Blog

Are you looking for help with projects around the house? Our blog offers helpful tips and DIY videos, or schedule a service appointment today. John C. Flood, Inc. cannot be held liable or responsible for any personal or property damages incurred if the end-user attempts any of the aforementioned DIY tips and instructions.

How to Fix a Slow Draining Bathroom Sink That Isn’t Clogged

Slow Draining Sink

Slow draining bathroom sinks happen to everyone, but that doesn’t make them any less obnoxious, especially when the cause of the slow drainage is ambiguous. 

While clogs are a common cause for slow draining bathroom sinks, you can face a bathroom sink that won’t drain and is not clogged. You may just need to don your detective hat to figure out the problem. 

Why do I Need to Fix a Slow Draining Sink? 

Fixing a Slow Draining Sink

A bathroom sink that’s slow to drain but not clogged can lead you to ask: Why bother fixing it anyway? If there is no clog, and it’s just annoying to drain, is there a problem?

The truth is a slow draining bathroom sink that is not clogged can cause a variety of other problems for your plumbing. While most of the issues are minor, they’re still problems. Here are a few to consider.

Mold and Mildew: A slow draining bathroom sink that’s not clogged can lead to potential mold or mildew growth in and around your sink. As the water pools in the basin, tiny mold and mildew spores can grow in the drain because they thrive in damp, dark places. 

If the water in your bathroom sink is stagnant, it’s easy for mold and mildew to spread.

Sewer Line Issues: If your bathroom sink won’t drain but is not clogged, it can lead to some potentially serious issues with your sewer line. A slow drain indicates an issue is present, so if it’s not a clog in the sink, it could be an issue with your sewer line. 

Leaving the problem unattended could lead to more serious problems, so consult a plumber to get the problem resolved.

Odor and Stains: As the water sits in your bathroom sink, it’s easy for soap scum, stains, and even strong foul smells to build up. The water is naturally going to be dirty if it’s used for tooth-brushing, hand-washing, and even cleaning, and because a slow draining bathroom sink is difficult to clean, odors and stains can occur.

Irritation: While this may seem like a minor problem for some, the amount of time wasted on a bathroom sink with a slow drain that’s not clogged can add up. Not being able to wash the sink due to a slow drain, looking down into a pool of water filled with spit-out-toothpaste every day, and even having the sink back up when you wash your hands gets annoying. 

Stop wasting time for the drain to fix itself and get the problem resolved by a professional.

Causes and Solutions

Your Home Has Old Plumbing

If your home is older and the plumbing hasn’t been updated, it can result in a slow draining sink. It can be either the fixture, pipe, or drain that are decaying and slowing water flow. Get them all checked by a professional plumber to see if anything needs updating. 

Sink Drain

In the worst-case scenario, your pipes could be corroded or deteriorating and cause slow drainage (in which case they’ll need to be replaced by a professional). 

Regular plumbing maintenance helps extend the lifespan of your system, so consider an annual appointment to keep your plumbing in shape.

There Are Minor Clogs

A slow draining bathroom sink that’s not clogged can still have minor clogs somewhere in the plumbing system.

While there are some DIY fixes for drain clogs, it’s impossible to tell if a minor clog is the real issue without professional plumbing assistance. 

A plumber can use a camera to view inside your pipes and see if there are any clogs. If a clog is located, they can snake it out and clean the pipe.

Infiltrating Tree Roots

Tree roots can cause problems for your plumbing system. They can infiltrate a sewer line and cause catastrophic problems for your whole plumbing system, including a bathroom sink or even issues with your kitchen sink

Removing a tree root from your plumbing system is a costly project, and there’s little you can do to prevent this type of issue because you can’t plan out where a tree’s roots might grow. 

Consult a professional if you think this may be the problem, and they can walk you through the best course of action.

Issues with Your P-Trap

Some type of blockage can get stuck in the bend of the P-trap under your sink. This makes it harder to remove than in other sections of the pipe and even lead you to believe the slow draining sink isn’t caused by a clog. 

To resolve the issue, remove and clean the P-Trap following a few simple steps, or you can call a professional plumber for assistance.

Build-Up in Your Drain Pipes

There are many pipes in your plumbing system designed specifically for draining, and they all connect to your main sewer line. 

Unfortunately, these pipes can end up with leaks or a build-up of sediment or sewer-line sludge, causing your bathroom sink to drain slowly. 

The only way to fully determine if this is the problem (and resolve it) is with the assistance of a professional plumber.

How to Prevent Bathroom Sinks from Draining Slowly

Preventative maintenance is one of the best things you can do for your plumbing. It will save you the annoyance of dealing with a slow draining sink and help extend the lifespan of your plumbing. Here are some steps you can take to prevent bathroom sinks from draining slowly.

Have Your Plumbing Checked by a Professional Annually: This is one of the best things you can do for your plumbing system. A regular check-up by a professional plumber helps catch potential plumbing issues before they happen, keep your plumbing working as it should, and extend the lifespan of your piping and appliances.

Don’t Flush Hair Down the Sink: Bathroom sinks collect a lot of hair. From shaving to hair brushing and styling, it’s tempting to wipe all that down the drain. Resist the temptation. 

While a bit of hair may seem like a small issue, over time this collects to be a lot of hair. Pair that with soap scum and other debris, and you end up with a clogged or slow draining sink.

Use a Grate on High-Use Sinks: Putting a grate over high-use sinks helps ensure fewer things get dropped down the drain. It catches hair, soap scum, and anything else that might accidentally go down the drain, keeping your plumbing draining well.

Clean the Sink Stopper: Stoppers tend to collect all sorts of debris, from hair to soap scum to whatever else slips down the drain. If it’s left there without being cleaned, however, it will end up falling down the drain at some point and potentially causing some issues.

Rinse the Sink with Hot Water: Hot water can help rinse off any buildup, oils, or soap scum. You can even pour boiling water down your drain every once in a while to help rinse out potential causes of slow drainage.

Don’t Settle for a Slow Draining Sink

John C. Flood can repair and fix whatever drainage problem you're dealing with, even if you can’t detect any type of clog in your sink. Don’t wait for the issue to resolve itself or settle for harmful drain cleaners that could end up causing more harm than good. 

Call John C. Flood today or schedule a service online and one of our expert technicians will gladly resolve your slow draining sink issues.