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How to Fix a Kitchen Sink Clogged on Both Sides

If you happen to have a special, double bowl sink in your kitchen or somewhere else in your house, chances are that you know the benefit of having two basins in one area, right beside each other. We also frequently use them differently as well, sometimes using one to wash the suds off of dishes while scrubbing in the other. No matter what you use them for, there’s always the odd chance that one of the sinks will clog.

However, a situation might pop up where both basins might clog, though this is far more rare.

When both basins get clogged up at the same time, this can often be a sign that there’s a build up of material and waste down past where the two basins’ pipes meet up. It can also mean, though, that there may be two separate clogs much higher up. Whatever the case might be, the build up is surprisingly easy to clean and may not need any additional help.

To guide you on how to unclog a kitchen sink clogged both sides, we’ve found the best tips and tricks you can use to do it yourself. If the clog seems to be too far down into the plumbing for you to get out, call Clover Services for help today.

How a double bowl sink works via plumbing

Now having become one of the most popular basin styles throughout the United States and other first world countries, double bowl or double basin sinks have become a sort of staple in many home kitchens. 

Typically, these basins are similar in sizes though that may not always be the case. Many models of double bowls sinks can also come with different depths in addition to sizes, each supporting different uses and purposes.

Depending on where you live, the plumbing for each different home’s double bowl sink can vary greatly. If your house has a garbage disposal installed, one basin might be connected to the garbage disposal while the other connects straight to the drain or the P trap. Other houses might have both basins connected at the center, where the P trap then connects into the drain. 

Depending on what type of plumbing you have underneath your sink, the method to unclog and where a clog may form can change.

Why your sink might be clogged on both sides

As mentioned above, the most common reason that your kitchen sink clogged on both sides is that there is a single clog somewhere beyond where the sinks’ two pipes meet into one. This can often show up as a clog either in the main drainage line or a backup in your sink’s garbage disposal unit. 

If the garbage disposal is the main cause of the build up, then the most likely cause is an excess of food scraps and oil. Putting too much food waste down into a garbage disposal without proper care or use can lead to the oil congealing and forming a thick clog when mixed with the ground up food scraps.

Adding in any food scraps the other sink’s drain only worsens the clog. If your home doesn’t have a garbage disposal, the reasoning behind it is much the same; too much large food and fibrous scraps likely caused the clog.

How to unclog the sink

Cleaning out the kitchen sink’s double drains are quite similar to unclogging any other pipes in your home. Depending on how far down it is in the plumbing, you can use any type of method you prefer, including the ones we’ve listed here for you.

Clean out the P trap

Other than the main drain line, the most likely place that a clog can be found is in the kitchen sink’s P trap. With the kitchen sink clogged both sides, the first most likely place the clog can be is right after the point where the two drain lines meet: the P trap. Fortunately, cleaning out the trap is quite easy. 

Once you’ve cleaned out everything underneath the sink and placed a bucket underneath to catch any drips, you just need to unscrew the connections before checking and cleaning the P trap.

Use a plunger

If the clog is small enough, using a plunger on either of the double sink’s drains can be enough to dislodge whatever’s causing the backup. If it’s particularly stubborn but a few bits of waste are coming free, you can try the other basin to give it a bit more push. 

However, if you have a garbage disposal on one side of the sink, only use the plunger on the other drain. Using it on the side with the garbage disposal will actually cause damage to the unit.

Use a drain snake or claw

In the case that neither of these options are doing anything to help you unclog the sink’s sides, you might need to invest in a drain snake if you haven’t already. Many drain snakes – or drain claws, depending on where you buy it from – often come in a variety of lengths. 

With enough length, the drain snake can reach much farther into the piping and clear it out. In the case that there’s a second clog higher up, away from the connected spots, the drain snake can clear that out too.

How to unclog the sink if you have a garbage disposal

If you have a garbage disposal installed into the plumbing and you find your double kitchen sink clogged on both sides, the process to clean out any clogs is much the same. The only true difference is that you need to take the unit into consideration as well. Using a plunger over it won’t work, so you need to disconnect it from any electrical sources before cleaning it out carefully. 

Kitchen sink clogged both sides — Takeaway

Finding your kitchen sink clogged on both sides can seem like a daunting problem at first, especially if you aren’t aware of how to properly deal with it. Since you may not know how far down into the plumbing the clog might be, you might find it too difficult to do it yourself. 

However, if you take into consideration whether or not you have a garbage disposal, unclogging a double basin kitchen sink is actually easy. But if the clog is too deep to clean out, call Clover Services to help.

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