Three Quick Fixes for a Slow Draining Sink

Did you know that one of the most common plumbing problems is a clogged drain?   A clogged drain can cost a pretty penny to fix if you call a plumber.  On average a clogged sink costs between $125-$300 to snake.  In addition, some plumbers charge an initial fee just to get in their truck ($100-$150) and then an hourly wage after that ($45-$65).  Let’s not forget that if your clog happens over a weekend or on a holiday, an additional emergency or inconvenience fee can be added to the total cost as well .

You might not have to foot that bill, though.   If the clog isn’t too deep or complicated, it can be a relatively simple, cheap fix for you to do yourself.  In the face of a huge plumbing bill it might be worth the thirty minutes to give it a good try.

1.Gather your materials:

•A bucket

•A roll of paper towels

•A screwdriver

•A plunger

•A snake (if you have one) plumbing snake in drain

•A drain cleaner (draino or baking soda and vinegar, or dawn dish detergent)

2.Remove the stopper (a.k.a pop-up, sink plunger) and clear the debris.

Sometimes these stoppers can just be gently pulled up, other times, they need to be unscrewed.  Sometimes you can unscrew them by turning the stopper itself (righty tighty, lefty loosey) or you have to look under the sink  to unscrew it.  Don’t panic if you have to look under the sink.  It isn’t complicated.  If you have to look under the sink, watch the video at the end for further instructions.

Once you unscrew and remove the stopper.  Clear any debris that might be hanging onto it (ick!) and look down the drain to see if you can see any obvious gunk in the way.  Often times my kids drop toothpaste tops down the sink and that is blocking the water.  I use a drain weasel to remove items stuck in the drain.  You can also make a little hook out of a wire hanger and see if you can grab any hair you might see.

After you remove the obvious blockages, try running the water again.  If it drains, AMAZING you just saved yourself time and money.  If it doesn’t drain go on to step 3.

3.Use a drain cleaner.

I like to use homemade drain cleaners because I usually have those ingredients on hand, but if you prefer a store bought one you can also purchase Draino.  Pour the drain cleaner down the drain, wait the appropriate time, and then pour boiling water down the sink.  Finally, turn your faucet on and see if the water drains easily down the sink.

Homemade Drain Cleaner:

•Pour boiling water down the sink.

•Pour ½ c baking soda down the sink.

•Pour ½ c vinegar down the sink.

•Wait 10 minutes.

•Pour boiling water down the sink.

•Turn on the faucet and see if the water drains.


•Pour half a bottle of dawn soap down the drain.

•Wait 30 minutes.

•Pour boiling water down the sink.

•Turn on the faucet and see if the water drains.

If your sink is draining then- FANTASTIC!  You have saved a lot of time and money.  If your sink still isn’t draining, move on to step 4.

4.Take off the sink elbow.

drain with filter and elbow

This step sounds harder than it is.  Watch the quick 5-minute video below too see how to follow step 4 and free your sink of the clog.

Mr. Kistel

Once your have put the elbow back on, turn on the facet and see if the water drains easily.  If it does- Man Alive! You saved yourself time and money.  If it doesn’t, now you know it is worth the time and money to call a professional.   WA Booth Plumbing Services is who we trust with our plumbing needs.

Orentas, Geraldine. Forbes Home. How Much Does It Cost for a Plummer to Snake a Drain in 2023? 25 January 2023.,try%20to%20do%20it%20yourself.

Bailey Plumbing, Heating and Cooling.  4 Tips to Fix a Slow Draining Sink.  18 August 2021


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