Unclogging a Sink Drain Trap

One of the most common household plumbing problems is a clogged sink drain trap. Mostly, it's because traps work by gravity – holding water in them to prevent sewer gases from coming up into the house. Gravity, however, works to hold an accumulation of grease, soap, and hair that, over the years, turns into a gunky mess. Fortunately, this is one of the easiest plumbing fix-its. You can clean out a trap in a few minutes by taking off the trap and dumping out debris.


First, put a bucket under the trap to catch water and debris. Then loosen the slip nuts on the trap using a pair of slip joint pliers. Unscrew the nuts by hand and slide them away from the connections.





Dump the debris into the bucket and clean the trap with a small wire brush. Rinse the trap out in hot water. (Remember that you just disconnected your drain pipe!) Inspect the slip nut washers for wear and replace them if necessary. Reinstall the trap and tighten the slip nuts.


Clearing a Fixture Drain Line
If your sink is backed up but the clog isn't in the trap, it's probably further in the drain system – in the drain lines inside your walls...


Fixing Leaky Sink Strainers
The sink strainer assembly connects the sink to the drain line...


Replacing Drain Traps
Drain traps – those U-shape pieces of drain pipe underneath your sink – do a lot of dirty work...


Clearing Sink Drains with a Plunger
Sinks get clogged and backed up when soap, hair, and grease build up and clog the trap or the drain line...



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