Asked on Nov 11, 2013

Help! Constantly Clogged Kitchen Drain

by Alexakh
Anyone have any knowledge on how to keep a kitchen sink from CONSTANTLY.... and I do mean CONSTANTLY getting clogged??
  41 answers
  • Sheryl Johnson Sheryl Johnson on Nov 11, 2013
    I lived for 22 years with a MADDENING kitchen drain line. The city would come and inspect the line and say "No, it has to be between your house & the street. YOUR problem. You may dig up the city's line (the one that ran under the street!!) at your own expense. (GASP!)" And we would go rent a sewer snake and run the line...I'm sure we kept the rental company afloat for years. We had run the line so often we absolutely KNEW the problem was further out than our own property line. Finally we talked to a contractor who agreed to dig up the street at half cost and take a look. Across the street from our home our sewer line met the city's main line at a "T" junction. The city's main line had dropped - God only knows how many years in the past - and left our line hook-up hanging in nothing but air. I took great pleasure in bringing the city manager down to have a look at "MY" problem. The city paid the contractor and all was repaired, finally putting an end to my constant back-ups. My home was built in 1899, hooked into sewer system in early '30's. I'm sure your home is not so old, but check your lines. You never know.
  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Nov 12, 2013
    Time to call in a plumber! It could be as simple as lack of pitch in the out flow line to damaged pipes. No matter the reason, it will not get better on its own!
  • Molly Meredith Molly Meredith on Nov 12, 2013
    go to Lowe's and get a snake
  • D.I.Yankowski D.I.Yankowski on Nov 12, 2013
    Jeanette's right. We'd need a lot more detail before giving any kind of real answer. In no particular order... Is the drain properly vented? Do you have a basement where you can see the drain line? What else drains into the same line as the sink in question? What are the drains made of? What are the circumstances when the clog occurs? Do you have a garbage disposal? How old is your house? How old is the plumbing? Is this a new problem? What have you already tried? How handy are you? Have you plumbed before? Are you comfortable learning on your own house?
  • Teresa Schroepfer Teresa Schroepfer on Nov 12, 2013
    This is a strange answer, but true in the case of our drain. When we bought our home, we had a drain problem. We finally took out the pipe under the sink and checked it out. The previous owner had lost a piece of would let the water pass most of the time, but more often than not it stopped it up. We would put in different products and it would clear the line enough to work for a while then it would begin again.
  • Luis Luis on Nov 13, 2013
    I had that problem a while back had Roto-Rooter come and un-clogged the pipes in 15 minutes and 450 dollars later, then the guy told me that the best way to keep the pipes clean is to boil about 3 to 5 gallons of water once a month and pour down the drain that will keep the pipes cleaner, so far so good.
  • Yvonne Mrad Terry Yvonne Mrad Terry on Nov 13, 2013
    We had that problem also, Roto-Rooter came out, he said it was the garbage disposer, he said don't use it anymore because it was missing some kind of trap, he also said, boil water and pour down once a month, he also stated put a box of baking soda in the drain, then poor in boiling Vinegar.. I also do that once a month..
  • Ivy Lynne Ivy Lynne on Nov 13, 2013
    Have you located the clean out opening? Usually it is outside the kitchen in a flower bed. It may be a simple matter to go through the clean out pipe with an auger to clear the clog. Good Luck!
  • Kiff Harvey Kiff Harvey on Nov 13, 2013
    call a plumber ask around for recommendations for a good reputable one
  • Alexakh Alexakh on Nov 13, 2013
    Thanks so much for the response! I understand your frustration and so happy you got it "figured out". I know the builder of our group of houses is known for plumbing issues but wish there was an ultimate fix to the problem!!!!!
  • Diane Renaud Diane Renaud on Nov 13, 2013
    How to Unclog A DrainWith Baking Soda and Vinegar Pour a pot of boiling hot water down your drain. Dump in about 1/2 c. baking soda. Let that sit for afew minutes. Then, pour amixture of 1 c. vinegar and 1. c very hot water downon top of the baking soda. Cover with a drain plug (to keep the reaction downbelow the drain surface) if you have one and let it sit for an hour Flush one more time witha pot of boiling water. Repeat if necessary Why this works: The baking soda and hot watertreatment will loosen up any grimy sludge that’s hanging out at the bottom ofyour drain, and the explosive chemical reaction with the vinegar will jolt itall loose. Then one final super hot-water rinse will make all the bad stuff gobye-bye. If you know the slow drain is from grease, trythis treatment: Pour in 1/2 cup of salt and 1/2 cup of baking soda followed bya teakettle of boiling water. Allow to sit overnight.
  • Samuel Lowe Samuel Lowe on Nov 13, 2013
    Check to see if the main stack line is clogged with a bird nest or something,It is the main stack line on the roof of your house sometimes they get clogged and stop the airflow to your system . You can also try some red devil lye drain crystals or drano crystal type of drain cleaner down the drain , but always use cold water with these chemicals ,and use every saftety recommendation that the instructions recommend
  • Patti Patti on Nov 13, 2013
    all good ideas. weekly add vinegar , or lemon juice let sit over night. K Roebics makes great drain cleaners non corrosive. It sounds like you need to snake the drain... If you let people dump grease in drains that can be an issue. Always wipe excess oil with paper towels, do not let them go into drain, no towels use newspaper .... The plumbers always said that was one way to make them go hungry keep drains free of hair and grease
  • Anna Fults Anna Fults on Nov 13, 2013
    We have a method at our house. Never put potato peelings in the garbage disposal. Also, if it big enough to pick it up, do so. Throw it in the trash instead of loading up your pipes with ground up food.
  • Patty Reisz Patty Reisz on Nov 13, 2013
    We're going through that now. Turns out there is a busted pipe under the foundation. My homeowners insurance covers the repairs.
  • Melissa Gutilla Melissa Gutilla on Nov 13, 2013
    my kids used to throw their Popsicles in the sink and the sticks would somehow make it in the drain. I say everyone should have a remove able elbow in the kitchen sink drain. We bought this house a year ago and it is still on my list of things to fix.
  • Walsh Brothers Walsh Brothers on Nov 14, 2013
    Leave it to the professionals. Your plumber can cable out and clear your line then perform a video inspection to see why you have a continual problem. His findings will dictate what course of action to take to resolve your problem once and for all.
  • Janet Smith Janet Smith on Nov 15, 2013
    We had a serious problem in our brand new home with the sewer backing up in the shower. Apparently someone had dropped a piece of scrap wood down one of the open drain pipes before the house was complete. Your drain problem could be caused by many different things. Bite the bullet and call a reputable plumbing company who can do a video scope of the drainage system to determine if there is something lodged in the main, if roots are growing into the drain pipe, if the vent stack is blocked. . .it could be something simple, but better to find out and get it fixed permanently. You don't want sewer backing up in your home.
  • DIANE DIANE on Nov 15, 2013
    Had the same problem a couple years ago and found out squirrels where hiding hickory nuts in vent pipe ...put a screen over opening and not a problem since...
  • Alexakh Alexakh on Nov 16, 2013
    Thanks so much! I'm going to keep this to view... I'm sure I will continue to need it!!!
  • Sherry Fisher Sherry Fisher on Nov 27, 2014
    A miracle product called PT-4 has saved me a lot of money. I have only found it online.
  • RoseTyler RoseTyler on Nov 27, 2014
    Whatever you do, do not use chemicals in your sink! If you have to call a professional in they will charge you double and they could be injured severely! Your best bet is to try vinegar and baking soda mixed together down the drain then wait 10-15 mins. Followed by boiling hot water. If that doesn't work you can purchase a snake that will fit right to your drill and you can snake your pipes. If this does not work then you definitely need a professional because it is bigger than anything you can fix on your own.
  • Maria Champine Maria Champine on Nov 28, 2014
    Our usual plumber..did a ''roto rooter" sort of, to unplug he BR sink--which I thought he had never fixed right. A day later, the master BR carpeting was soaked-He had drilled thru a pipe. Now, we can pay for new flooring, as have a large deductible on our Fl insurace and it wouldn't pay to make a claim-only to have the insurance go up!
    • Mouse Mouse on Dec 01, 2014
      @Maria Champine Your plumber should be bonded and pay for HIS mistake, NOT you!!
  • Annie Annie on Nov 28, 2014
    The product I recommened above is made ny Cloruben, called PT-4. It is Non-corrosive, unlike Liquid Plumber or Drano so it won't hurt pipes. It saved me thousands as Roto Rooter wanted $4000 to jackhammer my floor.
    • See 3 previous
    • B. Enne B. Enne on Jan 19, 2016
      @Sherry Fisher I guess they are contradicting themselves then. It is copy and pasted from their site.
  • Festus Festus on Dec 01, 2014
    You may want to check the extension from the stopper handle to the bottom of the lifting mechanism. Sometimes the drain control just isn't opening far enough to let the junk through. You will have to get under the sink and watch the lever move the stopper up or down. It may just have to be tightened a bit (by hand or pliers)...just a place to start.
  • Sandra Withers Sandra Withers on Dec 05, 2014
    Like so many other problems in the house look down the line and see if there are other problems. Compost and vegetable matter and Please! not more chemicals in our precious drinking water. One problem I found I had was a badly laid sewer line that actually goes up hill in places. It is worth it to get a plummer out to snake the drain and use a camera to investigate. Be Nice to our water we are not getting anymore.
  • Jackie Jackie on Dec 29, 2014
    I was told to dump coffee grounds in the pipe on a regular basis. Supposedly the acid from the coffee grounds will soften and eat whatever clogs your drains. I never tried it, seems to me like on one hand it makes sense, but would the coffee grounds create a new clog?
  • Goldrushgal Goldrushgal on Apr 06, 2015
    We had the same problem, even the plumbers couldn't get out flowing right after many calls. Then I found a product called Professor Amos drain cleaner. Had to use it two times and my drains stayed clear for years, no more plumbers. Another thing to check is to determine if you have any trees growing near your sewer lines that can clog the line with roots. That tree might need to be removed.
  • Jane Scroggins Jane Scroggins on Aug 21, 2015
    If your sink is made so that you can use them, go to a local flea market and find one of the vendors that sell acres of Chinese junk! I' have seen something similar at WalMart and Dollar stores. They will have round wire strainers usually two or three to a package, these fit into the sink drain and catch anything larger than dust. You do have to clean the trash out of them but that's easier than waiting for a plumber!
  • Sandrajean Sandrajean on Aug 21, 2015
    Try drain king
  • Rin2496165 Rin2496165 on Oct 02, 2015
    I keep my drains clear flowing and fresh with vinegar,baking soda, and boiling water. Put the kettle on to boil. While that happens spoon baking soda into the drain. I bring the kettle to the drain. If it's in the bathroom I set it on a folded bath towel. Now pour the vinegar (white) into the drain. It's going to react and fizz up. I keep adding vinegar until the baking powder has been exhausted. And, finally pour the very hot water down the drain. Sometimes I plunge my shower just for good measure. All those hair products. Don't plunge your kitchen drain. I've lived in some very old ill kept homes and it always keeps things flowing. I also use coffee grounds in the disposal side of my kitchen sink.
  • Susan E Susan E on Oct 02, 2015
    I had this problem in my bathroom. Used all the liquid option. I finally took the p-trap off and...drum roll...found 3 toothbrushes in the trap. Little kid toothbrushes from the prior owners. I am wondering if that kid ever brushed his teeth.
  • Susanpoole1711 Susanpoole1711 on Oct 08, 2015
    I know it probably sounds silly, but you'd be surprised how many people pour liquid grease down their drain. Yeah it's liquid, but when it hits the pipes,the pipes are cold and it starts to harden! If you insist on putting grease down the drain, ALWAYS add liquid dishwashing soap to the grease first. Also, don't put things like instant potatoes down the sink drain. It is a sure fire way to really clog them up from way down deep.
  • Kathy Bitzan Kathy Bitzan on Jan 10, 2016
    I use the vinegar and baking soda with hot water on my drains occasionally to keep them running clear. I did find a huge hair ball in my bathroom sink, I had to take it apart to clean it.... If its always clogging stop using the sink for a garbage can, that might help also.. My daughter doesn't put anything down hers but water just for that reason.
  • Barb Barb on Jan 11, 2016
    A small steam cleaner is what I use for unclogging and occasional cleaning. Be sure your steamer has a hose attachment as you will need to get it close to the drain. Also does a nice job cleaning the shower.
  • Lisa House Lisa House on Jan 18, 2016
    Is there enough downgrade in your drain line? This is a very common cause of easily clogged lines because the flow is too slow so the solids get stuck.
  • Sherry Fisher Sherry Fisher on Jan 19, 2016
    Cloruben PT 4 works great.
  • Cha8468604 Cha8468604 on Jul 15, 2016
    I have had good luck with pouring boiling water down the drain. I use the largest pot that I have! If that does not do it, then follow Susan E's advise and remove the p-trap (be sure you have a bucket under it!).
  • Sms Sms on Nov 01, 2016
    Try Oxiclean and boiling water. 1/2 cup Oxiclean into drain. Pour really hot water Into drain. Let it bubble then rinse
  • Susan E Susan E on Nov 02, 2016
    I had a problem with my bathroom sink drain. Nothing worked. I finally took it apart and found 3 toothbrushes at the bottom of the drainpipe. Left there by previous homeowner, I guess.