Is your sink draining a little slower than it used to?
It usually starts pretty small. While you're brushing your teeth, a little bit of water gathers around the open drain. You turn off the faucet, and in a matter of seconds the water's gone, no big deal — right?
It doesn't take very long for a small clog to grow into a significant problem. And, before you know it, you won't be able to use your bathroom sink without running the risk of an overflow. It’s not always obvious if you need drain repair in Ottawa.
So, before you're stuck having to wait a few hours for your sink the drain, you should do what you can to clear up whatever gunk is clogging your pipes.
Need to unclog your bathroom sink, but aren't sure where to start? We've got you covered.
Here's everything you need to know about how to unclog a bathroom sink in Ottawa.
The Heavy Hitter: Hot Water
What causes a bathroom sink to clog up?
Unless you have little kids who may have washed away a small toy, you're probably dealing with regular old hair, soap scum, and oil buildup.
And, the best part of the standard pipe blockers is that none of them stand up very well to very, very hot water.
If you caught your clog early and your sink is still able to drain water — albeit slowly — clearing your pipes might be as easy as boiling a pot of water.
Try boiling a few pots of water, and dumping them down the drain. It the clog is still small, the hot water will be able to melt, breakdown, and wash away any buildup.
Try Some Safe Drain Cleaner
If hot water doesn't seem to be cutting it, you may want to bring in something a little more potent to help you cut through the grime.
Many Ottawa Plumbing companies use toxic and corrosive drain cleaning cleaners that can end up causing more problems.
Our Ottawa Plumbers use and recommend all Ottawa homeowners to use environmentally (and plumbing system) friendly alternatives such as Enzymatic Drain Care™ which contain plant-based bacteria that breaking down the most common causes of clogged drains such as hair, fats, and oil -, keeping your pipes clean long-term.
Baking Soda and Vinegar
If you would like to try a more DIY cleaning solution, you can also opt for baking soda and vinegar.
Mix equal parts of vinegar and baking soda to create the classic fizzing effect. Then, immediately dump that bubbling concoction down the drain.
You can also dump the baking soda down straight into the drain and follow it with the vinegar.
Let the mixture sit in the pipes for a few hours, or overnight, then rinse the drain out with some boiling water.
Baking Soda and Salt
If you don't have any vinegar, there's another slightly more aggressive method you could try.
Mix one part baking powder with one part salt, a dump that mixture down the drain. Let that powdery blend sit for 15-30 minutes, then follow it up with some boiling water.
Use a Plumbing Snake
A drain snake, either a cheap plastic one or plumbers-grade model, can also help you clear out any blockages that may be clogging up your pipes.
Snakes trap difficult to remove clumps of hair or other debris in teeth or coils, depending on the model, making them easy to remove.
All you need to do is lower your snake down the drain, then pull it back out.
The Hanger Trick
If you don't have a fancy snake, don't panic! Just check your closet — you might be able to make one yourself.
Start with a thin wire coathanger, some wire cutters or sturdy scissors, and some pliers. Your goal is to create a small hook you can use to pull any hair or gunk out of the drain.
Cut a long piece of the coathanger. You want to create something long enough to reach down your drain, while still giving you plenty of leverage.
Use the pliers to straighten out any bumps or angles, then form a small, narrow hook at one end.
Once you have your tool, all you need to do is stick it down your drain and fish out any large chunks of hair and gunk that may be clogging your drain.
Just make sure you have a garbage bag and some gloves on hand, you'll need to pull all of the gunk you fish out off the hook yourself!
Once you've removed everything you can, pour a pot of boiling water down the drain to help wash away leftover soap scum or grime.
Clean Out the Pipes
If you have the right tools for the job, one surefire way to clear out a clogged bathroom sink is by taking the drain apart and cleaning the pipes yourself.
Start by shutting off the water to your sink, just in case, and cleaning out everything from under your sink. Then, place a large bucket under the drain and start loosening the pipes.
Check the pipes for hair and other debris, then soak them in a sinkful of warm, soapy water to loosen up any grime. Then, run a pipe cleaner, or thin rag, through the pipes to clear all of the extra grease and build-up away.
Leave the bucket under your sink after you put everything back together to check for leaks.
Call in the Pros
Finally, if you're worried about breaking your sink, or your drain is still clogged despite your best efforts, then it's time to call in the pros.
A professional Ottawa plumber will be able to diagnose the problem, and they'll have the necessary tools on hand to take care of whatever is causing the clog.
By calling in a plumber, you'll be able to save yourself a lot of time and frustration and get your bathroom back into working order much, much faster.
Plumbing can be a tricky thing to navigate — even for veteran homeowners. So, if you're stuck with a stopped-up sink you can't seem to fix, don't hesitate to reach out for help.
How to Unclog a Bathroom Sink
While a clogged drain can be annoying, and a little gross, it's not the end of the world. By following these tips, you'll be able to take on even the nastiest clogs your sink can throw your way.
Now that you know how to unclog a bathroom sink, it's time to get to work getting your drain back in working order.
Need a little help cleaning out your pipes? Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Ottawa has you covered!
Contact us for more information about our services or to schedule an appointment today!