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Nightmare-Free Fixes To Clogged Kitchen Drains

by Gabby Hyman
Repair Home Columnist

It doesn't quite add up that you've spent a near fortune on your new Tuscan kitchen renovation when, at the very moment you're showing it off at a dinner party with friends, the kitchen drain clogs up and a whorl of muck sits there with tiny bubbles dribbling up to the surface like a cry for help.

Most clogged drains are directly attributed to the grease and goo that people dump down the trap, and routine maintenance can prevent this unsightly mess. But you're not interested in that now. What you want from a home improvement column is advice on unclogging the noxious pond just beneath your brand new backsplash that came on the boat from Florence.

Getting the Clogged Drain Moving Again

There are fine remedies for this dilemma. What suits you depends on whether you mind using chemicals or have a handy rubber plunger and drain snake. Furnish your dinner guests with a heady supply of Chianti and send them into the living room while you search for your rubber gloves. (Or, if it all seems too much for you, get a plumbing contractor on the phone and join your guests.)

  • The first pass: Grab your "plumber's friend" and fit its rubber cap over the clogged drain. If you can't get a good seal, try using petroleum jelly around the rim of the plunger. Make sure the entire plunger is under water and pump vigorously. No luck? Go to the next step.
  • The chemical scenario: Use a commercial drain cleaner, following directions to a tee (make sure it won't eat through your pipe.) Allow it to sit in the clogged sink for the full duration recommended on the label. Provide plenty of ventilation so that you don't come unplugged yourself. Hate chemicals? Try the next step.
  • For goodness snakes: Plumbers or drain snakes are wire augers that are sold at most home improvement stores. It's just like working your Chianti corkscrew, only you're boring down on the clogged drain. Hand spinner snakes sell for as little as $7 and go up to $20 or more. No love yet? Try the next step.
  • Call a plumber: Use the directory here at repair-home.com to find a professional contractor in your area.

About the Author
Gabby Hyman has created online strategies and written content for Fortune 500 companies including eToys, GoTo.com, Siebel Systems, Microsoft Encarta, Avaya, and Nissan UK.