In this article you will see a real case of a kitchen sink jam, as well as the solution that was given. Let’s go there.
Main symptom of a kitchen sink clog: water doesn’t swallow well
This is the main symptom that you have a jam problem.
Something in the drain pipe is causing the sink to not swallow the water well. In many cases it is not that he does not swallow anything, but that he swallows the water but very slowly.
It can also happen that while the water does not drain well when doing so, noises are heard from the pipes.
Any of these symptoms indicates that the operation of the sink and drain is not normal. Something happens there.
Why do I have a kitchen sink jam? Most probable causes
The most common cause of water drainage problems in sinks is dirt and deposits accumulated in the siphon below the sink.
And is that whatever type of kitchen sink you have, all of them have a siphon installed just below the sink itself. The function of this siphon is to prevent bad odors from the drain pipes from reaching the kitchen. This would be especially unpleasant, especially considering that the kitchen is the place where we prepare food.
Well, this siphon usually gets a lot of dirt and filth. In fact, much more than anyone else in the house. In the kitchen we prepare food, cleaning for example vegetables and vegetables, with all the dirt that they have attached. We also clean meat and fish, and many small remains from this cleaning go down the drain itself. In short, a huge variety of dirt and small debris go down the drain. And that even if we are careful and use the sink strainer, always recommended.
Dirt seeps out of the sink valve and goes through the siphon. In this place the sedimentation of this dirt and the consequent clogging can occur.
As for these clogs, it is important to note that some sink siphon models are more susceptible to clogging than others:
- The U-shaped models are the most recommended in general. They are U-shaped and the section is the same throughout the siphon, so it is not usually clogged. Or it takes much longer than other models.
- Bottle models. Blockages are more likely in these siphons, as the section narrows inside. They do, however, have some advantage, such as their smaller size compared to the U-shaped siphon.
How to fix a dirty and/or clogged siphon
If the problem with the clog is because we have a dirty siphon, the solution is really simple: clean it.
There are several possibilities for this:
- In U-shaped siphons it is generally necessary to disassemble the siphon, clean it and reassemble it. Some cases, however, they have a small plug that can be used to clean
- In bottle type siphons it is a little simpler, since they allow it to be opened from the bottom by means of a threaded cap that they have.
In either of the 2 previous cases, previously it will have been necessary to place a basin under the sink to collect the water that will inevitably fall. Very little water will fall: only that which is retained in the siphon itself, which is very little.
In the case of disassembling the U-type, no further precautions are necessary: neither cut off the water nor anything. Disassembling it is very simple, since the siphons are attached to the sink outlet pipes and connected to the downspout by means of threads with rubber gaskets. To disassemble it, we only have to turn the thread, loosening the union and finally pull the siphon until it is removed. That is, it is only unscrewing and removing it. To assemble it is just as simple. If it is positioned correctly and adjusted properly, no leaks are foreseeable once reassembled.
In the case of bottle-type siphon, these have a lower cap that is unscrewed and allows access to the interior of the siphon. We will clean the lid and also the inside of the bottle, simply passing a finger along the walls until we clean the adhered dirt. If we see that it has a lot of dirt, the most recommended thing then is to disassemble the siphon and clean it thoroughly.
The siphon is clean and the sink still does not drain the water well
In this case the problem is lower than the siphon, that is, in the pipes that come out of the siphon and join the downspout. The most important thing in this case is to determine if this has always been the case or there has been a worsening of the water output over time.
So we have to:
- If you have always swallowed the water badly, it is possible that it is a problem of poor sizing or execution of the drainage pipe network. It could also be that there was an obstruction with materials from the initial work.
- If we have noticed a worsening over time, what is indicating us in this case is that an obstruction has occurred. Blockages can be caused by time and sediment build-up, coupled with other causes, such as narrow pipes, hard water, etc.
Fixing pipes with jams
Fixing a clogged pipe is a bit more complicated than cleaning the siphon. In fact in most cases we will need the help of a plumber or plunger.
Anyway, if we want, we can try some descaling liquids. But they probably won’t work properly.
We can also try special unblocking springs, which are more effective than unblocking liquids. In any case, if you don’t solve it like this, you will have to call a plunger.
Professionals actually fix it using plunger machines. These consist of a metal hook that scratches the walls of the tubes and is inserted into the pipes by means of a kind of very long and narrow spring. The metal spring is continuously rotating and in this way the hook scratches the walls.
The introduction of the long spring into the pipes is done with a machine that makes it rotate. In this way it is achieved that the hook is advancing through the interior of the tubes, by many elbows and turns that the pipes have. And it is also achieved that the hook-tip scratches the inside of the tubes and cleans them.
The plumbers or plungers are introducing the spring little by little. And from time to time, when the tip of the spring seems to get stuck and doesn’t go any further, they pull the spring out a little bit and push it back in little by little.
As we can see, we have been lucky and the kitchen sink clog was only caused by a dirty siphon. Or it may, instead, that the problem is a little bigger and we need the help of a plumber or unblocked, who will help us to remove the blockage in case of obstruction of pipes.