How To Manually Unclog The Pop-Up Valve And Elbow In A Bathroom Sink Drain
Invariably over time, your bathroom sink drain will become filled with hair, soap, and other materials that will clog the drain and cause it to overflow. You can try to use harsh chemicals to clean the drain out, but some of those chemicals can also cause damage to the pipes (whether you use PVC piping or steel) that can cause a host of other problems.
One of the better ways to clean out the drain is to take it apart and manually remove the debris causing the blockage. Here's how you can take the drain system apart so you can properly clean the pop-up valve and the elbow on the drain.
You Will Need:
- Two Pipe Wrenches
- Small Hard-Bristled Brush
- Trash Container
Remove Drain Stopper
An area that tends to collect a lot hair and other debris is around the drain's pop-up valve stem - the pop-up valve closes the drain so you can fill the sink up with water. You need to remove the pop-up valve on the drain stopper to remove the debris. Push the control arm so the pop-up valve rises up enough so you can grab it with your fingers.
Sometimes the pop-up valve will lift right out of the drain, but other times you'll have to twist the valve so it unhooks from the control arm before you can remove the valve. Don't be surprised to see a lot of gunk and hair stuck to the stem that could clog up your sink. Remove the gunk and hair and deposit it into a trash container.
Cleaning the Elbow
Debris also likes to collect in the elbow area of the drain. You can also remove the elbow to clean the drain. If your drains are made out of PVC, all you usually need to do is loosen the coupling nuts holding the elbow in place with your hands, but if you have steel pipes, you should use two pipe wrenches to loosen the coupling nuts. Place one pipe wrench firmly on the pipe below the coupling nut and the other one on the coupling nut.
As you loosen the coupling nut, make sure you keep the lower pipe from moving by holding the pipe wrench in a stationary position - moving pipes can cause other pipes down the drain line to break or loosen up (which cause leaks). Remove the coupling nuts and empty the contents of the elbow in to a trash container. You might have to clean out the pipe with a small hard-bristled brush to remove the debris that has hardened onto the interior side walls of the elbow.
Most clogs can be easily fixed and prevented. You should clean out your pipes 2 – 3 times per year to make sure debris is not building up in them. To learn more, contact a company like Rapid Rooter Inc. with any questions or concerns you have.