How to Fix a Stopped up Sink

How to Fix a Stopped-Up Sink: A Step-by-Step Guide

A clogged sink can be a frustrating issue to deal with, especially when it disrupts your daily routine. Instead of immediately calling a plumber, why not try fixing it yourself? With a few simple steps, you can unclog your sink and get the water flowing freely again. In this article, we will guide you through the process of fixing a stopped-up sink, saving you time and money.

Step 1: Assess the Problem
Before diving into any repairs, it’s important to understand the cause of the clog. Is it a complete blockage or a partial one? If water is not draining at all, it’s likely a complete blockage. If it’s draining slowly, the clog might be partial. Identifying the type of clog will help determine the best method to fix it.

Step 2: Gather Tools and Materials
To fix a stopped-up sink, you will need a few basic tools and materials. These include a plunger, a bucket, a pair of gloves, a drain snake or wire hanger, baking soda, vinegar, and hot water.

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Step 3: Plunge the Sink
Start by using a plunger to create a vacuum and dislodge the clog. Ensure there is enough water in the sink to cover the plunger cup. Place the plunger over the drain and vigorously plunge up and down for about a minute. If the clog is loosened, the water should start draining.

Step 4: Remove the P-trap
If plunging doesn’t work, the clog might be located in the P-trap, the curved pipe under the sink. Place a bucket under the P-trap to catch any water that spills out. Loosen the slip nuts on both ends of the P-trap and remove it. Clean out any debris or clogs and reinstall the P-trap.

Step 5: Use a Drain Snake or Wire Hanger
If the clog persists, use a drain snake or straighten a wire hanger to create a makeshift tool. Insert the drain snake or wire hanger into the drain and twist it clockwise to break up the clog. Pull out any debris that comes out with the tool.

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Step 6: Try Natural Remedies
If none of the previous steps work, it’s time to try natural remedies. Mix equal parts baking soda and vinegar and pour it down the drain. Let it sit for about 30 minutes, then flush it with hot water. The chemical reaction between baking soda and vinegar can help dissolve the clog.

Step 7: Seek Professional Help
If all else fails, it’s wise to call a professional plumber. They have the expertise and specialized tools to handle more complex clogs. Sometimes, a clogged sink can be a symptom of a larger plumbing issue that requires professional intervention.


1. Can I use chemical drain cleaners to unclog my sink?
It’s best to avoid chemical drain cleaners as they can damage pipes and are harmful to the environment. Natural remedies are safer and equally effective.

2. How often should I clean my sink to prevent clogs?
Regularly cleaning your sink and using drain strainers can help prevent clogs. Aim to clean it once a week or as needed.

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3. Can a clogged sink cause other plumbing issues?
Yes, a clogged sink can impact the overall plumbing system. It can lead to slow drainage, unpleasant odors, or even pipe bursts if left unattended.

4. What if the clog is in a bathroom sink with an overflow hole?
Cover the overflow hole with a wet cloth while plunging to ensure proper pressure is applied to the clog.

5. How can I prevent grease from clogging my sink?
Avoid pouring grease down the drain. Instead, let it solidify and dispose of it in the trash.

6. Why is my sink still clogged even after trying all these methods?
Persistent clogs may indicate a more severe issue in the plumbing system. It’s best to consult a professional plumber for a thorough inspection.

7. Are there any long-term solutions to prevent sink clogs?
Regular maintenance, such as using drain strainers, avoiding pouring food scraps down the drain, and periodically cleaning the pipes, can help prevent sink clogs in the long run.

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