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Clearing Sink Drains with a Plunger

Project Overview

Clearing Sink Drains with a Plunger

Sinks get clogged and backed up when soap, hair and grease build up and clog the trap or the drain line. When that happens, don't reach for the drain cleaner. Instead, try to clear the drain by cleaning gunk off the sink stopper or plunging the sink.

2 Steps

  1. Take the Stopper Out of the Sink
  2. Stuff a Wet Rag in Sink Overflow Opening
Take the Stopper Out of the Sink

Step 1

Take the Stopper Out of the Sink

Take the stopper out of the sink. Some pop-up stoppers lift out directly; others turn counterclockwise. Some older stoppers have a pivot rod that has to be removed. Under the sink, you'll see a locking nut where the rod enters the drain pipe. Remove the nut and pull the rod out.

Stuff a Wet Rag in Sink Overflow Opening

Step 2

Stuff a Wet Rag in Sink Overflow Opening

Stuff a wet rag in the sink overflow opening. This prevents air from escaping as you work with the plunger. Place the plunger cup over the drain opening and run enough water to cover the rubber cup. Move the plunger up and down rapidly to clear the clog.

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Project Details

Skill Level: Beginner

Time: 1 hour

Before you start, read this »

Due to differing conditions, tools, and individual skills, The Home Depot® assumes no responsibility for any damages, injuries suffered, or losses incurred as a result of attempting to replicate any of the home improvement ideas portrayed in this website Before beginning any home improvement project, review it thoroughly to ensure you or your contractor can finish the project and if any doubts or questions remain, consult local experts or authorities. Because codes and regulations vary greatly, you always should check with authorities to ensure that your project complies with all applicable local codes and regulations. Always read and observe all of the safety precautions provided by any tool or equipment manufacturer, and follow all accepted safety procedures.


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