A clogged kitchen sink is stressful but can also be dangerous. Food and other debris clogging your pipes place unnecessary stress and pressure on your plumbing, increasing the risk of damage and water leaks. In addition, food, bacteria, and cleaning chemicals inside the drains can lead to unappealing and toxic odors inside your home.
Understanding why your sink drains clog is key to preventing chronic clogs and costly plumbing problems. This guide will help you understand and avoid a few most common reasons why your kitchen sink clogs.
1. Excess Food
Most people either wash their dishes by hand or rinse their dishes before loading them into the dishwasher.
To prevent excess food and food residue from building up inside your drains and causing a sink clog, make sure to put a strainer tool in the drain opening. This tool will catch bits of food, preventing any debris and residue from flowing down the drain.
If you have a garbage disposal, you may think food scraps and residue will not be an issue for your sink drain. Unfortunately, food can still build up inside the drain, affecting the function of the garbage disposal while also causing clogs.
Even if you have a garbage disposal, never put the following down the drain:
- Coffee grounds
- Fruit pits
- Potato peels
Your disposal blades will not effectively grind up the above foods and scraps. In many instances, these foods can wear down the disposal's motor, reducing its function and increasing the number of clogs you have in your kitchen sink drain.
Accumulating grease is another reason why your kitchen sink drain may clog. Although many people know washing grease down the sink drain is wrong, they still do so.
Grease is thick, creating a layer of residue inside your sink, drain, and pipes. Even if it is a liquid, the grease will quickly harden. Over time, more grease will build up and harden, reducing the amount of space available in your drain and underlying pipes. Without sufficient space in the drain and pipes, water will not drain thoroughly, which causes drain clogs.
If you need to drain grease from your food, place a colander in a large bowl and pour the food into the colander. Allow the food to drain in the colander and bowl. Once it hardens, you can scoop it out and dispose of it in a trash bag.
Before washing dishes and cookware that has a greasy buildup, wipe the residue out with a paper towel before soaking in your sink.
3. Broken Kitchenware
You may also be surprised to learn a broken piece of kitchenware or debris has clogged your kitchen sink. Most people do not even realize they have a broken piece of glass or dish in their drain until the garbage disposal is on.
You may hear a loud rattling and crunching noise as the disposal blades attempt to break apart the debris. Or, the disposal may not turn on at all because the broken glass or dish has blocked the blades.
To locate the debris, cut power to the disposal at the breaker box. Then, use a flashlight to see into the drain opening. Use needle-nose pliers to reach into the drain, allowing you to grab any large pieces of glass or dish shards from the drain without cutting your hands and fingers. You can use a shop vacuum hose attachment to suction out any small fragments.
After removing any debris, turn the faucet on to rinse the interior of the drain and disposal blades with water. Make sure to reconnect power to your garbage disposal after cleaning out the debris clogging your disposal and drain.
For assistance clearing and preventing clogs in your sink drains, contact Cleary Plumbing & Air today.