Picture this: you wake up groggy and stumble into the bathroom. You turn on the faucet to wash your face and brush your teeth, but it doesn’t take long before you realize the bathroom sink won’t drain. The bubbling, backed-up sink could be enough to ruin your day – but it doesn’t have to! With this guide and just a few minutes of your time, you can get the clogged bathroom sink flowing again, no chemicals or professional plumbers required. Just follow these five steps.
Disconnect the Stopper
The most likely problem is that gunk has collected on the stopper. But before you can clean it, you must first disconnect it.
Go under the sink and look for a metal strip with holes in it. Unscrew the pivot nut connecting this metal strip to the drain pipe. Pull the rod out of the pop-up assembly to disconnect it from the stopper.
Remove and Clean the Stopper
Lift the stopper out of the drain, and you’ll be shocked to see the amount of gunk stuck to it. You may want to plug your nose for this part. To remove any gunk, wipe the stopper with a damp paper towel and dump the mess into a trash can.
Snake the Drain
While a gunked-up stopper is a likely reason for the clogged bathroom sink, you should also use a hand snake on the drain for good measure. Hardware stores carry this handy little tool at a very low price.
While the stopper is removed, insert the snake into the drain and crank the handle to spin the head around inside the pipe. This allows it to grab onto any obstructions in its path, including soap scum, hair, dirt, and other debris. Brace yourself, because when you pull the snake out of the drain, it will undoubtedly be covered in gunk.
Dump the debris in the trash and snake the drain again. Repeat this process until the snake comes out relatively clean.
Reinstall the Stopper
Set the stopper back in the drain, and then go under the sink and re-connect the pivot nut to the metal strip with holes. Test the stopper by pulling up on the metal rod behind the faucet, which is actually the top portion of the metal strip with holes.
Once you’re sure the stopper is functioning correctly, open the drain all the way and turn on the faucet to see if the water flows now. If it does, you’re back in business! But if the bathroom sink still won’t drain, there’s one more thing you can try before calling a plumber…
Check the P-Trap
The p-trap is the elbow-shaped section of plumbing. Your hand snake might not be quite long enough to clear gunk from the trap, so it’s time to take a look inside.
Place a bucket beneath the p-trap and unscrew the connectors holding the pipe in place with a wrench. Dump out the water and gunk from the p-trap into your trusty bucket. If needed, wipe out the inside of the pipe to remove stuck-on debris.
Reattach the p-trap, cross your fingers, and turn on the faucet. The water should flow beautifully now! However, if the clog is located deeper down the line and the bathroom sink still won’t drain, you need help from a plumber.