It’s Saturday afternoon in Conowingo and you are preparing dinner for a number of guests. The kitchen is packed with groceries and you start to clean a lot of veggies for dipping. But there is a problem. The drain in your kitchen sink is “acting funny.” It drains slowly and is making a gurgling sound. In fact, it’s beginning to smelly funny, too.
The timing couldn’t be worse. Before you hit the panic button, let’s take a moment to troubleshoot the problem. Maybe it isn’t much of a problem after all.
First of all, is the problem confined to just the kitchen sink? There may be similar problems in other sinks, which would indicate a larger problem with the plumbing in your home. Hopefully, the kitchen sink is the only area you need to be concerned with.
Next, if you have a two-basin sink who should check to see if both sides are clogged or just one. Remove all dishes and utensils and run water on both sides. If water drains from one and not the other, there is a clog somewhere in the pipe leading to the union of both pipes. You have now centralized the drain problem. If both sides back up, the clog is further down the pipe. But it is still not a big problem.
One way to troubleshoot for drain problems is to simply run very hot water down the drain. This tends to break up clogs of grease by melting it away. The fix can also be as simple as running the garbage disposal long enough to dislodge any debris. You may even want to grind up some food you were planning to dispose of or take some lettuce greens and use the disposal on them. If this food takes a long time to grind or doesn’t at all, the disposal may be the culprit, leading to blocked drains.
And if you are preparing for your party by taking a shower and the shower drain is acting funny, don’t hit the panic button just yet. You may just have a build-up of hair or skin on the drain cover or screen. Use you foot to swish around the water and if water drains more quickly when you do this, the fix can be as simple as reaching down and picking up the debris. Having a plunger nearby helps, too.
None of this is brain surgery and quick fixes are easy to do. But if the problem persists and you don’t have the time or patience to work on your drain problem, call a plumbing professional – and stick with your party plans.