When trying to get ready for a busy day, the last thing you want to deal with is a clogged bathroom sink. While you might expect a clog in the kitchen sink, thanks to the food and grease flushed down the drain, you may ask, “Why isn’t my bathroom sink draining?” After all, you most likely aren’t washing dirty, greasy dishes in the bathroom.
At Works Plumbing, we see a lot of clogged bathroom sinks. Our Pacifica, CA-based team of experienced plumbers provides emergency plumbing services to San Francisco-area homes and businesses, including clearing bathroom sinks that won’t drain. We know the most common reasons for clogged drains, how to fix them, and, most importantly, how to keep drain pipes clear and water flowing freely.
Drain cleaning by Works Plumbing can eliminate even the most stubborn clogs and keep your plumbing in good condition. If your bathroom sink isn’t draining and simple DIY fixes don’t solve the problem, call us for help. In the meantime, learn more about how to handle a bathroom sink that won’t drain.
The Most Common Reasons a Bathroom Sink Will Not Drain
When your bathroom sink doesn’t drain, the most likely reason is a blockage in the drain pipe. Knowing what’s clogging the line can help determine the best solution. In most cases, the source of the issue is one of the following.
You might think that loose hairs are an issue for the bath or shower drain, but they can also clog the sink. Rinsing the occasional hair down the bathroom sink drain is not likely to cause problems, but when you make a habit of washing hair down the drain, it can clump and create a clog. The longer the hair, the more likely it is to wreak havoc on the plumbing.
Over time, soap scum can accumulate on the walls of the drain pipe and create a clog. Especially thick or greasy products can make the issue worse. Soap scum buildup can catch hairs and debris that you rinse down the drain, causing a stubborn clog.
Objects in the Drain Pipe
Accidentally washing objects down the bathroom sink is another possible answer to “Why isn’t my bathroom sink draining?” Anything from small toys to accumulated dental floss can block a drain. Other debris, like nail clippings, dirt, and even exfoliating beads from facial cleansers, can get caught and worsen existing blockages.
Blocked External Drain
Sometimes the source of an issue in your bathroom sink isn’t near the bathroom. A blockage may be deeper within the plumbing, causing a backup. When this happens, it’s likely that all the sinks, bathtubs, and toilets in your home won’t drain.
A backed-up bathroom sink could also be due to an issue with the sewer lines. For example, a tree may have infiltrated the sewer pipe, which can eventually lead to a backup.
How To Eliminate a Clogged Bathroom Sink
If your bathroom sink isn’t draining, you can try a few simple fixes to solve the problem before you call a plumber. If none of these approaches solve the problem or only work temporarily, your best bet is to call a professional plumber to investigate and clear the clog. For example, a plumber may need to use a drain camera to find a clog deep within the plumbing or sewer lines.
If you want to try clearing the bathroom sink on your own, try these safe and effective options.
Use a plunger. You may be able to dislodge whatever’s blocking the drain using a small plunger designed for sinks. However, if this does not permanently solve the issue, and you need to use a plunger frequently, seek professional help.
Pour boiling water down the drain. If the bathroom sink drains slowly, pouring boiling water down the drain may loosen the clog. Pour a kettle of boiling water down the drain and wait for an hour, then try again.
Use baking soda and vinegar. Baking soda can effectively clear clogs. Pour a cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by a cup of white or apple cider vinegar. Immediately replace the drain stopper to contain the foam, then rinse the drain with boiling water after ten minutes.
Another option is to pour half a cup of baking soda and half a cup of salt down the drain. Allow the mixture to sit for one to two hours, then rinse with boiling water. Either approach can dissolve accumulated soap scum, cleaning the inside of the pipes to eliminate and prevent clogs.
Use a drain snake. Drain snakes are long wires with augers on one end, which you can use to pull out debris and stubborn clogs. Also known as a plumber’s snake, this tool is one of the most effective ways to clear bathroom sink clogs.
Check the P-trap. Sometimes, the U-shaped curve in the pipe under the sink can collect debris, causing a blocked bathroom drain. With a bucket underneath, you can unscrew this section of pipe to check for a clog. If you accidentally drop something down the drain, like jewelry, you’re also likely to find it in the P-trap.
If none of these methods work, and the bathroom sink still doesn’t drain, call a professional plumber to investigate and make repairs.
Should I Use a Chemical Drain Cleaner To Clear a Clogged Bathroom Sink?
Professional plumbers typically caution homeowners against using chemical drain-clearing products like Drano to clear a blocked household sink. These products are highly caustic and may do more harm than good, especially if you don’t use them correctly. The longer a drain cleaner remains in contact with the plumbing, the more likely it is to eat away at the pipes and cause a leak.
In addition, the harsh chemicals dissolve some of the clog in many cases. While this can help clear the locked drain, the results may be only temporary. For this reason, it’s better to call a professional to eliminate the clog without causing damage.
Preventing a Clogged Bathroom Sink
A clogged sink is inconvenient — and potentially messy — but it is preventable. To keep the drain pipe clear and avoid asking, “Why isn’t my bathroom sink draining?” keep the following tips in mind.
- Use a sink stopper. A sink stopper with holes will allow water to flow down the drain while blocking hair and other debris. Empty the debris into a garbage can.
- Clean the sink. Remove hair and other debris from the sink basin using a cloth — don’t rinse it down the drain, where it can accumulate and create a clog.
- Brush hair away from the sink. When you brush or comb your hair, move away from the sink to keep loose hairs from falling down the drain.
- Avoid microplastics. Skincare products containing microplastics, such as exfoliating products with microbeads, can contribute to bathroom sink clogs.
- Run hot water after using the sink. Hot water can clear the drain by preventing debris from sticking to the pipe walls.
- Take care when using the sink. Keep the drain stopper closed when the water isn’t running to prevent items from accidentally going down the drain.
- Don’t put inappropriate items down the drain. Never rinse certain things, like dental floss, cotton balls, adhesive bandages, and tissues, down the sink drain. Throw them away in the garbage to prevent a clog.
Let the Professional Plumbers of Works Plumbing Clear Your Clogged Drain
If you want a fast and easy solution to a drain problem, call the team from Works Plumbing to find the most efficient way to eliminate the clog. One of our friendly licensed and insured plumbers will be there as soon as possible when you call to identify the reason for the problem and apply the most effective solution. We understand how inconvenient a stubborn clog can be, and we do everything we can to clear the pipes and keep the problem from coming back.
Works Plumbing is your local source for all your plumbing needs. We are here for you if you have questions like “Why isn’t my bathroom sink draining?” or want to learn the benefits of drain cleaning to keep the pipes clear. Our commitment to exceptional customer service also means you can trust us for total honesty and transparency — you will always know exactly what we’re doing and how much it will cost.
Call Us for Help Today
Don’t let a clogged bathroom sink ruin your day. When you need answers to “Why isn’t my bathroom sink draining?” call us for fast, affordable plumbing services. For over 20 years, our crew of dedicated plumbing professionals has been the first choice for San Francisco-area residents who need high-quality plumbing.
When you choose Works Plumbing, you can rest assured that you are getting the best service from the most accomplished professionals in the area. We offer 24/7 emergency services, so you never have to worry about a clogged sink at the worst possible time.
To get help from our five-star plumbers, call (650) 414-7261 today, or request service online.