Clearing a Clogged Bathroom Drain

Nothing is more aggravating to most people than to get out of bed and find a clogged bathroom sink drain first thing in the morning. Before you start screaming words that you really don’t want the kids to hear, why not first find out if it’s just the sink that’s plugged, or if the problem is affecting the other fixtures, as well?

Turn on the faucet in your bathtub and let it run a few seconds. If it seems to be draining properly, then the problem is likely confined to the sink drain. If, however, the bathtub is also not draining, the problem may well lie in your main sewer pipes.

For our purposes here, let’s assume that the sink is the only fixture with the problem. In this case, you have tree basic ways to clear the clog…

The fastest (and, easiest) method is with an old fashion plunger. This is something that everyone has (or, should have), and will usually clear the problem up quickly.

Of course, you can also try one of the many liquid or gel drain cleaners available at most stores. I must say that I haven’t had a lot of success with these when I was fighting a completely clogged pipe. I find that, at best, the results are minimal.

I will add, however, that some of these products are excellent at keeping drains open. we use one in each drain in our house about once a month, and rarely have a clogging problem any more.

If neither of these solutions is successful, the only other option available is to remove and clean the drain pipes manually. In most cases, you’re going to find that the clog will be in the “drain trap” directly under the sink drain. This is the “U” shaped pipe that connects the sink drain pipe to the main drain.

Basically, you’re going to have to remove the trap and use some sort of tool to clean out the clog. I’ve had good results using a wire coat hanger that has been straightened out.