Five Simple Ways to Fix a Slow Draining Sink

November 4, 2021

A slow draining sink is a common plumbing problem many homeowners face. While this issue can happen to any sink in your home, the bathroom sink is the most common area.

A slow draining sink is a common plumbing problem many homeowners face. While this issue can happen to any sink in your home, the bathroom sink is the most common area. This is due to daily use and exposure to large amounts of hair and other debris around the pop-up. Soap and other household products can also slowly contribute to the build-up of material in your pipes. This build-up effectively reduces the size of the pipe that drains your sinks, slowing down the draining process.

Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent drain build-up from happening but we’ve found that the perfect solution is to periodically clean your drain to keep it flowing. This article will go over the various ways you can fix your slow drain:

1. Use a Zip-it Tool to Clear Out Debris

A quick and easy way to get your sink drain flowing again is to purchases a Zip-it tool. The zip tool is a thin flexible strip of plastic with tiny barbs up and down the sides for grabbing hair and other debris. They are extremely cost-effective and typically range anywhere from $5-10 depending on where you buy them. They may also go by different names such as stick drain cleaner, hair snare, or simply, drain cleaning tool. Another bonus feature is that you can use them with or without a pop-up because they are thin enough to fit in either scenario.

2. Remove the Pop-up

The sink pop-up can surprisingly be the source of your drainage issue. It can be the perfect shape for catching hair and other debris that will build up over time. When you detach your popup you might find the large clump of debris that’s been giving you problems.

In order to remove your pop-up, first look under your sink and see if you can locate a nut attached to the drain. Reach behind the drain pipe under the sink and feel around for the pop-up nut. Once the nut has been removed, you can come out from under the sink and pull the pop-up out of the drain. Clean off any debris you might find on the pop-up and reinstall it by reversing the steps.

3. Use a homemade drain cleaner

We recommend using a mild homemade drain cleaning solution after large blockages have been removed. A homemade drain cleaner will combine common, inexpensive household products which together will cause a reaction that will help erode some of that grimy build-up. Removing even a small amount of the build-up can make a big difference in the flow of water down your drain. 

4. Clear the Sink Overflow

One purpose of the sink overflow opening is to act as a failsafe in case the water in the sink rises too high. Its lesser-known function is to allow air into the drain when the sink is filled with water. The overflow hole allows for water to drain faster. The sink overflow can be a source of drainage issues and should be checked for blockages.

5. Use a Plunger

A plunger is a great tool for a slow sink drain. A little plunging can go a long way towards loosening hair and other debris clogging up your drain pipe. To ensure maximum efficiency of your plunger, cover your sink overflow with a towel or some duct tape before you begin plunging. Covering the overflow hole will create a tight seal, helping your plunger do its job in clearing any blockages.

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