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Kitchen sink clogs can be a real bear, and they always seem to happen at the worse possible times (like when entertaining a house full of guests). In this article we will take a look at what causes kitchen sink blockages, steps you can take to reduce the frequency, and the different types of kitchen drain cleaning.
The Different Types of Kitchen Drain Clogs
There are really two basic types of kitchen sink clogs:
These are blockages somewhere in the piping under the sink. They can happen at the garbage disposal outlet, in the p-trap or any of the small pipes directly under the sink. These are the most common, and usually the easiest to unclog. It is usually just a matter of taking the pipes apart, clearing the obstruction, and putting them back together.
The biggest concern with these types of blockages is, if the pipes are old, they will likely not want to go back together without leaking. I have personally seen pipes literally crumble in my hands as I try to take them apart. In this case, piping will need to be replaced.
These are blockages that happen in the pipes inside the walls, or under your home. These can be a little trickier, and require special drain cleaning equipment to properly unclog. They can be caused by a number of issues within the line itself. These can range from mild accumulation of debris over time, finally causing a blockage to more major problems.
Addressing Kitchen Line Blockages
The real trick is to get the best access to the pipe possible, then find what caused the problem, and address the problem at the source.
The best way to get access to a kitchen drain line to clean it is through a clean-out. Many homes have them outside, right under the kitchen window. A cleanout gives direct access to the line itself, and since it is usually outside, it is much easy to get machines close to the access.
If there is no cleanout, or the one that is there is not accessible, the next best way is by removing the pipes under the sink, and accessing the pipe that way. One downside to that is the situation I mentioned above about old pipes. Another drawback is that the access is more difficult to reach (being under the sink), and it can be a bit messy running drain cleaning equipment inside a kitchen… no matter how clean your plumber is, it is just not ideal.
Access and Address
There really is a “right tool” for each job. These are the best ways to deal with the most common blockages.
Mild accumulation leading to a clog – These problems can usually be addressed using the proper drain cleaning cable, some hot water and degreaser. The line is first cleaning with the cable. Then the line is run again with hot water and a degreasing chemical. This can only be done thoroughly with a cleanout, but a less “thorough” version of this can be done from under the sink.
Heavy accumulation of grease – This does not usually work that well with just a cable. It is best to start with a cable to get the water draining, then followed up with degreaser and a high pressure water jetting. This also requires a cleanout.
More serious problems (heavy corrosion, etc.) – This is a problem that usually requires some sort of repair. Remember, corrosion is actually what used to be part of the pipe, so aggressive drain cleaning can cause the line to fail completely, and even leak under your home. The only way to really address these issues is to replace the bad section of pipe. Thankfully, these problems are becoming less and less frequent with the more common use of ABS waste piping.
Now that you know everything there is to know about kitchen sink drain cleaning (well, maybe not), give Gogo Rooter a call for your free estimate.