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How to unclog your kitchen sink

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06 Dec 2012

At the recent Property24 DIY workshop, Call-out Crew shared their invaluable knowledge and guided workshop participants through the steps to fix some common household maintenance tasks. The 16 participants, had all had their lives changed by becoming Habitat for Humanity South Africa beneficiaries; to help change another person’s life in this year’s Clicks for Bricks challenges, visit to add your support and your click.

Stephen White from the Call-out Crew demonstrates to Habitat for Humanity South Africa beneficiaries how to unclog the S-bend of the kitchen sink.

The demonstration and tips on how to fix and unclog the S-bend under a kitchen sink were met with much enthusiasm. The S-bend, just under the sink, can become clogged, not allowing the sink to drain freely which can be cause for much frustration.

Tip: Over time, washers become damaged from hot water and detergents, resulting in leakages in the pipes; if you notice that your washers need replacing, take the damaged washer to the hardware store to match it to the new one. Replace the old washer with a new one when reassembling the S-bend to avoid any water leakage in the pipe joints.

Here is how to unblock your drain by cleaning out the S-bend, without it turning into an expensive experience involving plumbers or handymen:

  • Re-attach pipes 1 and 2. The trick is to ensure the washer is placed at the bottom end of pipe 1 with the narrower edge facing downwards, as this will stop water from leaking from the joint.

    There is no need to turn off your water mains to fix this problem. However, a handy tip from Call-out Crew’s Stephen White is to have a bucket handy to avoid being bathed in the water that is sitting in the pipes.
  • Remove the S-shaped part of the drainage system (the S-bend) from under the sink by undoing the plastic slip nuts.
  • Dismantle the three parts that form the S-bend by unscrewing the slip nuts. Make sure as you do this, you do not lose the washers which sit in the connections as without these, the pipes will leak.
  • Clean out the pipes with a hose and throw away any dirt removed from the pipes.
  • Re-attach pipes 1 and 2 (as shown in the diagram). The trick here is to make sure the washer is placed at the bottom end of pipe 1 with the narrower edge facing downwards. This will stop any water from leaking from the joint.
  • Re-attach pipe 3 to pipe 1, this time making sure the flat washer is sitting neatly in pipe 3 where pipe 2 attaches.
  • Ensure all slip nuts are tightened before replacing the S-bend under the sink.

 View Stephen’s demonstration at the DIY workshop in Mfuleni. 

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