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Home Care Library

Plumbing

QUESTION FROM CHERYL MCKENTY

My bathroom sink has a stopper that will not come out. (My house is 5 years old and has Moen fixtures). I have 2 questions: how to unclog it when it's slow, and, is it possible to change the system to one where the stopper is removeable?
Thanks.

ANSWER FROM HOME-WIZARD

Dear Cheryl:

Regarding your first question about how to unclog a bathroom sink when it is draining slowly, if you haven't already, you might want to try Drano, by SC Johnson Wax, which is "guaranteed" to get your drain flowing again. Well actually, by "guaranteed" they mean that if it fails to clear your clog, Johnson Wax will gladly refund what you paid for their product (so save your receipt). But depending on what is clogging your drain pipe, it may actually require a professional to remove the obstruction if Drano doesn't work. But a product like Drano is a great place to start.

Please remember to READ ALL DIRECTIONS CAREFULLY. In particular, you do not want to use a plunger on your sink and have any Drano splash back on you.

Hopefully Drano will solve your current clog problem, but if you want to avoid this kind of problem with your sinks in the future, you should follow the routine maintenance tasks for your plumbing that are described in the Home-Wizard Maintenance Library:

http://www.home-wizard.com/maintenance/plumbing.asp

In particular, every six months you should treat your sink drains with baking soda and hot water. Which not only will help keep your drains flowing clear, but also is alot better for the environment that pouring Drano down your drains.

Regarding your second question, without seeing your particular bathroom sink, its hard to tell if the stopper can be replaced with a removeable one. But here is the toll-free number for Moen's customer service: 1-800-289-6636. If you can give them a description of which one of their sinks you have, hopefully they will be able to tell you what can and can't be done for you.

Hope this is helpful.
Home-Wizard.com

QUESTION FROM crissy301

a home repair man brother clog my kitchen pipe by rinsing his tool off afther mixing powder plaster to do the wall now my sink is clog how do i unclog my sink since the plaster mix been sitting in the pipe for awhile.
thank you

ANSWER FROM HOME-WIZARD

Dear crissy301:

If your sink's drain has been clogged by plaster mix that went down your sink, and it has been sitting there for a while, then it may have set up in the trap of your drain below your sink. You sink's drain "trap" is under your sink where the pipe makes an "S" and turns back up hill. The purpose of this is so that water gets trapped in this section of the drain pipe, and it creates a seal to keep fumes from backing up into your house from your drain pipe.

Assuming that the plaster from the cleaning of your repair person's tools has settled in the trap, then you might want to try removing the trap and cleaning it out. Here is a webpage that describes how to remove and clean a trap in a drain pipe:

http://www.mrrooter.com/plumbing/guide/drain_traps.aspx

Note: Do not remove the trap without wearing protective gloves and eyewhere if you have added any drain clearing chemicals into your sink.

If the plaster mix flowed further into your drain pipes before it settled and created a clog, then you may need a professional to run a "snake" through your drain pipes to clean it out.

Hope this is helpful.
Home-Wizard.com