A slow sink drain is one of the most common plumbing problems in any South Florida rental property. This is because kitchen and bathroom sinks are used every day, which means they can collect a significant amount of debris. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to solve your slow sink drain issue.
With a little know-how, you can unclog your sink without dumping chemicals down the drain. In this article, we list five tips and tricks to finally fix your drain.
Why a Slow Drain is Your Responsibility
As a landlord, you are responsible for ensuring that the rental property is habitable. It’s important to note that this isn’t limited to the overall cleanliness of the single-family home. It also means ensuring that the plumbing system is in working condition. So, even though your tenant has moved in, you are still required to oversee the maintenance of the property.
Ideally, you should fix all plumbing issues prior to the start of the tenancy agreement. If you fail to do so, your tenant may sue you for negligence. For example, you will be held responsible if you rented out your property without inspecting for plumbing issues. That’s why it’s important to work with a property management company that can conduct a thorough inspection of your South Florida rental.
However, if the tenant intentionally causes damage to the sink drain, it will be their responsibility to cover the costs of repairs. For example, if they shoved food down the drain, causing it to clog, they’d have to pay to repair or replace it.
Common Causes of Slow Sink Drain
When your tenant calls you to complain about a slow sink drain, you should fix the issue as soon as possible. Although a slow-draining sink is a relatively minor problem, it’s still an inconvenience. No tenant wants to do their dishes in a sink filled with dirty water.
Here are the common causes of a slow-draining sink so that you and your tenants can avoid it at all costs:
- Clogs. The most common cause of a slow-draining sink is a clog. Clogs usually consist of soap scum, hair, food, and other debris.
- Do you often use chemical cleaners to unclog your drain pipes? These chemicals can corrode or deteriorate your pipes. When this happens, a plumber will have to replace the rusty and damaged pipes.
- Old Plumbing System. When was the last time you inspected your plumbing systems? Old plumbing fixtures can affect the flow of water, which is why you should stay on top of regular maintenance. Ideally, you should have your plumbing systems checked every two years.
How to Clear Your Clogged Sink Drain
Before you pour chemicals down the drain, try these do-it-yourself solutions to resolve your slow-draining sink issue.
#1 Use Your Fingers
You don’t need expensive equipment to clear your slow-draining sink. The first thing you should do is to reach in there with the universal tool called your finger. If the cause of the clog (e.g. hair or soap scum) is visible from above, try pinching your pointer finger and thumb together to pull it out. You can use gloves if this is too gross for you.
#2 Pour Baking Soda
Another trick to fixing your slow-draining sink is by using baking soda. To create your homemade cleaner, use ½ cup of baking soda and ½ cup of white vinegar. First, pour the baking soda drown the drain and then white vinegar. Next, cover the drain with a dishrag to prevent the chemical reaction from rising to the surface. Wait for around fifteen to twenty minutes and finally, pour a pot of boiling water down the drain to remove the residue.
#3 Use a Drain-Cleaning Tool
A drain-cleaning tool or a “zip-it” tool is a simple tool that hooks onto hair and other debris. It is usually made of flexible plastic that features small “spikes” that catch any accumulated debris. To use it, simply squeeze it down the drain, swirl it around, and pull it out. Do this repeatedly until you the drain is free of any debris.
#4 Clean the Pop-Up
Sometimes, the problem is with your pop-up. The pop-up, or the stopper, is the common culprit for build-up because of its design. Remove the pop-up and thoroughly clean it with a brush or cloth to get your sink draining swiftly again. In modern sinks, the pop-up can be removed by unscrewing it. However, if your South Florida rental home has an old sink, you may have to use a pair of pliers to detach it from underneath the sink.
#5 Plunge it Out
Think plungers are only for toilets? Think again. If your sink is draining slowly, try clearing the drainpipe with a plunger. It dislodges any debris that may have accumulated in the pipe. Be sure to cover the sink overflow with a wet rag as this creates a seal. While the water is running, carefully plunge a couple of times. When the debris has been removed, run hot water down the drain to wash everything out.
When Your Sink Still Isn’t Draining
If doing it yourself doesn’t work, it’s time to use a chemical cleaner. You can buy it from any hardware or grocery store, but be sure to buy the household solution. To use a chemical cleaner, simply dump it down the drain.
Remember, do not use chemical cleaners on plastic drainpipes! This will damage your pipes and eventually lead to leaks. If your sink is still draining slowly after DIY-ing, you should consider calling a plumber. If you’ve hired a property management company, they can hire a reputable contractor for you.
The Bottom Line
As a landlord, you should take plumbing maintenance seriously. Not only does this ensure that your plumbing systems meet the standard of habitability, but it also protects your property investment’s value. If your rental property is in South Florida, Luxury Property Care is here to help. Our property managers have years of experience managing residential rental properties. We work with local plumbers who will provide you with an accurate assessment of the repairs that your rental home needs.