How to Unclog Bathroom Sinks

What You'll Need
Force cup plunger
Pipe wrench
Toilet brush
Drill snake (or sink snake)
Protective gloves

Bathroom sinks get clogged quite often. Usually, it is due to hair or other grime that clogs the pipe. Bathroom sinks are easy to unclog, and in a few simple steps, they can be made to work once more.

Step 1 - Plunge

A minor clog can generally be fixed using a plunger, and doesn’t require taking the sink apart or renting any tools. First, add some water to the basin of the sink, and then plunge, using a force cup plunger. Plunge multiple times, and then lift up the plunger to see if the water drained. If it drains, turn on the hot water and wait for between 5 to 10 minutes, to see whether the clog moved on. If plunging didn’t unclog the sink, then move to step 2.

Step 2 - Dismantle the P-Trap

When looking under the sink, follow the tail pipe and you will notice it dipping low before curving around. That curve is known as a p-trap, and it leads to a piece of piping that is generally attached to a vent built behind a wall. Using a pipe wrench, take apart the P-Trap, ensuring that a bucket is placed under it to gather the water that falls from the drain.

Using a pipe wrench, take apart the P-Trap. Upon opening, the P-Trap will most definitely be very dirty and smell horribly. This is normal, and shouldn't worry you.

Step 3 - Clean Grime from P-Trap

If the P-Trap was clogged, now is the time to clean it. Using a toilet brush, clean the grime and sludge from the inside of the P-Trap, making sure you get any large pieces of hair or slime out. Then re-attach the P-Trap and test the sink. If it works, then the problem is solved. If it still doesn’t function, continue with step 4.

Step 4 - Use a Snake to Unclog the Piping

As the P-Trap wasn’t the source of the clog, it is likely to be in the piping running into the wall. The best type of snake to use is a drill snake, although a sink snake shall also work fine. You will need less than 25 feet of cable for the job. Slowly, run the snake into the piping at the wall, making sure your protective gloves are on your hands. Ensure that the snake is running downwards, and run it through the line multiple times so that you can rest assured that the clog has been hit.

Step 5 - Reassemble P-Trap and Test Sink

Now, reassemble the P-Trap the same way you disassembled it, ensuring that everything is tight. Turn on the water once the P-Trap is assembled. If the water runs, that means the sink is repaired. If the water still doesn’t run, then simply repeat the process, beginning with step 3, until the water runs again. If the sink is draining, check the underside of the sink for any leaks, tightening the area where the leaks occur.