How to Unclog a Kitchen Sink Using a Drain-and-Trap Auger

Do you have a clogged kitchen sink? Have you already attacked it with a force cup plunger and drain cleaner? If so, it may be time to bust out the drain-and-trap auger. A drain-and-trap auger is different from a closet or toilet auger in that it is much longer. Thus it is able to reach far down into the pipes located underneath your kitchen sink. Here’s what else you need to know about how to buy and use one:

Purchasing a Drain-and-Trap Auger

Drain-and-trap augers come in different sizes and often sell through home improvement and hardware stores for $8 to $35 each. They consist of a flexible piece of metal tubing that traditionally has a knobby structure on one end that resembles a spring. That’s the end that gets inserted into the pipe. The other end generally sports a crank-style handle.

When selecting a drain-and-trap auger, you will want to pay attention to the auger’s width and length. You will want to get one that can fit inside your sink drain’s cross section as well as the trap’s clean out plug. I should also mention that not all traps have a clean out plug. So, don’t beat yourself up if you can’t find one under your kitchen sink.

Using the Drain-and-Trap Auger

Once you get your drain-and-trap auger home, remove it from the packaging. Insert the bulbous, springy looking end into your kitchen sink’s drain. Next, start cranking the handle. If you are doing it right, the metal tubing will start to snake its way down into the drain.

As the metal tubing makes its way down into the drain, gauge what’s going on by the way the tubing feels. You will be able to tell when the auger has run into the clog because the tension in the tubing will change.

When that happens, look for a little thumbscrew that should be located on the auger’s handle. You will want to start alternating between tightening and loosing the thumbscrew. You may also want to slowly move the auger back-and-forth with your hands. The goal is to get the bulbous tip of the auger enmeshed within the clog.

Once you feel that the auger’s tip is thoroughly entrenched into the clog, use the auger’s handle to retract the tubing. Hopefully, as the auger makes its way back towards the sink’s drain opening, it will drag the clog along with it.

If it does, remove as much of the clog as you can. Keep in mind that you may need to insert and withdrawal the auger several times before the clog has been completely cleared.

Finishing Touches

After the clog has been cleared, you will want to take the time to remove any residual gunk. You can remove the residual gunk in one of two ways. First, you can run hot water and a grease fighting detergent down the drain. Second, you may want to pour drain cleaner into the drain. The choice is yours. I would also suggest cleaning and thoroughly drying the auger before storing it away in your tool shed.

Source: Personal Experience

Killeen Gonzalez has a history of completing home improvement projects with her family.

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