Unclog a sink
Most minor sink clogs can be cleared with a plunger. Partially fill the sink with water, then start plunging. Vigorously work the plunger up and down several times before quickly pulling it off the drain opening. If it's a double-bowl kitchen sink, stuff a wet rag into one drain opening while you plunge the other one. If it's a bath sink, stuff the rag into the overflow hole. In both cases, the rag helps deliver the pressure directly to the clog. If plunging doesn't work, grab the cable auger and go to work under the sink. Remove the sink trap with a pipe wrench. The large, threaded coupling on PVC plastic traps can often be unscrewed by hand. Empty the water from the trap into a bucket (photo 1, above), then make sure the trap isn't clogged. Remove the horizontal trap arm that protrudes from the stubout in the wall. Feed the cable into the stubout until you feel resistance. Pull out 18 in. of cable, then tighten the lock screw. Crank the handle in a clockwise direction and push forward at the same time to drive the cable farther into the pipe (photo 2). Pull out another 18 in. of cable and repeat the process until you break through the blockage. If the cable bogs down or catches on something, turn the crank counterclockwise and pull back on the auger. Once the cable is clear, crank and push forward again. Retrieve the cable and replace the trap arm and trap. Turn on the hot-water faucet to see if the sink drains properly. If it doesn't, don't worry. Debris from the busted-up clog sometimes settles into a loose blockage. Partially fill the sink with hot water and use the plunger to clear the debris. Follow up with more hot water.
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