I’m sure you’ve been in this situation before. You go to the kitchen sink and turn on both taps, only to find that they won’t produce a drop of water. The two pipes have become clogged with food particles, grease, soap scum or other types of gunk. It can be an unpleasant experience to say the least.
Now, what’s going on here? Why doesn’t water flow out of both taps when you turn them to their maximum setting? The answer is that the water pressure in a plumbing system typically drops to zero whenever there is a change in the cross sectional area. In other words, when the flow rate is increased or decreased by a large amount.
Let me show you how to unclog a two-sink sink with standing water using the various possible offenders and what to do if one of your sinks is clogged.
- 1 What Reasons A Double Kitchen Sink To Clog?
- 2 Unclogging A Double Kitchen Sink With Standing Water: Step By Step Instructions
- 3 Last Few Words…
What Reasons A Double Kitchen Sink To Clog?
There are many possible reasons why your kitchen sink backs up. Some of the most common ones include:
Using too much drain cleaner (sodium hypochlorite or lye)
Drain cleaners can be effective, but they work by chemically breaking down grease and other types of buildup. This reduces the cross sectional area drastically, which in turn creates a very high water pressure inside your piping system.
Using too much soap scum
Many people don’t realize that there is a difference between soap scum and a water-resistant film. The latter is easily rinsed off, but soap scum can be more difficult to remove. It will accumulate at the point where water flows most rapidly through the pipe, still creating low pressure due to its “shorter path”.
Food particles or grease gunking up the drain line
Most people are aware that grease should be poured into an existing grease trap or disposed of in the garbage instead. However, many animals love to eat grease as well, which then gets flushed down the drain by accident after it cools off.
Unfortunately, using a garbage disposal can make matters even worse because it will shred your waste even further before it reaches the trap.
Over time, a slow drain can become a bigger problem because it allows food particles to accumulate inside your drains and traps. This often leads to clogged pipes and an unpleasant mess on the kitchen floor or in your garage.
A damaged or collapsed pipe between the sinks
There are many reasons why this could happen. Some of them include:
A foreign object getting lodged somewhere inside the piping system, such as a child’s toy or diaper.
Using sharp objects, such as knives or razor blades to unclog the drain by hand. This will often tear up rubber hoses and push aside the metal strainer, leading to pipe collapse.
Unclogging A Double Kitchen Sink With Standing Water: Step By Step Instructions
According to Christina Karli, the Kitchen American blog author, there are a few things to keep in mind before you begin.
She said, “A plunger is the most common tool for unclogging sinks and drains, but it can also make matters worse if your drain is completely clogged due to food particles or other types of buildup.”
This would cause an overflow situation which you really don’t need.
Therefore, Christina said that it is best to try several different methods before resorting to a plunger.
Also, remember that you should never use chemical drain cleaners on your garbage disposal because they can damage the metal blades and cause rust to build up inside the unit over time.
The following are some simple steps you can take to unclog your kitchen sink with standing water without causing damage.
1) Try A Plunger
The plunger is probably the most common option for clearing a double kitchen sink that’s clogged with standing water. If you use it properly, there’s a good chance that the plunger will work as intended.
The first step is to make sure you have a quality plunger. The best ones are those which feature a bell-shaped plunger cup.
Next, you need to flush out your sink and remove any standing water that’s stuck in the drain line. This will prevent anything from just getting pushed back into place if the plunger doesn’t work.
To unclog a double kitchen sink with standing water using a plunger:
Step #1: Take your plunger and use it to cover the drain opening. Push down on the plunger a few times to create pressure in the piping system.
Step #2: Pull up quickly and allow the air pressure in your sink lines to push out anything that’s stuck inside. If this doesn’t work, then go to the next step.
Step #3: Repeat this process until you remove enough of the trapped water or food particles that it starts flowing through the drain line again. If your plunger doesn’t work, then move on to another option.
2) Clean Out Your P-Trap With A Drain Rod Or Snake
A drain rod or snake will often work for unclogging a slow double kitchen drain. If your sink is clogged and slowly draining, then this tool can usually clear it out in just a couple of minutes.
The first step is to check that the P-trap below your sinks isn’t blocked by anything. Look inside both ends of the P-trap to see if there are any objects inside.
If the drain is clear, then it’s time to insert your snake into the line and twist it around until you feel resistance. The resistance should be soft, not hard or “stuck.” If something feels firm, then remove the snake and take a look to see what it is.
Most of the time, using a drain cleaner won’t be successful for double kitchen sink clogs that are caused by standing water. When you feel resistance during this procedure, then it’s time to remove the snake and check for material inside the line.
If there’s anything stuck in the drain, then it’s time to use another method. If the P-trap was clear and there’s nothing in your snake when you remove it, then go on to another option. Remember that using a snake isn’t always effective for unclogging standing water in double kitchen sinks.
3) Flush Out The P-Trap With Boiling Water
If you still can’t unclog your double kitchen drain, then it may be time to flush out the P-trap with boiling water. This isn’t always the best option and shouldn’t always be used as a first option, but it can sometimes work well.
The first step is to turn off your water supply valves. You want to make sure no one turns the valves back on while you’re trying to clear out the drain. This can be a messy job if you have spilled water, so it’s best that no one else uses the sink for anything during this procedure.
Once you have turned off the valves, flush out your P-trap with boiling water. The hot water will melt away most of the things that are causing your double kitchen sink to clog up.
When you’re done flushing out the drain, turn on both valves again. You can then use one of the other options listed above to try and clear your double kitchen sink.
4) Try A Commercial Drain Cleaner Product
Commercial drain cleaner products are often very effective for unclogging a kitchen sink that’s clogged with standing water. They work so well because most commercial cleaners contain powerful enzymes that can easily cut through food or any other material that’s clogging your drain.
It’s easy to use a commercial cleaner for almost any type of double kitchen sink clog, but you will have to follow the product’s usage directions carefully. Don’t use too much, don’t leave it in too long and always read the safety information before using it.
Most of these cleaners are safe to use in P-traps, garbage disposals and septic systems. However, you should always read the product’s safety information before using it. Commercial drain cleaner products come in different shapes and sizes for different applications.
You can find commercial drain opener products at your local hardware store and some supermarkets. They aren’t always the most affordable option, but they’re usually effective for unclogging double kitchen sink clogs caused by standing water.
5) Try To Clear The Clog With An Auger Or Plunger
Augers and plungers are often very helpful when you have a slow draining double kitchen sink. Even double kitchen sinks with standing water can often be cleared out with a plunger or auger if you use one carefully.
The first step is to remove the drain screen from your sink, if there isn’t already one in place. You should then fill up your sink halfway with water and try plunging it to clear out the clog. If you can’t clear it this way, then you may need to go on to the next option.
If your sink is full of water and there doesn’t seem to be any material in it, then try getting an auger or snaking cable for your drain cleaner and give that a try. You can also use an auger or plunger in combination with a commercial drain cleaner product to get the best results.
6) Call A Professional If Needed
If none of these methods work, then you may need to call a professional plumber. There are some occasions where nothing but a professional can clear out your double kitchen sink clog.
If the clog is caused by something heavy like an appliance or tree root, then it’s very likely that only a professional can get this problem cleared out. If you have tried all of these options and nothing has worked, then you should seriously consider getting help from a local plumber before things get any worse.
While a double kitchen sink clog is an inconvenience, there are several safe and effective ways to get rid of it. Knowing what you can do at home is a great advantage when tackling this problem.
Last Few Words…
I’ve attempted to offer all of the information and solutions for how to unclog a sink with standing water in this post. While double kitchen sink clogs are annoying, you can usually get rid of them with one of these methods.
Just remember to drain the sink first, use a commercial product if possible and never try heating or burning anything in your sink. Double kitchen sink drains are often more complicated than single sinks, so it’s best to try out these