Why is my bathroom sink not draining? However upsetting they may be, most clogs make sense. When your kitchen sink or toilet clog, you usually know what’s happening, and you know what to do about it. But then there’s bathroom clogs.
What possible reason could there be for your bathroom sink to clog? The only things that go down your bathroom drains are toothpaste, water and soap. How could they be responsible? Turns out they’re at least partially responsible. We can narrow down what is clogging your sink down into four common possibilities. Let’s look at the reasons your bathroom sink keeps filling up with water.
Hair in your sink is the most common reason why your drain clogs. It’s the perfect drain clogging material. Hair clumps together when wet. Pipe walls catch those clumps on their way down. The more pressure the water in your drain exerts on hair, the harder it will clump together. Wet hair in your drain collects more wet hair, until the gross clump fully resists water flow inside the pipe. To make matters worse, that hairy clump collects anything else that’s trying to head down the drain, too.
A particularly pernicious myth about hair in drains is that only some “types” of hair cause clogs. This is not true. Facial hair and pet fur are just as good at clogging drains as any other kind. No matter how fine or thin the hairs are, they will catch on the pipe on their way down. Installing a drain straining device is a quick and effective way to fix a bathroom sink that keeps backing up and prevents hair from clogging your drain.
Your P-Trap is Clogged
The P-trap is the bending part of your bathroom sink drain pipe. It’s located directly beneath the sink. It connects the sink’s drain to the larger drain pipe leading to the sewer. P-traps bend to prevent toxic and foul-smelling sewer gas from floating back up through the drain. The bend in the P-trap also holds water, which helps create the suction required for a drain to clear. The problem is that bathroom sink P-traps also tend to catch other things, too.
Smaller items than you’d think can get caught in the p-trap. Rings, earrings, chunks of soap, and even grease can form clogs in your P-trap. If your P-trap is not draining , you may hear a strange stuttering noise when water flushes down the drain. You can manually remove most p-traps from under the sink pretty easily. In most cases, cleaning out the p-trap with an old toothbrush or similar implement will effectively solve the problem. Make sure you have a bucket underneath when you take the P-trap off!
Soap scum usually occurs when chemicals in soap react with calcium and magnesium ions present in water. It’s a chalky, filmy substance that clings to the sides of pipe walls and builds up over time. Like hair, this substance catches itself and other falling materials, creating a slow-growing clog. Soap scum can create particularly frustrating clogs because it’s sticky. You may find it difficult to pry accumulated soap scum away from pipe walls without a snake or other professional tool.
Though less common, soap-related clogs can still happen if you use a water softener. If excess quantities of soap pour down the drain, some could stick the walls and begin to build up. Heavier chunks of soap may also catch in the p-trap, causing the clogs outlined above. Particularly strong, coarse soap could even damage the pipes, leading to corrosion or rust clogs.
All kinds of pipe damage may be clogging your sink. When pipes corrode, the rust built up on the inner pipe walls can constrict water flow. Dented pipes will constrict or completely block off water flow if they’re damaged significantly enough. Even pipe joints can wear out or come apart, which could cause pipes to sag and block water flow. If pipes aren’t securely fastened, they could shift over time until they become displaced or disconnected.
Pipe damage is difficult to avoid entirely. All pipes get old over time, and when they get old enough, they’ll start to corrode or break down. When that happens, the only reliable solution is to install new replacement pipes. Are your pipes securely fastened? Are they in a place where they’re easily damaged? If you’re at your wit’s end trying to figure out the problem, call in the pros for a replacement bathroom sink drain.
We Fix Drains That Keep Getting Clogged
Hopefully you’ve discovered what causes bathroom sinks to clog and why your bathroom sink keeps filling up with water. Whatever’s causing your clog, however, there is a solution that will fix it. If you need help keeping your bathroom drain flowing, give Mike Diamond a call. We’re happy to help you solve your bathroom sink puzzle.