Every now and then, you get a clog in your sink that just won’t come off.
You’ve tried using a plunger, a coat hanger, and perhaps a prayer – but it still doesn’t go.
Before losing your mind and use a rather ineffective drain cleaner, consider the ultimate draining tool: a sink auger.
This rather cheap tool is easy to use and does not require any chemicals. It is exactly what you need to clear clogs in bathtub and sink drains.
The sink auger is also known as a “canister auger” or “drum auger” due to its arrangement. It is made up of a supple cable (coiled inside a drum canister) and a corkscrew end (business end).
The collar which holds the cable out consists of a thumbscrew or some other device used to lock the cable when the clog has been reached.
Now turn the corkscrew end in the clog so as to snag and pull it off the drain. Might be gross, but it certainly works!
Standard drain snakes are not to be used for toilets because it can get caught and scratch the porcelain. Instead, make use of a toilet auger.
Take Out the Sink Stopper
Take out the stopper from the bathroom (lavatory) sink, where relevant.
Then, release the setscrew on the auger collar and pull the cable out, and then put it into the opening of the drain.
Push the Cable in the Drain
Keep inserting the cable in the drain till you can feel it come in contact with the clog. Pull out more cable (around 12 inches) and have the setscrew tightened.
Twist the Handle of the Sink Auger
Turn the auger’s crank handle slowly. This in turn twists the cable’s corkscrew end into the clog.
There might be some resistance in pushing the cable into the pipe’s P-trap and U-shaped area underneath the sink, or any other bend.
If that happens, tighten the setscrew and slowly crank the auger as you push the cable. A few turns should be enough to get the auger end through the drain’s bends.
Take Out the Sink Auger Cable
Pull out the cable from the drain back into the drum of the auger. It is also advisable to use a rag to clean the cable as it goes into the drum.
Remove all debris from the tip of the corkscrew as soon as the cable end comes out and dispose of it properly (don’t throw it back into the drain!).
Run hot water from the faucet of the sink to flush the drain, and ensure the water flows continuously.
If the drain does not run fast, use the auger again.
Take Out the P-Trap (as required)
For stubborn clogs, take out the P-trap in order to access the drain. Make sure a bucket is positioned under the P-trap that will collect any spilling water from it.
Use a pipe wrench to loosen the slip nuts at the trap’s ends. Alternatively, you can use tongue-and-groove pliers.
Take out the slip nuts and trap. Use the sink auger in the drain through the trap arm (the pipe connecting the wall).
Reconnect the P-trap and open the hot water from the faucet to flush the drain.