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How to Clear a Sink Drain Trap

If your kitchen sink gets clogged on a regular basis, the culprit might just be the sink drain trap. This is the curved portion of plumbing under the sink that is meant to keep sewer gases from coming into your home. Over time, soap, hair, grease and other debris can become stuck in the trap and lead to a clog. Most people can take care of clearing their trap on their own – you’ll just need the right tools, a little patience, and the willingness to get a little messy.

Before you try to take on this job, however, make sure you can’t remove the clog any other way. Run some very hot water down the drain first to see if that takes care of the obstruction. If it doesn’t, try using a plunger. Remember to push down slowly and then pull up quickly – don’t use too much force, though, because that could hurt your pipes.

If neither of those solutions work, it’s time to get dirty.

How to Do It

  • Fill a container (a bucket, large bowl that you don’t mind getting dirty, or whatever else you can use) with hot water.
  • You’ll need slip joint pliers, a small wire brush and another bucket (if you’ve already filled the other one with hot water). You’ll see the “J” shaped trap, also known as the “J” bend, as well as slip joint nuts and a tailpiece. You’ll also see a waste arm and a portion of pipe coming from the wall. Those form the “P” trap. Let’s just concentrate on the “J” bend for now.
  • Next, clear out the cabinet of cleaners and anything else completely before you get started. Put the bucket under the trap so that it can catch debris and water. Use the pliers to loosen the slip nuts and then finish taking them off by hand and slide them away from the connections. Get ready, because more than likely quite a bit of gunk will come out.
  • Dump as much debris into the bucket as you can and then clean the trap with the brush. Wash out the trap in the container you filled with hot water. Check the slip nuts for excessive wear and replace if need be. Put the trap back on, tighten the nuts and then you’re done cleaning your sink drain trap.

Hopefully that will take care of the problem, but if clearing your sink drain trap doesn’t work, the issue is farther down the line. Contact a professional with Benjamin Franklin Plumbing® of Dallas to get your plumbing back to normal. Contact us online or call (972) 895-7775 for service.