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How To Handle A Slow-Draining Sink

If you have noticed that when you run water in your sinks, they are draining slower than usual, there is probably a blockage or clog somewhere. A slow-running sink is an early warning sign that you have something in the plumbing system stopping water from going down at its normal pace.

This is the time when you should start figuring out what it is so you can clear the blockage and avoid more serious damage:

Plunge the Sink

Any time you have a clog or even when the drains are running a little slow, you should get out your plunger. If you have a small sink and your ordinary plunger is too large, you can get a mini version at a hardware store. Try running some water first to see if it is still running slow. Now take your plunger and place it over the sink drain.

Push down with moderate force, then let it up, and repeat the process multiple times. Try running water again to see if it pushed the debris down. Many slow-running sinks are the result of debris that just needs to be forced down the drain.

Remove Hair With a Drain Cleaning Tool

Before you start using a professional-grade auger, you can use a small tool that is sold at hardware stores. They go by different names, but are essentially drain cleaning tools meant to remove hair. It will be an inexpensive tool that is usually made of thin metal or aluminum, with small spikes on the sides of the tool. These spikes are used to capture the hair in the drain. You hold onto one end and put the other end down the drain. Rotate it inside the drain, then keep rotating as you pull it up. You might pull quite a bit of hair and debris with it. It can be used with the pop-up or without it, since it is small and thin, and can work around it.

Use an Auger Tool

If the smaller drain cleaning tool doesn't work, you can upgrade to an auger tool. There are different ones available, from manual ones to those using an electric drill. If you think you have a difficult clog in the sink, get the one that connects to an electric drill. You will unwind the tool and place one end of the metal wire into the drain.

You may need to first remove the pop-up. Once you have pushed it down as far as it will go, you hook up your electric drill to the other end. Turn on your drill and let it pull up the wire as it pulls up any debris or hair.

Try Drain Cleaner

For drains that are filled with grease or food debris, this might be your best option. Drain cleaning products are made with chemicals that can break down grease, food particles, and sometimes even hair. Follow the directions on the package, which typically include pouring the drain cleaner down the drain, waiting a certain period of time, then pouring hot or boiling water down the drain to rinse it out.

If none of these options work, it is time to call a plumber.