Home & Garden Maintenance & Repairs

Severely Clogged Bathroom Sink Drains


    • You may be able to unclog the drain with a plunger. Use a sink plunger, which has a flat, even bottom. Set the bottom of the plunger over the drain so the handle is upright. Run a little water into the sink so that it covers and seals the plunger lip to the sink. Keeping the plunger firmly over the drain, push the plunger handle straight down and quickly pull it up again. Pull the plunger off the drain. The clog may dislodge after you repeat the procedure three or four times. The backed-up water should drain quickly.

    Sink Trap

    • If plunging does not clear the drain, check the sink trap. Mother Earth News notes that the trap is one of the most common sites for clogs. Before you check the trap, place a container under the sink to catch water from the trap. To remove the trap, use a pipe wrench to unscrew both end caps. Slide the pipe out and allow the water to flow into the container. Remove any hair or other clogs from the trap and attach it back in place. If water does not flow into the container when you remove the trap, the clog is farther into the water line.


    • If the clog is not in the trap, use a drain auger or snake to dig deeper. An auger is a bendable metal rod up to 12 feet long, which extends into the line and removes clogs. Place a container under the sink, remove the trap, and push the end of the auger down through the pipe until it hits a clog. You may need to run the auger to your septic tank or public sewer connection. Turn the crank handle so that the hooked end of the auger attaches to the clog. Push and pull the auger a few times until it penetrates or pulls out the clog. If water run freely through the pipe, attach the trap. For deep or persistent clogs, Hometime recommends renting an electric power auger.

    Main Drainpipe

    • If you cannot remove the clog with an auger, there may be a blockage in the main drain to the septic system or public sewer line. Tree roots and hardened detergent are common culprits. A professional plumber can check the main drain. If you prefer to check it yourself, you will need to rent a power auger. Locate the clean-out port near the exit point of the main drain. Place a garbage barrel or other large container near the port, open the port and allow water to drain into the container. Use the auger to locate and remove the clog. After you remove the clog, close the port.

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