A slow draining bathroom sink will eventually become a no draining bathroom sink. The good news is it’s very easy to unclog that bathroom sink in about ten minutes. Follow the steps below to get your sink draining like new again.
Step 1: Tools’ You Need
You will need just a couple of basic tools to unclog a bathroom sink. The first tool is a pair of channel locks. These are a large pair of pliers with jaws that will expand to at least 4″. You could also use a pipe wrench if you have one, however if you need to purchase either one I would recommend the channel locks. They are a much more universal tool for most projects around the house. A pair of channel locks should cost under $10 and can be found at most hardware stores.
The other tools you will need can be found around the house. The first is a small bucket and a metal coat hanger or stiff piece of wire.
Step 2: Get Ready to Unclog that Bathroom Sink
First and most important is to clear everything out under the sink. You will need room to move around when disconnecting the drain lines. The next thing is to place the bucket under the drain pipe to catch any water that comes out. The last thing you should do is get a rag or paper towel handy to clean the gunk that you will inevitably run in to.
Step 3: Disconnect the Bathroom Sink Drain Line
When you look at the drain line coming from the bathroom sink, you will see it make a “U” shape at the bottom. This is called the pea trap. You should have a large plastic or metal nut on both or one side of the pea trap. Use your channel locks to loosen the nut and carefully remove the pea trap. You may get some water running out at this point but it shouldn’t be more than what is trapped in the pipe. Inspect and clean any debris in the pea trap.
Step 4: Disconnect stem pipe from Bathroom Sink
The stem pipe is the straight piece of pipe that comes directly out of the bottom of the sink. If you have a stopper in your bathroom sink you will need to remove this first. There should be a nut holding in the stopper ball. Loosen the nut and pull out the stem with the ball. Now pull out the stopper from the sink above and clean any debris. Now you can disconnect the stem pipe. Most stem pipes will have a threaded connection and shouldn’t be too tight. Try and loosen first by hand. If its too tight gently use the channel locks to loosen the pipe. Bathroom sink plumbing is fragile, so try not to put too much force on them to avoid cracking or bending the pipes and stripping the threads.
Step 5: Clean everything
Any bathroom sink clog will be either in the pea trap or stem pipe. Use your rag and a piece of coat hanger to clean out any debris in side these pipes. Now go to another sink and run hot water through the pieces of pipe and clean each part you took off.
Step 6: Put it all Back Together
Now reverse the order to put everything back. First put the stopper back in the sink. When inserting the ball stopper try and get the stem of the ball through the hole in the stopper above. Move the sink stopper slowly up and down until you feel it go in all the way. Secure it down with the nut and insert the other side into the stopper handle in the back.
When connecting the bathroom sink plumbing remember to be gentle. Most bathroom drain plumbing does not require thread tape or putty to seal, however you may use it if you would like. Use your hands to tighten the nuts back on and very gently tighten with the channel locks.
Step 7: Test the Bathroom Sink
The last step is to turn the water back on after everything is connected. Check for leaks and tighten pipes if you need to. Congratulations you just saved yourself the cost of a plumber and took one more step to becoming a professional DIY’er.
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