How to Unclog a Double Kitchen Sink Drain
I absolutely love my double kitchen sink. It is perfect in every way. I can wash dishes in one side and then place them in the drying rack on the other side, preventing the issue of wet countertops. I can have a pot or pan soaking in one sink and still have another sink ready for use. It is the perfect setup for our home. But, being that this is the first double sink I've ever had, I was unaware of one issue that drove me to the edge of insanity one night some nine years ago...
It's Just a Simple Clog! Right?
One night after draining grease out of a pan, I apparently neglected to run hot water down the drain. My neglectfulness caused my drain to become clogged. Unfortunately, I did not realize this until my sink was more than halfway filled with gross, dirty water. I did not panic, because I knew all I had to do was fetch my plunger and simply plunge away the clog.
I grabbed my plunger and began plunging. It appeared as though I was doing a great job. The water was quickly leaving the sink via the clogged drain. I did it! But wait...why is the other side filling up with water? Now the original clogged side was empty, but the other sink was halfway filled with the gross, dirty water. After staring for a few moments, I began to use the plunger on the other side. Once again, the sink began to empty, but the other side began filling. After spending some time plunging the sinks back and forth, I realized this was not working and it was time to try something else.
I was so frustrated that my plunger was failing to complete the simple task of unclogging my drain. But what else would work in a situation like this? I did not have any Drano products on hand, so I decided to use another tool.
I started thinking about what I could use to get inside of the drain. It hit me in an instant: a metal clothes hanger! I ran upstairs to my closet and grabbed a hanger. I brought it down to the kitchen and unraveled the ends to make a long metal "stick". I began pushing it into the drain to push the clog loose. After a short while, I realized it wasn't working. I realized days later why my idea did not work.
It was virtually impossible to unclog my drain with the hanger because it could not navigate through the curves of the pipes that make up the draining system. Duh! How did I possibly expect that to work? I truly do know better. But I guess I would have tried almost anything at the time. Well, back to the plunger!
I literally spent about one entire day trying to unclog my double sink drain until it finally dawned on me. I was glaring at the pipes underneath the sinks when I realized how easy the solution was to unclog the drain.
Although I technically have two sinks in my kitchen, I actually only technically have one drain. Each sink has it's own drain but the two sides share one draining pipe system. So if the drain is clogged it prevents water from leaving either or both sinks. When I was plunging one side all I was doing was pushing the water back and forth through the pipes of each sink drain because the clog was preventing the water from going into the single pipe they join in to. So now that this was realized unclogging the drain became quite simple.
All I had to do was plug one sink and then begin to use the plunger. In a few short minutes both of my sinks were empty and the water was once again able to flow freely down the drain. It was a rather aggravating fact of how simple this minor task was to accomplish, but what can you do? I know this will never happen again to me and I hope I can prevent someone else from facing this stressful issue!
I would like to end by saying that you should not attempt to use a clothes hanger to unclog a double sink. It does not work and will not work. Also, it does not even begin to enter the pipes of the draining system due to how they turn and curve. With that being said, here is a recap of what will work.
If you find yourself facing a clog in the drain of your double kitchen sink, remember to plug one sink before you begin plunging away the clog. This will prevent the water from pouring up in to the other sink and will allow the water to push the clog loose while you are plunging. You may have to hold the plug in the opposite sink in place because as you use the plunger the plug will not stay tightly in place. (Please refer to the below video clip.)
You can avoid clogs like mine by running hot water into the drain when disposing of grease that is left over after cooking. Other clogs can be avoided by placing a debris catcher inside of your sink's drain. These easily catch pieces of food and whatever else that may try to enter your sink's draining system to cause a clog!
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.