Blocked Drains: Are the Pipes Under Your Sink the Problem?

Kitchen sinks can block quite easily. However, if you are careful about what you put down the drain, then you shouldn't have recurring problems. If your sink keeps blocking, then you need to work out why. In desperation, you may have finally taken a look under the sink only to realise that the waste pipes don't look quite right.

It's obvious that the person who fitted the sink had a problem when they tried to connect the sink's pipes to the main waste drain outside. Your pipes have more pieces in them than a jigsaw and they zig up and down rather than running in compact lines.

Could this be the reason why your sink keeps blocking? What can you do about it?

Why Sink Pipe Angles Matter

Generally, the pipe that carries water out of your sink and into its drain runs straight down. It then usually curves down into a trap and up again. At this point, it runs straight or at a slight downward angle to carry water into your external drainage system.

The force of gravity should carry the water through this kind of design, even though the water may have to go up a little as it comes through the trap. However, if your piping design doesn't follow these basic principles, then the pipe may not drain correctly.

For example, if water has to travel up and down a lot at steeper angles, then it is harder for all the water you drain out of the sink to travel through the pipe. Any particles or materials in the water, no matter how small, may start to collect as sludge.

This sludge may not shift easily if the strength of the water flow is reduced by its travels up and down various pipe configurations. Eventually, the sludge may get big enough to cause a blockage.

How to Diagnose Pipe Configuration Problems

If your pipe looks like it was put together by a toddler, then this is a good reason to call out your plumber. They can look at the pipe's layout and tell you if it is the reason why your sink keeps blocking.

If it is, then your plumber may suggest changing the layout to make things flow better. If the pipes are fine, even though they look odd, then your plumber can take a look at your sink and work out why it's not draining right all the time.