Why Does My Sink Drain Slowly?


Your sink is one of the most important fixtures in your home – after all, you likely have multiple sinks between the kitchen and bathrooms.   When one starts to act up, however, it can be a major inconvenience. A sink that drains slowly is not only annoying, but it can also be a sign of a bigger problem. There are a few different reasons why your sink might be draining slowly, and some of them are easier to fix than others. Luckily, the experts here at White’s Plumbing in Youngsville, North Carolina have the answers on what to do.  In this article, we’ll explore some of the common causes of a slow-draining sink and what you can do about them.

Common Causes of a Slow-Draining Sink

There are many reasons that a sink may begin to drain slowly.  Many of these causes are relatively minor issues that have easy fixes.  Two of the main causes of a slow-draining sink are clogs and leaks.


One of the most common reasons for a slow-drain is a clog. Clogs can build up over time from things like soap scum, hair, and food particles. If you have a clog, you might notice that your sink drains slowly or not at all. You might also see water backing up into the sink when you run the disposal or if there is standing water in the sink. Clogs can usually be fixed with a plunger or a snake.


Another common problem is leaks. Leaks usually occur in the sink drain, the P-trap, or the supply lines. If you have a leak, not only may the sink drain slowly, but you’ll also probably notice water on the floor around the sink or dripping from the fixtures. Leaks can be fixed by tightening connections and replacing damaged parts.

Fixing a Slow-Draining Sink

Depending on what is wrong with your sink, there are multiple ways to remedy the issue.  However, keep in mind that these may or may not work depending on what exactly the issue is with the sink.

Use a Plunger

A plunger is useful for more fixtures than just your toilet.   However, when using a plunger to unclog your sink, make sure you clean your plunger beforehand or purchase one for this situation.  From there, it is fairly easy to use a plunger to unclog your sink.


  1. Remove the pop-up drain from the bottom of the sink.
  2. Seal your overflow drain using a wet rag or something similar.
  3. Put petroleum jelly on the bottom lip of your plunger.
  4. Run your sink’s water.
  5. Place the plunger over the drain, similar to how you would in a toilet, and quickly plunge up and down.
  6. Run more water in the sink to see if the drain unclogged.
  7. If the sink has not unclogged, repeat these steps.

Use a Drain Snake

Sometimes, the plunger method simply does not work for unclogging your drain.  The next step in unclogging your sink drain would be to use a drain snake.  A drain snake may also be referred to as a drain auger.

The snake is pushed into the drain and cranked to help push farther into whatever is clogging the sink.  As the snake works, it will break up whatever is clogging the drain to allow it to move down the pipes properly.

A drain snake can be more beneficial than a plunger because it can easily reach clogs that have occurred further down the drain.

Tighten Loose Connections

wake forest nc plumberAs we discussed earlier, sometimes a pipe will begin to leak.  When this isn’t a result of a cracked pipe, it is likely because the connections between the pipes and traps have become loose.  One of the most common fixes for this situation would be to simply tighten those connections until the leak stops dripping.  Diagnose where the leak is coming from, and then make sure everything is in place and secure.  If it still leaks, it may be a crack in the pipe.  At this point, you’d want to call a professional.

When to Call a Professional

If your sink is still draining slowly after trying to plunger, snake, or tightening those connections, it’s time to call a professional plumber. A plumber will be able to diagnose the problem and make the necessary repairs. In some cases, a slow-draining sink is caused by a bigger issue, like a blockage in the main sewer line. Our certified technicians here at White’s Plumbing have all the tools and experience needed to effectively handle any issues with your slowly draining sinks.

Contact White’s Plumbing Today

A sink that drains slowly can be a major annoyance. There are a few different reasons why your sink might be draining slowly, and some of them are easier to fix than others. In this article, we’ve explored some of the common causes of a slow-draining sink and what you can do about them. If you try the fixes outlined in this article and your sink is still draining slowly, it’s time to call a professional plumber. If you are located near Youngsville, North Carolina, contact White’s Plumbing!  We are able to assist you with any plumbing issues you may run into.  Our experienced plumbers will get the job done right the first time, every time.

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