For many people, the kitchen sink is an integral part of the home, used regularly for washing, cleaning up, and food preparation. Unfortunately, the sink gets backed up from time to time, which can impede your productivity in the kitchen. There are plenty of culprits for a kitchen sink backing up, but the reason is usually because of a clog.
With backed up kitchen sinks, it can be difficult to find the source of the clog on your own. In many cases, you might have to inspect the drain connections within the walls. If you can’t find the clog easily, it’s recommended that you seek out an experienced local plumber for help. The plumber can diagnose why water is backing up into the sink and free the blockage before the problem gets worse.
The good news is this issue doesn’t typically inflict long-lasting damage to your kitchen sink. It can be easily resolved once the source of the blockage has been identified. To help you find the problem, here are five common reasons why there is water backing up in the kitchen sink:
1. Your kitchen sink pipes are clogged
When you use the kitchen sink frequently, it is inevitable that food, gunk, grease, and hair get washed down the drain. Some of this debris will pass through the pipes without obstruction, but other bits and pieces could also get stuck. Over time, this buildup makes the opening of the pipes narrower, so it’s harder for water to pass through freely. As the problem worsens, the water has nowhere to go but get pushed back up the sink drain.
The sink trap is particularly vulnerable to clogging. While the sink trap is a valuable plumbing component that stops sewer gas, it does tend to accumulate buildup easily. As the buildup restricts the flow of water more and more, there comes a point when the buildup becomes significant enough. This will cause the water to back up in the kitchen sink.
Fixing the clogged kitchen sink pipes will require the knowledge and expertise of a professional plumber. The best way to prevent this problem from happening is to minimize the probability of clogs. For instance, you can place a hair catcher in your kitchen sink. This device helps to prevent hair and other particles from being washed down the sink, reducing the likelihood of clogged pipes.
2. Your dishwasher is too powerful
Have you recently replaced your dishwasher with a new machine? This could be the reason why water is backing up in the kitchen sink. This phenomenon happens because your dishwasher and your kitchen sink both drain through the same pipe. When your dishwasher is discharging water, it is possible for the water to come back up from the kitchen sink.
To clean dishes effectively, the dishwasher tends to push out a lot of water at once. Since your pipes may not be able to handle this high volume of water, some of it goes back up the sink. This is particularly common when homeowners replace their dishwasher with one that has a stronger pump.
3. You have a clogged washing machine
Have you noticed that water is backing up into your kitchen sink only when the washing machine runs? If so, there is a good chance that the blockage originates from your washing machine pipe. Unblocking this pipe can prove to be tricky, as you will need enough force to dislodge the clog. Contact a plumbing service to ensure that you unclog the pipe without harming any of the plumbing components.
4. Your main drain line is clogged
Sink drains are the highest drains in your home’s plumbing system. If there are problems with your entire plumbing network, the symptoms will likely surface in other parts of the home before it affects your kitchen sink. For this reason, water backing up usually means the problem is directly related to the kitchen sink itself, rather than the main drain line.
With that said, the main drain line is still a possible culprit. All sinks drain into the master drain line, which connects to the municipal sewer line or your home’s septic system. The food, grease, dirt, and hair that accumulates in your sink pipes will eventually find their way to this main line. If the gunk builds up into the drain line, coating the inside of the pipe, the water flow can become restricted and backs up into your sink.
5. You Have a Clogged Vent Pipe
Your plumbing system requires effective venting to work properly. This venting enables the system to take in the air that it needs to keep water flowing smoothly. If your vent pipes are clogged, water may struggle to flow through the system. It isn’t uncommon for bugs, squirrels, or birds to build nests inside these vents, blocking the pipe.
If this is the case, you will need to check the roof for any blockages in the vent pipes. Ask a professional to remove any debris from the vent pipe, which may have potentially caused the water to back up in your kitchen sink.