this by changing your disposal habits in the kitchen, removing the blockage or by correcting the faulty plumbing design.
You don’t have to tolerate this annoying problem. Discover why clogging happens and how to banish it from your kitchen sink forever.
Read Next: How to fix your gurgling kitchen sink .
When a kitchen sink drains slowly or the water stays in the sink, those are clear signs that the pipes in your kitchen are experiencing a blockage. An enthusiastic attempt with the plunger might solve the issue - and if you are lucky, the problem will stay gone.
Unfortunately, many homeowners sit with a kitchen sink that drains, clogs, drains, backs up, drains, clogs - you get the idea. When plunging fails to help, then two things are likely behind the sink’s habit of clogging.
Most of us are guilty of flushing bits and bobs down the kitchen sink. That oily pan’s grease swirls down the drain. We flush our coffee cups and don’t worry about the coffee grains that disappear into the drain. Vegetables go down the garbage disposal. The truth is that all of these things are major pipe blockers.
Sometimes, even with the best kitchen disposal habits, a sink still clogs every day. If your sink has been newly installed or you just moved into a new place, this points to faulty installation. Plumbing is designed to allow water, air, and gases to flow freely out of the home and towards the sewer or an outside vent. The faulty installation makes this difficult or impossible, leading to kitchen sinks that cannot drain properly.
It does not matter if you clean your kitchen drain on a regular basis. If a family keeps throwing the wrong stuff down the sink, it will keep getting clogged. Luckily, there is no mystery about what foodstuffs cause the most trouble. Here are the main dangers.
Fat, grease, and oil are particularly bad for your drain. While most other foodstuffs completely flush out of the system or form a single blockage, oil and grease do something far worse. Firstly, they are gummy enough to cause a serious block in the drain. A plunger might remove enough pieces to return some degree of drainage. But there are several reasons why plunging is not your secret weapon against fats and grease.
Plunging cannot remove all of the greases that sticks to the sides of the pipe. Each time you throw oil down the drain, a new layer sticks to the old congealed sides and harden it even more. While plunging can dislodge a chunk, it can never clean this layer-upon-layer accumulation that is narrowing the inside of the pipe like a fatty artery.
A good rule is never to put foodstuff down your kitchen sink. It seems like common sense when you have a normal sink but most people do not realize that even a sink with a food disposal system cannot handle certain things. Some of the worst culprits are:
Here are great tips to keep your garbage disposal clean .
Organic matter can turn into slimy and sticky gunk that cause obstructions and make other things stick to it - which just makes the blockage grow even more. But rice and vegetables are particularly bad for normal drains and disposal systems. How so? Well, once they go down the drain, the environment is a watery one. Things like rice, potatoes, beans, and some fruits swell and turn into a goop that sticks to the interior of the pipes.
How Coffee Grounds Can Clog Your Kitchen Sink
A scoop of coffee might make your day but it’s one of the worst offenders when it comes to a kitchen sink that refuses to stay unclogged. Looking at coffee grounds, one can be forgiven for thinking that they can do no harm. They are small and innocent-looking. The truth is that they can worsen an existing blockage or form one on their own - a barrier that is particularly effective at stopping water and airflow.
The good news is that coffee grounds are relatively easy to deal with (once they pack up your drain). You can either remove and clean the p-trap or try the following.
Step 1: If you have one sink, then skip to the next step. But if you have two sinks, seal the unaffected sink first.
Step 2: Place the plunger’s cup over the affected sink’s drain hole. Add water to the sink until the cup is covered completely.
Step 3: Plunge up and down. Be careful to go straight up and down and not at an angle. Pump for about a minute. The water should drain smoothly afterwards.
Most clogged kitchen sinks can trace their problems back to food disposal. This is particularly true if your sink worked well for a long time and only started clogging in the last few weeks or months. However, when things go wrong right after you move into a new house or you have a new plumbing system installed under your sink or kitchen, then faulty installation is mostly the cause.
The fastest way to remedy the situation is to get a plumber with good references. He will diagnose where the previous plumber made a mistake and correct the problem. There is no real way around it. Most food-related blocks can be solved by the homeowner. But if faulty installation keeps clogging your kitchen sink, the plumbing needs to be redone by a trusted professional.
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