When you consider your normal morning and evening routines, you'll realize your bathroom sink takes a good beating. Between you, your spouse, and maybe your kids, water is running throughout the day, but more than water ends up in the drain. Eventually you may have to take time out of your busy schedule to deal with a clog.
How do clogs form? As you wash up, you're likely to send objects like loose hair strands, clumps of toothpaste, and soap residue down the sink. While on the outset it won't seem like a lot of it disappears, over time it builds up and blocks the passage of water. You'll end up with unsightly puddles in your sink that make getting ready for work and school difficult.
Minor clogs, though, may not require calling a plumber, so if you can discern it's something you can fix, there are steps to take to get rid of the clog.
1) First things first, before you try a product designed to unclog drains, use a plunger first. The suction force alone may be enough to loosen the blockage so you can retrieve. Make sure there is enough water in the sink to cover the plunger's head, then get to work. When the debris is removed, run a hot tap to clear the pipes.
2) If the plunger fails, more work is required. If you have access to a pipe snake or auger, insert it down the drain for use in breaking up the clog. If you find in this probing that the blockage is set in the straight part of the pipe rather than the curved trap, you may need to remove that part to get to the clog.
3) To prevent future clogs, it's important to keep the pipe working smoothly. Once a month, boil a pot of water and run it down the drain. This helps to prevent clogs, but don't do this while there's a blockage in the sink because it might not be enough to dissolve the debris.
Simple repairs such as this can go easily if you know what to do. For major plumbing problems, be sure to contact a professional plumber.
Kathryn Lively is a freelance writer specializing in articles on Virginia Beach plumbing and Norfolk plumbers.