Bathroom Sink Won’t Drain After Snaking: Troubleshooting Tips to Clear the Clog

If your bathroom sink won’t drain after snaking, it could be due to a deeper clog or an issue with the plumbing system. However, there are steps you can take to troubleshoot the problem before calling a professional.

First, check the drain trap for any blockages and remove them if necessary. Next, try using a plunger to create suction and dislodge the clog. If that doesn’t work, you might need to remove the pipes underneath the sink and clean them out.

If all else fails, it’s best to consult a plumber to avoid causing further damage to your plumbing system.

Understanding The Problem: Common Causes And Signs

Is your bathroom sink still not draining properly even after using a snake to clear the clog? Don’t worry, you’re not alone! Sometimes, snaking alone may not completely solve the problem, as there can be other underlying issues causing the persistent clog.

In this section, we will explore the common causes and signs of a clogged bathroom sink after snaking, helping you understand why the problem may persist.

Signs Of A Clogged Bathroom Sink After Snaking

Here are some common signs that indicate your bathroom sink is still clogged even after snaking:

  • Slow draining: If the sink is taking an unusually long time to drain or shows signs of only partially draining, this suggests that the clog may not have been fully removed.
  • Gurgling sounds: Do you hear gurgling sounds coming from the drain after snaking? This could indicate that the snake has pushed the clog deeper into the pipes, leading to the continued blockage.
  • Foul odors: Lingering unpleasant odors emanating from your bathroom sink after snaking could be a sign that there is still stagnant water and debris trapped in the pipes.
  • Backup in other fixtures: If water starts to back up in other fixtures, such as the bathtub or toilet, after snaking the bathroom sink, it indicates a more extensive blockage in the main drain line that connects all the fixtures.

Potential Causes Behind A Persistently Clogged Sink

Now that we understand the common signs of a clogged bathroom sink after snaking, let’s explore the potential causes behind this persistent problem:

  • Residual blockage: The snake may not have completely cleared the clog, leaving behind some debris or material that can continue to impede proper drainage.
  • Deeper clog: Sometimes, what initially appears to be a single clog near the surface can actually be an indication of a more significant blockage deeper within the plumbing system.
  • Pipe damage: Snaking can sometimes exacerbate the issue, causing damage to the pipes themselves. If the snake has punctured or broken a pipe, this can lead to ongoing clogs.
  • Clogged vent pipes: Vent pipes are essential for maintaining proper airflow in the plumbing system. If these pipes become clogged or blocked, it can cause drains to run slowly or not drain at all.
  • Root intrusion: In some cases, tree roots can penetrate the pipes, causing blockages that are difficult to clear with a snake. This can result in ongoing drainage issues even after snaking.
  • Grease buildup: Over time, grease and soap residue can accumulate in the pipes, creating a stubborn clog that may require additional steps to remove completely.

Understanding the common causes and signs of a clogged bathroom sink after snaking is the first step in resolving the issue. In the next section, we will explore some effective remedies to help you restore proper drainage to your bathroom sink.

Stay tuned!

Checking The Drain Pipe For Obstructions

Is your bathroom sink still not draining properly after using a snake? Don’t worry, there might be another culprit causing the problem – an obstruction in the drain pipe. Before you call a plumber, try these simple steps to check and remove any visible blockages in the drain pipe yourself.

Step-By-Step Guide To Examining The Drain Pipe:

  • Safety first: Before you begin, ensure that you have the necessary tools such as rubber gloves, a bucket, and a flashlight. It’s also a good idea to protect the surrounding area with towels or old rags.
  • Locate the p-trap: The p-trap is a curved section of pipe under the sink that holds water and prevents sewer gases from entering your bathroom. Place the bucket under the p-trap to catch any water or debris that may spill out.
  • Loosen the p-trap connections: Using a pair of pliers, carefully loosen the slip nuts on either side of the p-trap. Be cautious not to apply excessive force, as it may damage the pipes.
  • Remove the p-trap: Once the slip nuts are loose, detach the p-trap from the drain pipe and the vertical tailpiece. Empty any stagnant water or debris into the bucket.
  • Inspect the p-trap: Take a close look at the p-trap for any noticeable obstructions. Use the flashlight to illuminate the inside of the pipe and check for hair, soap residue, or foreign objects.
  • Clean the p-trap: If you spot any visible blockage, manually remove it using gloved hands or a small brush. Ensure that the p-trap is thoroughly clean before reattaching it.
  • Check the drain pipe: With the p-trap removed, carefully examine the drain pipe for any obstructions. Shine the flashlight down the pipe and look for any signs of accumulated debris.
  • Remove visible obstructions: If you see any visible blockages, such as clumps of hair or solid residue, try to remove them manually using a gloved hand or a suitable tool like a small wire brush.
  • Reassemble the drain pipe: After removing all visible obstructions, reattach the p-trap to the drain pipe and the vertical tailpiece. Tighten the slip nuts securely using the pliers.
  • Test the drain: Run water in the sink to check if the problem has been resolved. If the water drains smoothly without any backups or slow draining, then congratulations, you’ve successfully cleared the blockage!

Remember, if the problem persists or you encounter difficulties during the process, it’s best to seek professional assistance from a licensed plumber. Taking these steps to check the drain pipe for obstructions can save you time and money, providing a potential solution to your bathroom sink drainage issue.

Evaluating The Effectiveness Of Snaking

Assessing The Adequacy Of Snaking As A Clog-Clearing Method

When dealing with a stubbornly clogged bathroom sink, using a plumbing snake is often the go-to solution for many homeowners. This tool, also known as a drain auger, is specifically designed to break up and remove blockages deep within the pipes.

However, there are cases when snaking fails to yield the desired results, leaving you with a frustratingly clogged sink. In this section, we will explore the effectiveness of snaking as a clog-clearing method and the possible reasons why it may fall short.

Key Points:

  • Snaking can be an effective way to clear simple clogs in bathroom sinks caused by hair, soap residue, or other debris.
  • However, there are instances when snaking may not completely resolve the issue, indicating a more complex or stubborn clog.
  • It is important to assess the adequacy of snaking by considering factors such as the severity of the clog, the nature of the blockage, and the condition of the pipes.

Possible Reasons For Ineffective Snaking:

  • Insufficient length: If the plumbing snake used is not long enough to reach the deeper portions of the pipe where the clog is located, it may not be able to entirely clear the blockage. In such cases, alternative methods may need to be employed.
  • Hardened blockages: When a clog consists of hardened material, such as mineral deposits or grease buildup, snaking alone may not be sufficient to break it down and remove it. Additional measures, like using chemical drain cleaners or calling a professional plumber, might be required.
  • Multiple blockages: It is possible for a bathroom sink to have multiple points of blockage along the pipe. Snaking may only clear one blockage while leaving others untouched, leading to continued drainage problems. Identifying and addressing all the clogs is essential for complete clearing.
  • Damaged or collapsed pipes: If the plumbing snake encounters resistance or manages to go through the clog but the sink still won’t drain, there might be underlying issues with the pipes themselves. Damaged or collapsed pipes can impede the snaking process and prevent the clog from being fully cleared.

These are just a few possible reasons why snaking may not always be enough to clear a clogged bathroom sink. It’s important to assess the situation thoroughly and consider alternative approaches if needed. If you’re unsure or the problem persists, seeking the assistance of a professional plumber is always a wise choice to ensure your sink is functioning properly once again.

Alternative Methods To Clear The Clog

Exploring Other Options Beyond Snaking

Dealing with a clogged bathroom sink can be frustrating, especially when snaking doesn’t solve the problem. But fear not! There are alternative methods you can try to clear that stubborn clog. Here are some recommended techniques for different types of clogs:

Chemical Drain Cleaners

  • Chemical drain cleaners can be an effective solution for minor clogs caused by hair, soap scum, or grease buildup.
  • Make sure to choose a drain cleaner that is suitable for your specific clog and follow the instructions carefully.
  • Take precautions by wearing gloves and protective eyewear, and ensure proper ventilation during the process.
  • Remember to handle these chemicals with care, as they can be harsh on your pipes if used incorrectly.

Baking Soda And Vinegar

  • A more natural and eco-friendly approach involves using baking soda and vinegar to potentially break down the clog.
  • Start by pouring a cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by a cup of vinegar.
  • Allow the mixture to sit for about 30 minutes, giving it time to work its magic on the clog.
  • Then, flush the drain with hot water to clear away any remaining debris.

Plunger Power

  • Sometimes, all you need is a good old-fashioned plunger to dislodge the clog.
  • Ensure the sink is partially filled with water to create a proper seal before plunging.
  • Position the plunger over the drain and use firm, vigorous strokes to create suction and force the clog out.
  • Repeat the process several times if necessary, and be patient as it may take a few attempts to clear the blockage.

Removing And Cleaning The P-Trap

  • If all else fails, it may be time to tackle the p-trap.
  • Place a bucket or basin underneath the sink to catch any water that may spill out.
  • Use a wrench to loosen the nuts connecting the p-trap to the drain pipes.
  • Carefully remove the p-trap, and clean out any debris or clogs that may be causing the problem.
  • After cleaning, reassemble the p-trap and ensure all connections are tight.

Remember, these alternative methods should only be attempted if snaking doesn’t work or if you feel comfortable doing so. If the clog persists or you’re unsure about the best course of action, it’s always a good idea to consult a professional plumber.

Seeking Professional Help

If you’ve tried everything to unclog your bathroom sink but it still won’t drain, it may be time to consider reaching out to a professional plumber. While snaking is an effective method for clearing simple clogs, persistent or stubborn clogs can require specialized expertise and equipment to fully resolve.

Here are a few key points to consider when deciding whether to seek professional help:

When To Consider Reaching Out To A Plumber:

  • Multiple attempts: If you’ve tried snaking the drain multiple times without success, it’s a sign that there may be a more serious issue causing the blockage. A professional plumber has the experience and knowledge to diagnose and address complex clogs effectively.
  • Recurring clogs: If your bathroom sink keeps getting clogged despite your best efforts, it’s likely indicative of an underlying problem. A plumber can assess the situation, identify the root cause, and implement a long-lasting solution to prevent future clogs.
  • Slow draining: If your sink is consistently slow to drain even after snaking, there may be deeper blockages in the plumbing system. Professional plumbers have the necessary tools, such as high-pressure water jets or cameras, to locate and remove these obstructions.
  • Unusual odors: Foul odors emanating from your sink could be a sign of a more serious issue, such as a sewer line blockage or venting problem. These types of problems require professional expertise to locate and repair effectively.
  • Overflowing sink: If water starts to overflow from your sink when it’s being used, it’s a clear indication of a severe clog or a malfunctioning drain system. Professional plumbers have the skills and equipment to handle such emergencies promptly and efficiently.

Importance Of Professional Expertise In Resolving Persistent Clogs:

  • Specialized knowledge: Professional plumbers undergo extensive training to diagnose and resolve a wide range of plumbing issues. Their expertise allows them to identify the root cause of persistent clogs and implement effective solutions.
  • Advanced equipment: Plumbers have access to specialized tools and equipment that can tackle even the most stubborn clogs. From drain cameras to hydro jetters, these advanced technologies enable them to locate and remove blockages efficiently.
  • Prevention of further damage: Without the proper understanding of plumbing systems, diy attempts at unclogging a persistent clog can potentially lead to further damage. Professional plumbers not only have the skills to fix the immediate issue but also consider the overall health of your plumbing system, preventing any unintended consequences.
  • Time and cost-effective: While it may be tempting to continue attempting diy fixes, seeking professional help can save you both time and money in the long run. Plumbers can quickly resolve persistent clogs, preventing further complications and the need for repeat repairs.

Remember, when you find yourself dealing with a bathroom sink that won’t drain after snaking, it’s wise to consider reaching out to a professional plumber. Their expertise, knowledge, and specialized tools will ensure a thorough and lasting solution to your persistent clog issues.

Frequently Asked Questions For Bathroom Sink Won’T Drain After Snaking

Why Won’T My Bathroom Sink Drain After Snaking It?

After snaking the sink, if it still won’t drain, it could be due to a more complex blockage or a pipe issue.

What Should I Do If My Sink Doesn’T Drain After Snaking It?

If snaking didn’t solve the issue, try using a plunger or a chemical drain cleaner to remove the blockage.

Can A Clog Be Too Stubborn To Remove With A Snake?

Sometimes, particularly stubborn clogs might require professional plumbing assistance to fully remove.

How Can I Prevent Future Clogs In My Bathroom Sink?

Regularly cleaning the sink, avoiding pouring grease down the drain, and using a drain cover can help prevent clogs.

What Other Factors Can Cause A Bathroom Sink To Drain Slowly?

Apart from clogs, rusted or corroded pipes, improper installation, or a faulty plumbing system can also cause slow draining.

Is It Safe To Use Chemical Drain Cleaners On Bathroom Sinks?

While they can be effective, chemical drain cleaners should be used sparingly and with caution to avoid damaging the pipes.

What Are Some Diy Methods To Unclog A Bathroom Sink?

Baking soda and vinegar, boiling water, or using a wire hanger can be effective diy methods to unclog a bathroom sink.

When Should I Call A Professional Plumber For A Clogged Sink?

If your attempts to unclog the sink haven’t worked or if you suspect there’s a more serious underlying issue, calling a professional plumber is recommended.


To summarize, a bathroom sink that won’t drain after snaking can be a frustrating problem to deal with. It’s important to first identify the cause of the blockage, which can range from hair and debris buildup to more serious issues like clogged pipes.

Once you’ve pinpointed the problem, there are several solutions you can try, such as using a plunger, using a drain cleaning solution, or even taking apart the p-trap. Remember to always exercise caution when working with plumbing and, if needed, seek professional help.

In the future, regular maintenance and preventative measures such as using drain covers can help prevent these issues from recurring. By taking the necessary steps and being proactive in addressing the problem, you can ensure a smooth-running bathroom sink that drains properly.

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