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obeythelaw
Premium
join:2003-04-16
Bayonne, NJ
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

bathroom sink clog

Click for full size
I have a bathroom sink that is clogged pretty bad. the water will ultimately drain but sometimes it could take 15 minutes other times it could take 5 minutes. i have tried all of the chemicals. i think i need to actually remove the "p" pipe. i have also tried using the plastic stick with the sharp points on the ends of it and that doesn't work. i have not tried plunging but really want to nip this and just clean out a clog if it is in the arm of the pipe. i am attaching a picture if someone can give me tips or pointers. would i have to turn off the water to the whole house to do this? its a 2 family and didn't want my tenant not to have water while i was working on the pipe. or do i just turn the knobs under the sink? my worst fear is that a gush of water comes out that i can't turn off.

robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1

You don't need to turn off any water. Still it would be a good idea to turn off the valves under the sink so the wife doesn't step over you while you are working on it and turns the faucet on.



alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1
reply to obeythelaw

Try plunging first.
If the clog is in a smaller pipe then it will wash away easily the moment it's forced to the bigger drain stack.


garys_2k
Premium
join:2004-05-07
Farmington, MI
Reviews:
·Callcentric
·callwithus

1 recommendation

reply to robbin

said by robbin:

You don't need to turn off any water. Still it would be a good idea to turn off the valves under the sink so the wife doesn't step over you while you are working on it and turns the faucet on.

What he said, but hopefully you can leave those valves alone as turning them can open up a whole 'nother world of plumbing fun.

You don't have to mess with your water supply valves because you're working on the water drain, an entirely, physically separate system.

Do try a sink plunger first, it's likely that's all you need. What I don't see in your picture is the stopper lever (the gizmo that you use to lower the drain's stopper (plug) in the sink when you want to fill the sink with water). Does your sink have one, or do you use a rubber plug to close the drain?

The reason I ask is that sometimes a big glob of slimy hair will build up on the lever's arm that's inside the drain pipe. First thing I usually do if simple plunging doesn't free up the drain is to remove that lever, clean it off, re-try the pointy plastic cleaner and then remove the sink stopper, put the lever back in and plunge it again.

Assuming it's clear then, take the lever back out, drop in the stopper and put the lever BACK in the drain (lined up so it catches the hole in the plug's stem) and you're back in business.

Shit, I made it sound complicated, it's not! Try the plunger first.

OH, and before you plunge, put duct tape over the sink's emergency drain so that the air/water you're trying to force down the drain won't just shoot out of that emergency route and go all over your hands.


obeythelaw
Premium
join:2003-04-16
Bayonne, NJ
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to obeythelaw

You guys have covinced me to get a plunger. I actually have a plunger I keep for an emergency clog in the toilet. I didn't really want to use that plunger in my sink so I'll just go to the local hardware store to pick one up for the sink in the morning. I will report back.


garys_2k
Premium
join:2004-05-07
Farmington, MI

Toilet plungers are usually too big for bathroom sinks, besides that yuck factor. A bathroom sink plunger has a smaller diameter to make a good seal with the smaller amount of level surface near the drain.



jack b
Gone Fishing
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-08
Cape Cod
kudos:1

1 recommendation

reply to obeythelaw

Using a plunger in a bathroom basin will be futile unless you physically block the overflow holes. Some duct tape will do just fine.

If worried about a yuck factor, rinse it off with some clorox and it's fine.

Plumbers don't sterilize their plungers....
--
~Help Find a Cure for Cancer~
~Proud Member of Team Discovery ~


bkjohnson
Premium
join:2002-05-22
Birmingham, AL
Reviews:
·Charter
reply to obeythelaw

I have learned to never work on these things unless I have spare parts on hand or the stores where I can get parts are going to be open long enough for me to get parts if something breaks!



John Galt
Forward, March
Premium
join:2004-09-30
Happy Camp
kudos:8
reply to obeythelaw

Another thing to check is the drain extension pipe...the one that comes out of the wall. Make sure it is not too long and pushing up against the drain pipe. That reduces the drain and causes clogs.

I've found that to be the problem several times.


Bob4
Account deleted

join:2012-07-22
New Jersey
Reviews:
·Optimum Online
reply to obeythelaw

I had a slow drain. Took off the trap and it was clear. Looked straight down the drain from above and couldn't see daylight. Turns out the pipe between the sink and the trap was clogged with the residue from whatever personal care products my wife uses. Cleaned it out with a coat hanger.



sempergoofy
Premium
join:2001-07-06
Smyrna, GA
Reviews:
·AT&T Southeast
reply to obeythelaw

While you are working on things, you may want to verify that there is a washer (usually it is a plastic tapered washer) to seal the gap between the slip nut and sink tailpiece . The discoloration at the top of your slip nut seems to indicate some possible leakage. This illustration does not exactly match your design but illustrates the presence of washers.



--
nohup rm -fr /&


Annmarie
Lillian
join:2000-11-11
kudos:5

1 recommendation

reply to garys_2k

You know what works really really well for that big clog of slimy hair that catches on the stopper?

A long thin bottle brush.

I am not sure why we have one - I think it was for cleaning out fish tank filter tubes - but I unscrew the stopper, insert the bottle brush, scrub up and down a couple of times and pull out some seriously gross globs.

I found an earring once.

Then a good long flush of hot water.
--
Expecting the world to treat you fairly because you are good is like expecting the bull not to charge because you are a vegetarian.



SteelersFan

join:2001-02-12
Rockwall, TX
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse

1 edit
reply to obeythelaw

Just FYI, based on the picture above, I once had to remove everything up to the rough-in drain outlet to clean mine out. It had a dark black sludge in it going all the way through. I stuck some fishing wire that I have for wall wire drops into the drain outlet and pushed it forward and moved it around. No issues since then.



bbrcat
RIP Lisa
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-09
NH
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable

said by SteelersFan:

Just FYI, based on the picture above, I once had to remove everything up to the rough-in drain outlet to clean mine out. It had a dark black sludge in its going all the way through. I stuck some fishing wire that I have for wall wire drops into the drain outlet and pushed it forward and moved it around. No issues since then.

Catch anything good?
--
Team
Discovery


tp0d
yabbazooie
Premium
join:2001-02-13
Carnegie, PA
kudos:5

Running straight hot water for 10-15mins will definitely help with a bathroom sink issue. If you can get it to drain, that is..

The soap and body oils clog the drain lines up. Hot water breaks this garbage up..

-j
--
if it aint broke, tweak it!!
currently on FiOS (kick aZZ!)



DataDoc
My avatar looks like me, if I was 2D.
Premium
join:2000-05-14
Martinsburg, WV
Reviews:
·Suddenlink
reply to obeythelaw

I found a child's toothbrush in a sink drain, coated with a big wad of hair.

BTW, bathroom sinks often clog because makeup, oils, balms, etc. used by the women in the house aren't water-soluble. They coat the inside of the pipes and need physical removal (the brush used for fish-tank pipes works great.)
--
"Executive orders" or rule by fiat. You decide.



SparkChaser
Premium
join:2000-06-06
Downingtown, PA
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to obeythelaw

ours always gets clog between the drain and the trap. Hot water is good but found this thing recently that does a good job. For $2.50 it's worth a shot.

»www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/sto···5735-_-x


oldeguy
Premium
join:2007-08-04
Phoenixville, PA

Got one of those last year; it's cheap enough. And, it worked to clear out a bathroom sink; not so good in the bathtub drain, but it did finally get things started.



jack b
Gone Fishing
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-08
Cape Cod
kudos:1

1 recommendation

reply to obeythelaw

The biggest problem with most bathroom sinks is that people generally don't "flush" the trap with a sufficient volume of water after using it.

This leaves toothpaste foam, soap scum, hair, shaving cream, etc, to coagulate in the P trap.

Talk about yuck factor, it's a slimy mess....

The best thing to do is to frequently close the drain and fill the basin with hot water and then let it flush.
--
~Help Find a Cure for Cancer~
~Proud Member of Team Discovery ~



obeythelaw
Premium
join:2003-04-16
Bayonne, NJ
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to obeythelaw

Ok. Bought the plunger and after about 5 minutes of plunging some gunk came up from the sink but then it all went down and now appears to be going down nicely. I do notice an "egg" smell, however, if I let the water go down and then it appears to dissipate. Any idea on what that is and how I can eliminate it?



Cho Baka
Premium,MVM
join:2000-11-23
there
kudos:2
reply to obeythelaw

You likely have some stinky gunk stuck in the passage between the drain and the overflow.
--
The talented hawk speaks French.


Bob4
Account deleted

join:2012-07-22
New Jersey
reply to obeythelaw

You could pour a cup of bleach down the drain and let it sit for 20 minutes.


garys_2k
Premium
join:2004-05-07
Farmington, MI
reply to obeythelaw

The stink may have been sewer gas that got into the room because plunging cleared all the water out of the trap. Once you refilled the trap the gas was sealed out and things were back to normal.

Glad you got it!