Kitchen Drain Keeps Clogging Up? Here's The Main Reason Why

If the drain in your kitchen sink keeps clogging up no matter how many times you unclog it, you may have a problem somewhere else in your plumbing system. Sometimes, clogs can develop in one place and affect other locations in the home. If you don't find and fix the main issue, the kitchen sink drain will continue to clog up. Here's a possible cause of your clogged kitchen drain and tips to solve it.

How Can The Bathroom and Soil Stack Clog Up the Kitchen's Plumbing?

Your toilet can cause many plumbing problems in the home, especially if it builds up with hard water minerals. Hard water minerals, such as calcium, can build up inside the plumbing pipes connected to your toilet, bathtub and sink over time. When there's too much calcium in the pipes, it forms a chalky substance called lime scale. Lime scale can block the flow of water in your bathroom's plumbing pipes, which eventually backs up into the home's soil stack pipe.

The soil stack pipe connects to every room in the home that needs to get rid of wastewater. One of the problems with soil stacks is that they can clog up with lime and other contaminants over time. Because the plumbing pipes in the bathroom and kitchen generally meet and empty into the same location in the soil stack, the soil stack can accidentally redirect floating pieces of lime to the kitchen instead of the main sewer line.

Once the pieces of lime enter the kitchen's plumbing system, they travel to the plumbing pipe beneath the sink and stick to its lining. If you pour or wash oils, grease and food down the sink drain, they attach to the pieces of lime and form a large clog.

If the clog is very large, you may have problems removing it completely. In most cases, you may only remove pieces of the clog. There's a way to unclog your kitchen sink's plumbing pipe and clear the drain. You can use the power of air to do it.

How Can You Unclog the Kitchen's Plumbing Pipe and Clear the Drain?

To clear up your kitchen sink's clog, clean out the plumbing system's main vent stack. Your plumbing system uses the main vent stack to remove gases out of the home's sewage system. If the vent builds up with too many gases, it won't allow fresh air to circulate through it. Air creates pressure that forces blockages out of plumbing lines. You can access the pipe by climbing onto the roof.

You'll need to obtain the following:

  • Tall ladder
  • Pair of pliers
  • Portable vacuum
  • Metal clothes hanger
  • Flashlight

Now, climb onto the roof and locate the top of the vent stack, which looks like a thick, long metal pipe. The stack generally sits in the front of the home or somewhere in the center of the roof. There may be a smaller pipe coming out of the roof, which is the secondary vent pipe. The secondary vent pipe sits right over the bathroom or on the side of the roof. You don't need to clean the small vent out once you clear out the vent stack.

After you find the vent stack, here's what you do:

  1. Use pliers to cut the center of the hanger, then pull one of the ends out until it appears straight.
  2. Remove the covering from over the entrance of the pipe. You may need to pry it off with a flat-head screwdriver.
  3. Examine the inside of the pipe with a flashlight. If you see insects and other pests, don't proceed. Contact a plumber who can remove the problems safely and clean out the pipe for you. If the pipe doesn't contain pests, move to step 3.
  4. Place the hanger's straight end into the pipe, then work it back and forth to open up the vent.
  5. Turn the vacuum to low, then insert it's connecting hose down the pipe. Allow the vacuum to suck up dirt and other debris.
  6. Replace the pipe's covering, then go inside the home.

Run hot water down the kitchen sink drain, then pour 1 teaspoon of dish detergent down the drain. Wait 10 minutes, then turn off the tap. The water should run down the drain now.

If the sink still has a clog, contact a plumber for help. Clicking here will take you to one such service. You may have other issues to repair.