Sink Clog

Im not sure if this website is for general plumbing questions or just for inspectors but i’ll post my question in either case and BEG for your help.

Well, as the title states my kitchen sink is clogged. It has been clogged for some time now and nothing seems to work. First thing I tried was a plunger. Various food particles came up but that was it, sink was still clogged. Second thing I tried was your basic liquid declogger. I poured 2 bottles in, let it sit for awhile and flushed it through, still clogged. So then I went to our local hardware store, bought a 50ft sewer snake, pushed that through about 40 ft, thought I hit a couple spots for it to work, run water through and STILL CLOGGED. I turn on the water in the sink (its a double sink) and about 5 minutes later, both sinks start filling up with water. Nothing else in the house is clogged, bathrooms, showers, washer, everything else drains just fine. So it can’t be the main drain (washer is before sink and drains fine). Cleaned the trap, sewer snaked the air vent, nothing seems to work!!! Please help!!!

Call a plumber!

Call Rooto Rooter thats name and all your troubles go down the drain. Rooto Rooter:D


I was expecting that response but hoping I wouldn’t recieve it!

Hello dirtydishes,

You do have an interesting issue there! Can’t promise we can help but we can try to at least make some sense out of it.

A little more information would help us out also.

  1. Is this a single family or multi-family dwelling? If multi, what type? How
    old is the structure?
  2. Is the affected sink on the first floor, second, etc.?
  3. If a single family do you know if the sink is in a possible added on area or
    is it original location.
  4. If you know where the main sewer drain is where is the sink in relation to
    where the sewer exits the home? Is it the farthest point behind all other
    waste receptacles?
  5. Where did you snake the sink from, the trap?
  6. Do you have any appliances hooked to the same drain such as
    dishwasher, disposal, etc.?

Let’s start there and see what we can come up with.

  1. It is a single family dwelling. House was built in the early 80’s
  2. One story house
  3. Original location in kitchen
  4. Don’t know where main sewer drain is (???) but the kitchen sink is 2nd in line after the washer
  5. Snake was put in at trap
  6. Dishwasher and garabage disposal hooked up at same drain


More info always helps. Was not sure what your configuration was. Let’s review:

  1. No other waste recepticle has a problem.
  2. You snake at the trap, trap is clean (?), and you don’t appear to run into
  3. You plunge and get some misc food pieces/particles up.

Have you tried:

  1. Disconnect the disposal and dishwasher hoses (make sure no power to
    disposal first and dishwasher if possible) and inspect them and sink drain
    pipe for blockage?
  2. If possible, can you bypass the disposal and dishwasher connection and
    connect straight to trap from sink?

Sounds like a grease build up to me. Over time the fats in anything that goes down the kitchen drain coagulates around the interior wall of the building main sewer line much like clogged arteries. This is a very gradual build up which would be right in line with the age of the house. The only true method I know of is as someone said. The line has to be rotor cleaned with a cutter head, not with a plumber’s snake you mentioned. That works well for hair clogs and the like. The grease is thick & hardened and will not come loose unless mechanically removed. I had it done to my house and it costs about $85. May cost more in your area but it is worth it. The plumber told me afterwards to pour a gallon of cheap white vinegar down the kitchen drain once a month after it is cleaned out to keep it clean. Do it at night just before you go to bed and leave it. Flush it in the morning. Hope this helps.


From the description given it is only the kitchen sink that is clogging, both sides. Dirtydishes loaded up on Draino and it still clogs. From initial description I’m leaning towards a problem either in the disposal to sink tail piece connection. May be obstructed there?

Yes no other drain in the house seems to have a problem. I removed the trap to snake it where it enters a Y fitting, and actually broke one trap in the process so replaced them both. The owners before me had actually started to remodel the kitchen so the sink is fairly new along with the traps, plastic. I also checked to make sure both the dishwasher and garbage disposal were clean, i have not bypassed them straight to the trap. but as you run the water you can hear it filling the pipe as it gets close to the top. And before i ran the snake it was actually not draining at all i did fish out a food clog, rice, and a few straws came out so who knows what is in there. But now it will drain but it takes about 30 minutes.

Also replaced the tail peice, bought a kit 2 traps, tail peices and other peices.

What size are the two sink drains and traps, and the size of the wye fitting…and the size of the drain beyond the wye??

Here is something else to check. Can you determine if the drain pitches down hill all the way toward where it connects to the rest of the system?


It would be nice to see a picture of under the sink, hookups, etc. Trying to understand the “Y” reference along with “2 traps”. There are many acceptable ways to install a double sink, disposal and dishwasher combination.

From what you are telling me though you have fished after the traps and removed debris, including straws (strange). Also you hear the final discharge pipe (one into wall/floor) filling and then it backs up. Also connections between disposal, etc. all clean. I would not bother trying to bypass anything as with this info I would not suspect issue directly under sink anywhere.

It certainly sounds like a clog inside the home drain system, given what you already pulled out. I know what I would do next. But I know exactly how my DWV system is laid out and installed. Not knowing how your layout is you would have to take some chances of potential damage to other fixtures if you continued. The next possible step is to start fishing backwards from the cleanout located not just closest to that sink but just downstream from the sink. If you continue fishing from the sink you can risk the chance of pushing the clog into another branch line, such as the washing machine, and clog it.

I know you are looking for a less expensive solution than calling a plumber but it may be time to let them take on the liability of damaging anything. A good plumber would be able to almost 100% accurately assess your drain configuration and properly snake it out without damage. Depending on what the plumber finds you may want to scope out the drainage system and check for other potential blockages, cracks/breaks while it is being scoped.

Uh-oh, two traps. What state did you say you’re in?

A snake will generally work well with a “movable” obstruction, but they have little long term affect on build-up from grease and soap.

If all of the sink-drain components have been cleaned or replaced with no success, it’s time to call in the professional.

For future reference, those “drain cleaners” can damage your pipes. I would stay away from them if at all possible.

For plumbing questions try this site.

When you snaked the drain, was it a hand held, hand turned small auger type, with grease in the line sometimes it will just screw thru it and reseal on the way back. I would remove the trap completly and rent a small drill powered snake with a cutter head, not a screw type head. Using two containers of acid is to aggressive, if it doesn’t clean it can harden and make things worse. If you snaked thru the trap I would have to think the auger was to small. Places like united rental would have a Ridgid drill snake for like $20.00 per day. They usually are variable speed, go very slow…

Did any remodeling include tile work? Maybe thinset or grout got put in the kitchen sink but was not flushed out completely. Once it hardened it is now catching anything and everything that has been put in the drain.

From your description of what you found when you snaked, it sounds like the folks before you took the term garbage disposal too literally.

I hate to be a stick in the mud guys but I have stayed away from giving advice on this and in Particular this case .
You Do not know how much tallent this person has he is not a NACHI member and while it sure is nice to try and help some one you should know that some of the drain liquids are very caustic and if some body gets burned or worse ,
This could come back to haunt those who have tried to help big time .
I have to agree with what Raymond said . Call a plumber.
Roy Cooke

Well I do thank you guys for all of the advice and for trying to help me, but I do think it is time to call a real plumber. I’ve done all that i can think of doing and the problem is obviously bigger than anything i can handle. Also its a little discomforting to hear the suprise of having 2 traps so perhaps a real plumber can help me if something is also installed wrong. But since i did purchase this house as sort of a “fixer upper” already knowing that the previous owners took horrible care of it i should have expected something like this would pop up. But again thank you for all the advice and if it turns out to be something other than a grease clog or build up i’ll post it and maybe it will help someone later on.