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Why Your Bathroom Sink Clogs & How to Unclog It Perfectly

Bathroom Sink Clogged
Written by Callum Strempel

Did you observe some unpleasant order that oozes out from your sink as you step into the bathroom? Or a trace of warning signs from a slow draining sink with water that forms pools around your feet in the shower sink? If you haven’t encountered these occurrences yet, and you are probably unaware of these signs get ready, you will soon enough.

The unpleasant order and the overnight pool in your bathroom are signs that you have a clogged drain bathroom despite having a quality bathroom sink faucet at your service. And sooner or later –you will have a drain that is completely blocked. As the old adage goes, “A stitch in time will save nine.” Giving immediate attention to this will be the best option, or you stay with a burst pipe and a useless bathroom.  So the question is: Why is your Bathroom Sink clogging?  And how can you Unclog Bathroom Sink?

Four Reasons Your Bathroom Sink is Clogging

Aside from water and soap that goes down your bathroom sink, there are additional droppings from our body that could lead to a clogged bathroom sink, these are:

1. Hair

Dropping of hair are one of the most common reasons why you have bathroom sink clog; hair when wet clumps together, and form a lump that could stick up to the walls of your pipes.  The cluster gets stronger when water in the drain exert more pressure on the pipes, and as a result, wet hair in the drain attract more wet hair, until a gross clump is formed and produce more resistance to the water that is flowing inside the pipe. This clump attracts anything else that heads down the drain; increase it resistivity of water flow.

There are some with the belief that only specific types of hair lead to pipe clogs, but this is far from the truth. Fur from pets and facial hair will clog your drain as any other type of hair will. Irrespective of the hair texture, they get sticky on the walls of the pipes as they get down the pipe. One of the quick and cost-effective ways of preventing hair from clogging your drain is by installing a drain straining device.

2. Something in P-trap

The P-trap is the part of the sink with an “L” shape located below the sink. The P-trap primary connects your sink’s drain to a bigger drain pipe directly leads to wastewater to the sewer. The “L” shape design is meant to prevent the foul and toxic smell from oozing out the drain. The “L” bend in the P-trap is designed to store water, that aid to create suction required to clear the drain. The problem with the P-trap is that it often attracts particles that meant to flow down the drain.

Smaller items like rings, chunks of soap, grease, and even earrings can gradually form clogs in the P-trap. If your P-trap produces an unusual stuttering noise when you flush water down the drain, this is probably a sign that your P-trap is clogged.   Most P-taps under the sink can be removed manually; use an old toothbrush or improvise a similar tool to solve out the problem effectively. While taking the P-trap off it advisable, you watch out for old stored water.

3. Soap Scum

Soap scum occurs whenever there is a reaction between magnesium and calcium ions, which are essential elements that are present in water. Soap scum is a filmy, chalky substance that attaches itself to walls of pipes and gradually accumulate with time.

This chalky substance attaches itself to the walls of the pipe and attracts other falling substances that go down the drain; as a result, its create a clog within a short frame of time, similar to that of fur and hair.  Clogs that are formed by soap scum are pretty sticky and very frustrating. It is often demanding to pry the scum away from the pipe without the use of a professional tool.

Although soap scum clog rarely occurs but can still occur when you use water softeners on a regular basis. Soap Scum is formed when you have a huge amount of water going through your drain, some of this can stick to the walls of your pipe and build up particles that may lead to the formation of a heavier chuck.  This formation could also lead to rust or corrosion clogs with the walls of your pipes.

4. Damaged pipes

When you have a pipe that is corroded, the presence of rust in the pipe can build up within the walls of the pipe and resist water flow. A dented pipe will block off water flow once it has a significant amount of damages. Wears can occur on pipes and also lead to sag and blockage on water flow.  If pipes are not firmly fixed, they could get disconnected over time.

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Unclogging Bathroom Sink: The Easy Ways

1. Wire Hanger

We suggest using a wire hanger: as it is easily accessible within the comfort of your home.  Using a bent a wire hanger might sound simple but serve as an effective way of unclogging unwanted clog that blocks your pipe. You can easily fish out blockage that is clogged on the P-trap using a hook shape that is located at the end of the hanger.

Doing this can help you eliminate some hair, gunk, and other nasty stuff that are clog beneath your drain. Once you are done removing the debris, then its best to wrap the entire process up with the addition of hot water; this will aid clear up the path.

2. Vinegar and Baking Soda

Mix vinegar and a baking soda in equal proportion; the mixture will create a fizz, once this is observed, its time to empty it down your drain as soon as possible. This mixture will react and dissolve blockages that are formed from grime, hair, and gunk. Allow the mixture to settle for twenty-four hours before using it with hot water. You could introduce vinegar first and second it with some amount of baking soda.

3. Wet and Dry Vacuum

The use of a wet and dry vacuum is another effective way to unclog the bathroom sink. You can start by ensuring that it is set to liquid while you cover up it vent to present further mess from occurring.  Use a tight seal to cover the drain; doing this will help the vacuum to apply maximum sucking action on the drain. While carrying out this; its best to turn the highest setting of the vacuum, this will entirely remove the nasty stuff that has caused the blockage of your pipe.

4. Boiling Water

As simple as this may sound, using boiling water can most times perform the magic you need. You may ask, “why will this work?”  Ninety-five percent of a clogged bathroom sink result from grime, hair, and soap scum. Here is the good news; boiled water can penetrate and dissolve all of this clog to resort your drain with a perfect flow. The trick is pretty simple; pour the boiled water in different phases, ensure this is done within the break of seconds. Doing this will allow the boiled water to penetrate through all the blockage.

5. Sodium Hydroxide

This is also called caustic soda while working with this; it best to be cautious as it appears to be corrosive and can burn the skin when it comes in contact with it. We suggest using a rubber glove with a suitable eye goggle to protect your eye.  When using this, you will need cold water instead of hot water. Add cold water to the caustic soda and mix it using a wooden spoon, until both compounds are firmly mixed together. This mixture will create a fizz that is similar to that of a baking soda, but more exothermic in nature. Allowing the mixture of sodium hydroxide in close contact with clog for 45 minutes will lead to the dissolution of the clog. After 45 minutes you can flush it out with boiled water. Do this repeatedly until you have a normal flow.

6. Pipe Cleaning

This process involves detaching the sink trap located beneath. Use an empty buck to trap the remaining water in the pipe. Afterward, lose the slip nuts that are positioned on at the end of the this will help wiggle out the trap. Turn the pipe over the bucket while doing this, you could use a toothbrush you no longer need to remove all the debris that trapped inside the walls of the pipe. After this, rinse the pipe thoroughly before you reinstall it. While doing this, clean the sink carefully and ensure you test the leaks to be certain you reinstalled the pipe properly.

There is no ultimate remedy to pipe damage, as they tend to get old with time, and once it is old enough, it starts to form rust which will ultimately lead to break down. When this occurs, the best-suggested solution is a new replacement. But if you are certain about the state of your pipe; that they aren’t old, then it’s best to find out why you experience certain problems. This may result that the pipes are not securely fastened, or are position in the direction where they can easily get damaged.

Regardless of the simplicity of its task, clog in our bathroom sink can be formed from diverse reasons. The good news is; whatever that might have led to your clog, you can profile a lasting solution to it or hire the attention of a professional to effect the change that is needed.

About the author

Callum Strempel

Licensed Plumber

Hi, I’m Callum, a full time plumber with a plumbing license issued by my state. So far, I’ve spent nearly a decade and a half installing and fixing a wide variety of plumbing components and units. My profession inspires me to talk about the kitchen and bathroom (and the plumbing system) so confidently and knowledgeably that I offer my free consultations to help neighbors and fellow homeowners every now and then. As I enjoy installing faucets, sinks, showers, and fixtures, I love to see people enjoying services from those components for years to come. So, I write every week to inform you and others. Will you mind going through some of my articles on this website?

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