Question: Hi Robert, I have a clogged master bathroom sink and would like to avoid calling a plumber. I tried some of the store products, the Liquid-Plumr, but that did not help. This is the first home I’ve owned and I have no experience in repairs, as I’ve never learned such things. I live alone so it is just myself, but I would like to learn. Any advice on where I can turn to begin? Linda L.
Answer: Linda, good for you for wanting to learn. This may be quite easy, a good first project for you. Most often, these sinks are clogged with hair just below the drain plug. Look up the configuration of how the drain plug is installed, this will help you to remove it carefully.
Most are a “hook and loop” type assembly. If you can get the plug out, then you can use a small tool sold at the big box stores for this very purpose, to see about fishing out any trapped hair within reach. They’re less than $10 and will be useful over the years. You can send this tool down as far as it will reach and you may pull out a most disgusting lump of hair, but if that’s the case then you’ll likely have just solved the problem.
Should that not work, the next thing I’d have you try is to clear the trap. This is the “U” shaped piece of pipe under the sink. It is where debris can sit if there is too much and/or it is too heavy to be pushed through. This will take proper tools, patience and a little more knowledge.
Try looking this up on YouTube so you have a good visual of what you will be doing. Be sure you have the proper tools for the job, and I highly recommend shutting off the water valves…just in case. Have pipe tape handy for the reassembly process, and be sure that once there, you test the pipe for leaks before assuming all is well.
When you have the trap removed, you may find that there is debris blocking it, which you should easily be able to remove. Reassemble and test. Should neither of those methods work, I’m afraid the call may have to be made to a plumber, since you’ve not done repairs prior. The next step requires more tools and more knowledge to accomplish this task. Best of luck to you, and good for you for being willing to learn!