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How To Fix A Bathroom Sink That Won’t Drain

Encountering a bathroom sink that won’t drain can be frustrating, but there’s no need to panic. Often, the solution is simpler than you think. This blog offers practical troubleshooting tips to identify and resolve common issues that cause bathroom sinks to become clogged. From simple DIY fixes to advice on when to call in the professionals, get your sink back in working order easily.

We’ve all been there – you’re brushing your teeth or washing your hands, and you notice the water in your bathroom sink is not draining. A clogged sink can be a significant inconvenience, disrupting your daily routine.

Luckily, many drain issues can be resolved with some troubleshooting and a few DIY solutions. This blog post will walk you through diagnosing and fixing a non-draining bathroom sink. Understanding the root cause is key to effectively clearing the blockage and preventing future issues.

What’s The Initial Diagnosis

Dripping Bathroom Sink Tap

Start by inspecting the sink. Remove any standing water and look for obvious signs of blockage, like hair or soap build-up, around the pop-up stopper. The issue may lie deeper in the drain if there’s no visible clog.

Check other fixtures in your home to ensure the problem is isolated to the bathroom sink. If multiple fixtures are affected, you might be dealing with a mainline blockage and should consider calling a plumber. Otherwise, proceed with simple tests, like running a small amount of water to see how quickly it drains, which can help gauge the severity of the clog.

Common Causes of Clogged Sinks

Clogged sinks often result from accumulations of hair, soap scum, and toothpaste residue. Over time, these elements combine with other debris to create a blockage. The stopper mechanism occasionally collects enough debris to affect drainage or be set too low. In other cases, small objects accidentally dropped into the sink can cause a clog. Considering what has gone down your drain recently as you prepare to tackle the clog is important.

Easy At-Home Solutions

Before you call a plumber or use harsh chemicals, try these simple fixes:

Tools Clear Standing Water Sink


A flat-bottomed plunger can often dislodge minor clogs. Cover the overflow hole with a wet cloth and plunge with firm, consistent pressure to create suction.

Baking Soda and Vinegar

This natural combination can break down organic clogs. Pour half a cup of baking soda into the drain, followed by an equal amount of white vinegar. Cover the drain to contain the fizzing action, which helps dislodge the blockage. After about 15 minutes, rinse with hot water.

Hot Water Flush

Boiling water can effectively melt soap or grease. Carefully pour a pot of boiling water directly into the drain in stages, allowing the heat to work through the clog. Be cautious to prevent burns and avoid this method if you have PVC pipes, as the heat can soften them.

Tools and Techniques for Tougher Clogs

For more stubborn blockages, you might need to employ some additional tools:

  1. Plumber’s Snake or Wire Hanger: Straighten a wire hanger to create a makeshift snake with a small hook at the end. Insert it into the drain and gently twist it to catch and draw out debris. For deeper clogs, use a plumber’s snake by feeding it down the drain and turning it to break up the blockage.
  2. Enzymatic Drain Cleaners: These eco-friendly cleaners use natural enzymes to eat away at organic matter. Apply as directed and allow ample time for the enzymes to work before flushing the drain.
  3. Wet/Dry Vacuum: If you have a wet/dry vacuum, set it to liquid mode, create a seal over the drain, and turn it to its highest setting. The powerful suction can pull the clog out of the drain.

Preventing Future Clogs

Prevention is always better than cure when it comes to plumbing:

  • Regular Maintenance: Regularly flush your sink with hot water or a mixture of baking soda and vinegar to prevent build-up.
  • Use Sink Strainers: Install a strainer to catch hair and other debris before they enter the drain.
  • Proper Disposal: Be mindful of what you put down your sink. Never dispose of oils, grease, or large particles that can easily lead to clogs.

Knowing When to Call a Professional

Blocked Bathroom Sink

If you’ve tried multiple methods and the water still won’t drain, it may be time to call a professional plumber. Persistent issues could indicate deeper problems like a clog in the main sewer line or a need for pipe repair.

Look for signs like water backing up in other fixtures when the sink is used, which could point to a more severe issue. A licensed plumber will have the necessary tools and expertise to diagnose and resolve complex plumbing problems efficiently.

Sink in Trouble? Don’t Let It Bubble!

Dealing with a bathroom sink that won’t drain can be a nuisance, but as we’ve explored, there are several approaches you can take to tackle the problem. From simple home remedies to a bit of elbow grease with a plunger or plumber’s snake, many clogs can be cleared without professional help. Regular maintenance and mindful usage are your best defences against future drainage woes.

Nonetheless, some blockages are stubborn or could be symptomatic of more significant plumbing issues. If the clog in your bathroom sink resists all efforts, it’s time to call in the experts. Big Blue Plumbing is your go-to resource for all your plumbing needs. Our skilled professionals are equipped to handle any clog, big or small, ensuring your bathroom sink is running smoothly again in no time.

Don’t let a clogged sink dampen your day – reach out to Big Blue Plumbing for swift, efficient, and friendly service. We’re here to provide you with the peace of mind of knowing your plumbing is in good hands. Contact us today, and say goodbye to your sink troubles!

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