All You Need to Know about Unclogging Your Kitchen Sink

February 27, 2017

Unclogging a Kitchen Sink - 24 Hour Plumber Orange CountyWe’ve all been there; doing one thing or the other when a plumbing disaster strikes. Be it a burst pipe or a clogged toilet, the only thing you want is for it to be fixed, promptly. If this mishap happens during the night, in most cases you’d have to wait until morning, by which time all hell may break loose in your home. That’s why we at Emergency Home Solutions offer the services of a 24 hour plumber in Orange County.

One of the more common plumbing problems is a clogged kitchen sink. Even though it may not always be a problem that requires an emergency plumber, it is still very inconvenient. Luckily, in some milder forms, you may be able to unclog a clogged kitchen sinks yourself.

Why do they happen?

Clogging is common because our pipes have choking points where they are bent. Residues such as hair, bits of food and grease collect there and over time they can clog the system. If you can, do not pour grease or oil into the sink, as this will significantly prolong the lifespan of your pipes.


If at all possible, avoid using solvents and other strong chemicals. Even though they do produce results, they also have the potential to damage your pipes and cause a real plumbing emergency. Rather, try using a simple suction plunger.


Before you can actually start unclogging your kitchen sink, you must clear your workspace. In this case, that means removing all the dishes and the debris you can see. This will help your plunger get a firm footing and a proper vacuum it needs to function. Since this is messy work, you can also try wearing kitchen gloves.

As a side note, if you have two sinks, an overflow or another drain opening in your sink, you need to seal them before you can proceed. Putting a stopper in the sink opening will work best, but if you don’t have one, use a rag or something similar to shut it. This is important since you need to create suction strong enough to break the blockade in the pipes. Once you’ve sealed all other openings, move on to phase two.

Proper use of a plunger

In order to have a proper suction and full vacuum between the plunger and the surface of your sink, there needs to be at least 10cm (4 inches) of water in the sink. Since the sink is clogged, ensuring this shouldn’t be a problem. Alternatively, you can use Vaseline or other petroleum-based gels to create this seal. Once this is done, you are ready to start unclogging. Push the plunger straight downward. If you angle it to a side, you can break the seal, and reduce the effectiveness of your labor.

Several quick up and down pumps should generate enough vacuum to clear the blockage in your sink. On the final upward pump you should break the seal with the sink, generating even more pressure which should push the blockage down the pipes and making your sink usable again. You will know that you have succeeded when the water sitting in your sink starts flowing down the drain.

If it fails?

If your efforts do not clear the blockage the first time around, give it another try. A particularly stubborn or tangled blockage may require 3-4 tries to make progress. However, if even after several tries you get no result, it is evident that you are dealing with some more serious issue, and you need to call a professional. If you need a 24 hour plumber in Orange County, contact Emergency Home Solutions, any time of day or night.