How to unclog a drain. How is that for the least sexy post of all time? Like, on a scale of 0-10 this one is a -400.
First, a story. My wedding ring is missing. Gone. Maybe forever. My husband and I frequently take them off for woodworking or whatever and keep them in our bathroom drawers. I thought I had my two year old trained to stay out…but maybe not. Probably not. My money is on her for the culprit.
Last week I finally admitted to my husband that my ring is gone. And he confessed in return that his was as well. Oops. So, first – To all our friends and family who may see us ringless for the unforeseeable future: Yes, we still love each other and have every plan to remain in a state of matrimony.
How does a story about wedding rings become the least sexy post of all time, you ask?
It goes like this.
Today I started deep cleaning a few rooms that seemed most likely to hold the ring, if it is still here. Now here’s a crazy thought. My home is pretty clean. I have even written about decluttering. Generally speaking, I can at least say Martha Stewart would not be revolted if she swung by unannounced. SO HOW IS IT THAT SAURON CAN LOCATE A MISSING RING ACROSS ALL OF MIDDLE EARTH AND I CANNOT FIND MY RING IN THIS CLEAN HOUSE?!?!!?
Sorry for the shouting there. It needed emphasis.
Just to be sure I am checking all the boxes in this search, I decided to pull apart the sink drains. Yes, you are right, after going missing for weeks they are likely not there. But both sinks in the master haven’t been draining well anyway, so I figured it was worth a go. Besides, they really needed to be cleaned out. We rented the house for a couple years, and one sink in particular has been a reluctant drainer ever since.
How gross is it that I totally know how to unclog the drains but haven’t?! Ew.
Guys, what came out of those sinks may not have been from this planet. I’m expecting a visit from FEMA to address the smell anytime now.
And, of course, I took pictures. Because simply telling my husband that I cleaned out the drains and they were really gross is totally, absolutely, and not even sort of close enough.
As I was reassembling the second sink it occurred to me that I should share how to go about unclogging a sink from underneath, for those of you who either have a drainage problem or an object-missing problem. But just to be sure that it wasn’t the stupidest post in the world I called a non-handy friend and my mother. Both reassured me that they didn’t know how to do it, so it’s game on.
How to unclog a sink without chemicals
Look, this is one area you most certainly do NOT need to call a plumber. You got this.
Clear out the space under your sink and place a bowl underneath the pipes. You are going to remove the U or J shaped pipe at the bottom and unclog it. This is called the trap, and it is a point where gunk can start to build up over time. If you know you lost something don’t turn on the water. It has a chance of sticking in this spot.
Slowly untwist the pipe at the lower part of the bend, where the U or J shaped trap connects with the pipes that come out of the wall. It will probably unscrew by turning right, which, I know is frustratingly not in keeping with righty tighty lefty loosey.
The pipe will start to leak water before you have it completely unscrewed. Make sure your bowl is ready to go. Once it is unscrewed gently pull down and disconnect the front part of the bend from the pipe that runs vertically down from the base of the sink.
Empty the pipe into the bowl, and then flush the disconnected trap pipe in another sink. Don’t laugh, we both know it has happened.
Dude, I’m sorry. I don’t even know what the crap the yellow stuff is. That’s just…I kind of threw up in my mouth again.
You will probably find some pretty nasty build up, too, though hopefully not this awful. Hold your breath.
The vertical pipe connected to the sink will also need to be flushed. The first sink I did ran clear right away, but the second sink had clotted up mud crap jammed all over in there. Why? Who knows.
I used the long part of a broken hanger to reach up into the pipe and unclog all of the junk up in there. It’s kind of horrifying and fascinating all at once. Once you think you have the material clear run some water through the pipe, being sure not to overfill the bowl underneath.
That’s it! Reattach the U/J pipe by sliding the longer arm up onto the vertical pipe, then screwing the smaller arm back onto the pipes that com out of the wall. Snug it all up, double check it by running the water for a moment, and you are good to go!
How easy was that?!
(For those who may wonder – No, our rings were not there. Which was expected. The search continues…)