DIY Unclogging of Kitchen Sink Drains Using a Plunger

Virtually every Australian household will face plumbing problems at some point, regardless of how well they take care of their plumbing system. Knowing how to deal with minor plumbing issues in the home can go a long way in keeping plumbing repair costs down. But when it comes to major plumbing problems, it is best to hire a specialist. Kitchen drains are highly susceptible to clogging or slow-draining because they often experience a lot of traffic on an everyday basis. When kitchen drains become clogged, a pool of dirty water will remain in the sink, rendering the utility inoperable and making your kitchen look unhygienic. The good news is that clearing clogs in kitchen drains is a DIY-friendly job that homeowners can effectively perform with a plunger.

If you are a DIY enthusiast, here's how you can utilise a plunger to restore the proper flow of wastewater in your kitchen drains. 

Choose the right plunger

Not all plungers are created the same. Therefore, the first and important step when it comes to clearing kitchen sink clogs is to select a suitable plunger for the job. There are two main kinds of plungers: cup plungers and flange plungers. Cup plungers are suitable for unclogging sinks whereas flange plungers are designed for unclogging toilet drains. How can homeowners tell the difference between these two types of plungers?

A cup/sink plunger comprises a simple/plain rubber cup attached to a wooden or plastic stick/handle. A flange/toilet plunger, on the other hand, has an extra cone or flap protruding from the inside of its rubber cup to help ensure proper suction during plunging. 

Learn how to plunge correctly

Having the right type of plunger is not useful if you do not know how to plunge correctly. Using a cup plunger is a skill that you will need to learn and master if you are to successfully clear kitchen sink clogs every time they crop up. The first thing you will need to do before you can start plunging is to remove any excess water from your sink. This is because too much water can make it difficult to create a tight seal around the drain opening. You can reduce water levels inside the sink with a bucket. Do not remove all the water from the sink — leave just enough water for the cup to submerge completely.

If your plunger's rubber cup is stiff, soften it up by pouring some hot water on the rubber. This is because soft, flexible rubber cups are generally plunge more effectively than hard, stiff cups. Use the softened rubber cup to create an airtight seal around the sink drain opening, and repeatedly plunge up and down while holding the handle straight up until the clogging goes away.