How to Clean the Kitchen Sink Drain
We've all encounter a blockage in our kitchen sink drain from time to time. Often, it can be washed away by simply pouring water down the drain, but what if the blockage is more persistent? In this article, we will look at the common causes of drain blockages and recommend some of the most effective ways to clear them and the tools that we will need to do so.
There are two main causes of blockages in kitchen sink drains: food/dirt buildup and lime scale deposits. Lime scale is caused by a high mineral content in the water coming out of your tap (referred to as 'hard' water), and gradually coats the walls of the drainpipe with calcium deposits, preventing water from flowing away. If you live in an area with hard water, lime scale can be prevented by installing a filter on your water system (preferably at a point on the system prior to where the water is dispersed throughout your house).
To clear a lime scale blockage, you will usually require a specialized cleaning fluid such as CLR Pro CL-4Pro. This fluid should be poured down the drain and left to sit for some time, after which, you simply pour water down the sink and it will wash the (now dissolved) lime scale blockage away and normal draining capacity will return.
Bear in mind that you may also find that the flow of water coming out of your taps is reduced by lime scale and that this same cleaning liquid can be applied to fixtures to remove the buildup of plaque (though thorough rinsing is recommended afterwards to prevent ingesting any of the cleaning fluid).
Food blockages are caused by large pieces of food debris being swept down the drain and collecting at choke points. This can easily be prevented by placing a sink filter over the plughole and by cleaning the majority of food on plates into the bin prior to doing the washing up. If, however, you still find yourself with a food blockage in your drain a simple wire brush will often be enough to break up the blockage and shift it along.
If the blockage is more persistent though, you may need to use a corrosive substance such as caustic soda to break it up. A few scoops from a small 1lbs pot will usually be enough. You can mix the caustic soda with water or simply pour it straight down the drain. In either case, give the caustic soda a few minutes to do its work before flushing it away with tap water. It should remove most blockages on the first try, though with larger obstructions, more soda may be required.
We hope that this article has been helpful. If your problem persists, it may be advisable to consult a trained plumber to see if there is a more serious problem with your water system. It is also worth bearing in mind that if you are having issues with lime scale, a installing filter is highly recommended in order to prevent damage to your boiler and central heating system.