6 Ways To Unclog Your Sink In Calgary, AB

A plunger covering the drain opening of a metal sink filled with water as it’s being used to unclog the sink.
We have all experienced the unpleasant event of a clogged sink when doing the dishes or brushing our teeth. Instead of investigating it further, we often let it slip until we notice grime build-up or an unpleasant odour coming from the drain opening. It’s not until you have time that you might finally apply a household remedy as a temporary solution. When you experience slow drains, it’s not always easy to tell if any underlying issues are evident unless these problems are persistent and come back. The last thing you want to do after dinner is begin Mission: Unclog Sink. Calgary AB homeowners know that plumbing fixtures are connected to the drain lines, which ultimately send wastewater down the sewer line, protecting us from disease and infection. But your plumbing system is more vulnerable than you think. If you need to unclog sinks every week, there is certainly a problem you need to rectify. It could be anything from trapped hair to clogged garburators to tree root intrusion underground or a burst pipe to a main line clog.

You can rely on your Calgary plumber to get down to the root cause of the issue. Our expert team at Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Calgary brings many years of experience in fixing minor to major plumbing issues, courteously bringing you preventive solutions to keep you and your property safe. We have the high-end tools to further investigate the warning signs you experience and will provide you with a thorough diagnosis. Taking immediate measures will keep you and your family safe from contamination and other potential dangers, such as a sewer backup. Our uniformed experts are licensed and insured, making us the most trusted plumbing company in Calgary.

Operation Calgary Sink Unclog! What Are The Common Causes?

Standing water is not only unpleasant but can attract insects over time. You might think that the screwed-in sink stopper would catch hair and food chunks effectively, but it would be a good idea to use an additional sink strainer for catching smaller-size debris. This way, you can easily lift and empty it in the compost or garbage. As gravity pulls water downward, you can’t always guarantee that no hair or food waste slips through. Here are some common culprits that call for Calgary sink unclog services:

  • Excess hair
  • Soap scum
  • Solidified grease
  • Oil
  • Tooth floss
  • Wet wipes, paper towels, tissues
  • Food waste
  • Clogged garburator (garbage disposal)

Other more serious causes that are responsible for drain line clogs are issues related to a sewer line clog or damage, such as:

  • Tree roots puncturing lines underground
  • Cracked, corroded or burst pipes
  • Sagging soil, home settling
  • Slab leaks
  • Clogs and damage from other foreign objects

How to Unclog Sinks — Calgary

There are several DIY steps that you can follow first before calling your local plumber to help unclog sinks. Calgary AB property owners are encouraged to try out six environmentally friendly methods at home rather than using highly corrosive chemical drain cleaners:

  1. Baking Soda, White Vinegar and Warm Water

Pour half a cup of baking soda down the drain hole, followed by half a cup of vinegar. Let them work their magic for 10 to 15 minutes before you pour boiling* water to wash it all down. When the vinegar’s acidity breaks down the baking soda, it releases carbon dioxide gas, which dissolves stains, loosens up sticky substances and eliminates odours.

*Note: Please note that not all pipes are suitable for boiling water. We do not recommend this method if you have plastic pipes. Sometimes it’s okay to use warm to near-boiling water to flush it away, but it’s best to have a certified Calgary plumber inspect your system or use another safe method to tackle this problem.

  1. Use Saltwater

Pour half a cup of salt into four litres of water and bring it to a near-boiling temperature. Next, pour it down the drain and wait 15 minutes for it to dissolve before flushing away the rest with hot clean water. This might be a method that you need to repeat at least twice if the first attempt has shown some improvement.

  1. Check Garburator (Garbage Disposal)

If you have a garburator that’s not grinding properly, it could be clogged. Turn it off and try to carefully remove any debris, ensuring that no foreign object is causing a jam. When clear, run the garburator with hot water at the same time. It might need to be reset first if it doesn't turn on. We recommend always feeding your disposal slowly and not including eggshells, coffee grounds, or peels (potato, banana, carrot).

  1. Clean P-Trap

If you check under your sink, you will see a p-shaped pipe that is designed to trap sewer gas odours in water so that they won’t rise up to the surface. That’s your P-trap—also known as a drain trap.

That pipe can collect debris over time, such as food particles in the kitchen sink drain or slowly growing hair clogs in your bathroom sink. When that happens, what else is there to do other than unclog sinks? Calgary homeowners don’t have to deal with those drain blockages themselves. If working with pipes is the last thing you want to do, you can always rely on your local licensed plumber! Otherwise, you can remove the p-trap by loosening the coupling nuts that are holding it to the drainage pipe and overflow pipe. Clear any debris that you find in the trap and ensure that you reattach it properly.

  1. Use Plunger

You might have been waiting for this one! We kept the most common two last because they are so self-explanatory. We wanted to inform homeowners about recommended household remedies for stubborn clogs first because they contribute to proactive maintenance of your pipes.

Place your plunger over your sink drain. Next, ensure your plunger is submerged and plunge repeatedly with force until you notice that you’ve loosened some debris. That should get the water to flush. If your efforts are in vain, you may want to try an alternative tool to unclog your sink or hire a professional.

To avoid cross-contamination, every home should have at least two plungers—one for the toilet and one for the kitchen.

  1. Use a Drain Snake

Your sink unclog mission can be more challenging than you think. Sometimes the clog is deeper down the line, and a plunger’s pressure can’t reach that far. Drain snakes are designed for unclogging sinks with deep debris. Augers are a kind of snake that are primarily used for unclogging toilets. If you have a standard snake, it will have a rod or a metal cable with a spiral coil on its tip, designed to loosen blockages.

Use the handle to extend the metal cable into the drain until you feel resistance. It’s fine to use some medium force to break through that blockage by moving the handle back and forth but try not to let the cable scrape the pipe’s walls. Keep steering the handle until you have broken through the blockage.

Pro Tip: It’s often easier to snake through the p-trap under your sink. Remember to place a bucket underneath to catch any runoff water as you remove your p-trap. Maybe you’ll be lucky, and find the blockage is actually in the p-trap!

Calgary Sink Unclog — Prevention Tips!

Cleaning around your sink and any nearby surface areas may be as second nature as scrubbing the toilet, but do you unscrew the stopper and investigate the drain opening area every month? If your answer is yes because you unclog sinks more often than usual, you have a good cleaning habit. But chances are that if you never check those areas, you may have a serious clog deeper down the line that needs professional service. Here are some prevention tips that will help reduce the need to unclog sinks. Your plumbing systems will work more efficiently when you perform regular cleaning and maintenance.

Clean Sink Stopper More Often

Although you can easily clean a sink strainer, cleaning your stopper itself will require a little more effort. Depending on the type of stopper you have (e.g., lift and turn, push and pull or toe-touch), you might need a screwdriver, Allen wrench, needle-nose pliers or channel-lock pliers to remove it.

It won’t be a pleasant sight if you have a line of gunky hair to remove, but you should see that grime as a win because you just prevented a build-up that would have otherwise needed you to frequently unclog your sink. Calgary homeowners can always remove their stopper to check its condition. It’s especially important to do so if it has been a while since its last clean. It’s important to ensure your stopper is not rusty too. Clean it with hydrogen peroxide or vinegar and baking soda if it's merely covered in calcium deposits and other sediments. Using an SOS soap pad might also help bring its original shine back.

Drain Scrubbing

Once you have completed the mission above, take a look at your drain opening. Does it look nasty? That sludge build-up is a mix of soap residue and calcium deposits from hard water. Your local plumber recommends creating a cleaning mixture combining hydrogen peroxide with baking soda and using an old toothbrush to scrub off the debris scrubbing inside around the opening.

Did Someone Not Finish Their Food?

Rather than chucking it down the garburator, toss it in the compost or garbage right away; save yourself the effort of grinding it and risking a clogged kitchen sink.

Never Pour Grease Down the Drain

It may seem to be the easiest way to get rid of it, but hot grease can damage and block your drainage pipe faster than you think once it solidifies. We recommend you pour it into a dish and let it solidify overnight. This way, it will be easier to throw it out afterward.

Note: If you do catch yourself pouring grease down the sink, remember to run hot water for a while to flush it away fast. Otherwise, it will be a pain to unclog.

Keep Up With Household Remedies

Household remedies are useful to unclog sinks in your home, but they are also a means for you to clean and maintain your drain lines whenever you feel they need it. They’ll help you remove soap residue, stains or other substances before they become nasty sludge. If you do choose to use a cleaning product, pick an enzyme-based brand rather than a chemical-based one, as it will be better for your plumbing system and the environment.

Calgary Drain Cleaning Services

Your sewer line and secondary lines are responsible for removing liquid waste from your home. Debris and other dirt that pass through those lines will create blockages that affect your pipes' overall functionality, starting with problems that require you to unclog sinks. Calgary AB homes that have recurring toilet backups and sewer gas smells might be facing signs of clogged drains that could lead to serious problems in the future when neglected. The best way to keep them spotless is to schedule a routine drain cleaning service with your local plumber at Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Calgary.

Our team specializes in thorough cleaning using a HydroScrub® Jetting device that blasts away the most stubborn blockages in your pipes. This is the best way to prevent the worst-case scenarios for clogs, including sink and sewer backups, which means you also won’t need services to unclog your sink as often.

If you haven’t previously had drain cleaning service with us, your plumber may do a plumbing diagnosis and inspection of your pipes to ensure they are in good shape and can handle the pressure of our equipment. While already in-house, our professional Calgary plumbers are happy to inspect and help unclog any other clogged drains.

We recommend having your household drains cleaned every year by your residential plumber. However, you might be able to get away with two years if you take the necessary precautions to keep your drains healthy without needing to unclog sinks regularly.

Do You Need Calgary Sink Unclog Services?

Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Calgary is available 24/7 with convenient appointments and plumbing service to deal with all kinds of plumbing emergencies. Need someone who will help unclog kitchen sinks? Our professional plumbers use plungers, plumbing snakes and other modern technology to unclog blockages with one blast. Whether you need a plumbing diagnosis and inspection for a clogged drain or want to learn about winter plumbing problems in Calgary, you can rely on our experts to meet your needs!

Call us today to schedule an appointment with a professional plumber or learn more about our wide range of services. We proudly serve many communities throughout Southwest Calgary and nearby areas, such as Haysboro and Lincoln Park, with services for everything from slow drainage in sinks, minor clogs, or a clogged toilet to major sewage backups and sewer line repair.