Kitchen Drain Clogs

kitchen drain

What causes a clog to occur? There are many factors that cause this to happen. The following paragraphs will describe how and why they occur. Blockages are not always the result of the user doing something wrong, improper installation can just as easily cause a problem. Lets take a look at some types of blockages and the different ways to remedy them.

Kitchen drainage problems occur for many different reasons. The pitch of the piping is very important to a properly flowing sink drain. Venting can also play a vital role in how well a sink drains.

If the the piping is back pitched or not pitched enough the the solids will not get carried away with the water and will eventually cause a blockage. One common area for a back pitch to occur is from the p-trap. Sometimes it is possible the p-trap itself is back pitched.

Many times it’s not possible to check the piping because it may be concealed inside a ceiling.    When it is possible to check pitch you can use a  or torpedo level. Locate the piping coming from the kitchen sink and confirm it is pitched towards the drain and away from the sink. Pitch issues generally arise from improper installation of pipe and improper support. (We find it necessary to explain what we mean be improper support. We will use this term in several sections and it’s never positive. With reference to drainage piping support is necessary in order to brace the piping at it’s connections and fittings and it is also used to maintain the proper pitch. If support isn’t used you run the risk of having the piping and or fittings sag, which give waste a spot to accumulate eventually becoming a clog or blockage.)

Clearing Kitchen Drain Clogs

How do you clean up that mess in your kitchen sink when the drain is blocked? Some of the tools you will need are probably in your house already. First question, how much water is in the sink?

In order to try and plunge the drain you will need some water in the sink for hydraulic action. If you used any type of chemicals you will need protective gloves and glasses. If you have a double bowl sink, you will have to plug one side with a wet rag.

Take your plunger and start plunging slowly in an up and down motion. Remember both the up and down motion are helping remove that blockage. The hydraulic action both pushes and pulls the stoppage. If this works make sure to run lots of water to carry the blockage away.

If you weren’t so lucky you will have to attack this using another approach. You must first identify the p-trap under the sink. In order to rod the drain the p-trap must be removed. A small bucket or tray will be used to catch all the water in the sink. Position the bucket under the trap and start by loosening the slip nut located between the trap and the elbow running to the wall.

Slowly loosen this nut and let the water drain, if too much water comes out or it comes out too fast just tighten it up. Once the water stops flowing and there is no more water in the sink you will completely remove the p-trap. The slip nut located on the trap connected to the pipe heading to the sink will need to be loosened completely, thus freeing up the p-trap. Now it is time to remove the waste arm that was connected to the p-trap heading to the wall. Remove the slip nut closest to the wall and remove that piece.

Now you will have a place to insert a rod or auger. Start by slowly inserting the rod into the pipe by hand, once it is hard to push you will have to feed the rod by spinning it. Normally 20 feet or so is good, but make sure it is freely spinning and keep it spinning on the way back out.

Re install all parts in the reverse order and now it is time to test. Slowly run water and make sure it is flowing. Once you have confirmed flow check for leaks.

A good test to check for leaks is plug the bowl and  fill with water. Pull the plug out and check for leaks and confirm good flow. While doing any of this work make sure there are plenty of rags available and use some old newspaper to protect the cabinet the best you can and good luck.

Tools Needed:

  • Channel locks or pipe wrench
  • Plunger
  • Auger or rodder
  • Gloves and safety glasses

Rags and old news paper

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