We may not be aware of it, but our plumbing system can communicate with us. You may be too busy to use your ears, nose and eyes to pay close attention to any changes in your home, which is understandable if you are busy and have a fixed routine where everything needs to be in order. But if you think about it, this is how we become too “comfortable” and start taking our surroundings for granted. Your kitchen sink may have been gurgling for quite some time or your garbage disposal hasn’t been cleaned in over a month. Unlike other parts of the country, Vancouver has fairly soft water which doesn’t easily cause calcium buildup in the pipes, but clogs can still happen if you use your garbage disposal irresponsibly or pour grease oil down the drain.
You may not experience any issues until one late afternoon when you’re about to prepare dinner. Whether you are new to plumbing maintenance or a DIY pro when it comes to keeping your drains clean, plumbing emergencies can still happen and that includes a clogged sink. Vancouver, BC property owners who eagerly empty their sink strainers every day aren’t always aware that certain debris will still seep through and attach to the drain pipe walls.
But don’t we have more things to worry about besides our plumbing system in Vancouver? Clogged sinks could have many causes, from trapped hair to clogged dishwasher hose to tree root intrusion underground or a burst pipe. If, after many attempts of unclogging, you still can’t solve the problem, your local Vancouver plumber from Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Vancouver will be at your service!
What Causes A Clogged Sink?
Vancouver, BC homeowners that have had standing water in their basin that won’t drain know it’s unsightly. If you are one of the lucky ones that have been spared from this issue thus far, we urge you to look at your sink.
Are you using a strainer or are you solely relying on the screwed-in sink stopper to catch clunky food scraps? Adding as much protection as you can for your kitchen drains will go a long way toward preventing clogged sinks. As gravity pulls the water downward, we can’t always guarantee that no food waste or other debris slips through.
Some of the most common causes of clogged sinks in Vancouver include:
- Soap residue
- Solidified grease
- Food particles
- Clogged garburators
While the above may sound minimal, they could cause bigger issues in the future if you don’t have your pipes cleaned frequently. Drain line clogs, however, are not to be underestimated as they can be related to a sewer line clog or damage caused by:
- Tree roots intrusion underground
- Burst pipes
- Cracked or corroded sewer lines
- Issues with your home’s foundation
- Objects or debris stuck inside your sewer system
At Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Vancouver, we value thorough plumbing diagnosis and inspection services that help determine your system’s overall health. Before we map out any repair solutions, this is a crucial step. Who knows? You might need sewer cleaning or simple drain cleaning to get everything back in working order.
7 Steps For Dealing With A Clogged Sink in Vancouver, BC:
Who says that DIY methods are useless? There is nothing more gratifying than self-reliance and learning new ways of fixing things, which includes tackling a clogged sink. Vancouver, BC residents have access to several types of tools and techniques they can attempt to use themselves before calling a professional plumber.
If you’re worried about trying to clear a clog yourself, or if you’re struggling to get it cleared, contact your local Vancouver plumber. We'll inspect your pipes and unblock them quickly and safely!
Preparations are the key to success. Before you begin, equip yourself with these tools and materials:
- Rubber gloves
- Jug and bucket
- Flat-bottom plunger (preferred)
- Drain snake
- Allen wrench
- Needle-nose pliers, channel-lock pliers
- White vinegar
- Baking soda
- Hot water
Step 1: Remove Excess Water
We imagine that your basin is close to overflowing, so we recommend that you put on your rubber gloves and use the jug to remove excess water from the sink. Pour the dirty water down the toilet or the laundry sink, using a strainer to catch any food particles.
Do leave enough water in the sink, allowing your plunger’s lip to be underwater for the next step.
Note: If possible, remove your drain stopper during this step as well.
Step 2: Plunging Time
Before we get to the fun part of tackling a clogged sink, Vancouver, BC residents that have a double sink, you should cover it with a drain cover or some other type of tight seal, even if it’s just a piece of cloth with something heavy on top.
A flat-bottom plunger is everyone’s first go-to option for clogged sinks, Vancouver, BC property owners that have taken all these preparatory steps are in for a successful unclogging session!
- Place the plunger over the drain opening and start to gently plunge a few times and slowly increase the force.
- If existing water has drained, test by running the tap to see if it continues to drain.
- If your Vancouver clogged sink hasn’t cleared, repeat the process a few more times.
Step 3: Pour Down Boiling Water
You should only consider using this technique if your pipe are made of metal (iron, copper, galvanized steel). If your clog is not too severe, you might be able to dislodge the blockage with hot water. But we do not recommend boiling liquid if you have PEX, PVC pipes or seals that could melt and cause a more intensive clog down the line.
This method can be used for bathroom and kitchen drains and requires very few steps. Simply bring your water to a boil and pour it down your drain. Repeat this process two to three times before testing the drain. If you have used hot water and this method has worked correctly, then you should be able to use the drain without any visible water backups occurring.
Step 4: Use Baking Soda and White Vinegar
This is a non-invasive household remedy that we support in terms of cleaning and also dislodging stubborn clogs without reaching for a plunger or drain snake. Simply pour a cup of baking soda down your drain followed by a cup of white vinegar. Together, they work wonders in removing debris, stains and grime from your sink basin. Wait for 15 to 20 minutes for any derbis to loosen fully, then flush your drain with hot water to wash the remaining debris away.
Step 5: Clean the P-Trap
Whether the first steps have helped clear the clogged sink, Vancouver, BC, homeowners are advised to check their p-trap under their sink. It’s a curved section of pipe below your sink that looks like a “U” or the top portion of a “P.” Its primary purpose is to prevent harmful sewer gases from seeping into your Vancouver home, but it also prevents debris and jewellery from falling all the way down the drain. Because of its shape, it’s also a common spot for clogs.
There’s no shortcut to cleaning a P-trap. It must be removed and cleared manually. Follow these steps to ensure you fully clear away all debris:
- Place a bucket below your sink to catch water and debris
- Loosen and remove any screws that may be holding your P-trap in place
- Loosen the connections on either side of that section of pipe.
- Take out your P-trap and check for clogs.
- Clean out your P-trap and rinse it thoroughly.
- Reattach your P-trap and tighten the couplings again.
Step 6: Inspect Your Garburator
Not every Vancouver household has one, but if you do, you will understand that it requires a fair amount of cleaning maintenance, especially if it shares the same drain line as the dishwasher. In simple words, kitchen drains often need more care than anything in our house! One way to avoid clogging your garburator is not to put too many scraps down it at once and never chuck down food waste like bones, eggshells and coffee grounds.
Follow these steps to clear any blockages:
- Turn off the unit and the switch on your circuit breaker.
- Use a flashlight to look down the pipe.
- If food is causing the clog, use a pair of pliers to grab and remove the debris, or use an Allen key to manually turn the blades and push out the debris.
- If a piece of jewellery or other hard debris is caused the clog, it’s best to call a plumber to carefully and safely disassemble the garburator and remove the debris.
- Finish the cleaning process by running hot water through your garburator to fully clear out any debris.
Step 7: Use A Drain Snake (Optional)
A Vancouver clogged sink can be more persistent than we think. Using a drain snake, which is like a smaller version of an auger, is often the best choice for clogged sinks. Most simple drain snakes have a metal cable with a coiled section at the top, or something else designed to grab onto debris.
Using a drain snake is relatively simple. Thread the metal cable down into your clogged sink. Without forcing it, you should be able to go past the curved P-trap. Another option is to remove the P-trap and insert the plumbing snake through the pipe that way. You may need to wiggle the drain snake a little as you try to break through the clog, but try not to scrape the sides of your pipe by using too much force. Once you feel the snake break through, retract the cable to pull out the debris it has grabbed. Be sure to have a garbage bag ready nearby!
Need Tips for Preventing Vancouver Clogged Sinks?
The idea of cleaning anything around your Vancouver home never strikes us as fun, especially if you have us telling you to add additional chores to your maintenance list! But trust us, it doesn’t have to be this way. As long as we all remember to scrub our toilets and know how to use the plunger, life in Vancouver is good! Good cleaning habits are the first step to maintaining a healthy plumbing system.
- Keep sink stopper clean - While the sink strainer serves wonders, cleaning the screwed-in stopper will require a little more effort.
- Scrub your drain - Take a look at your drain opening for any kind of sludge or scale that may be built up there. Create a cleaning mixture by combining hydrogen peroxide with baking soda and use an old toothbrush to remove any of the buit up debris with your cleaning mixture.
- Grind or not to grind - In most cases, it is better to throw food scraps away in the trash or compost them rather than pour them into your garburator.
- No Grease - You should always avoid pouring hot grease down your kitchen drain as it will cool and cause a clog. Pour it into a can and let it solidify overnight before throwing it out.
Have a Clogged Sink? Vancouver, BC Homeowners Can Rely on Mr. Rooter Plumber of Vancouver!
We hope you managed to gain a deeper insight into your drainage pipes and common clogged sink issues. Whether you need professional plumbing repair or simply want to schedule a drain cleaning service for preventative purposes, call our plumbing professionals!
Each of our professional, licensed plumbers has years of experience, in-depth training and access to the best tools for quick and efficient repairs to solve your plumbing problems from clogged drains to water softener installation. In fact, we've helped numerous homeowners across Vancouver, from North Vancouver and beyond. Check out our customer reviews to see how our past customers have felt about our services.
Give us a call at (360) 865-4952 to chat with our friendly customer service reps and let us know how we can enhance your plumbing system to ensure a safer home.