How to fix a hair clogged sink

Hairs clogging the drain?

A lot of times when you have a clogged sink, it is due to hair in the drain. Sometimes you can reach down in the drain and simply pull the hair out. But other times when the clog is deeper, you will need to use a tool, like a drain weasel. This is a slender tool with small barbs on the end that will fit through the sink drain hole. It will allow you to grab the hairs that are clogging the drain without having to remove the drain cover. Then there are those times when the clog is deep, and you cannot reach it with your fingers or a drain weasel. You will need to use a plumber’s snake to reach those.   

hairs clogging the drain clogged Sink
Plumber snake

Plumber Snakes

Plumber Snakes are wire cables with flared ends that come in various lengths and sizes. There are small in-home plumber snakes, 20’ to 30’, and larger commercial types that are 75’ to 100’ long. For pipes that are 1 ½” to 2”, it is recommended that you use ¼” to 5/16” thick cable. For pipes that are 2″ to 3″ pipe, use 5/16″, 3/8″ OR 13/32″ thick cable. For pipes that are 3″ OR MORE use 3/8″, 13/32″, 1/2″, 5/8″, 3/4″ thick cable. 

First Method for removeing hairs clogging the drain

The first method is simple. You should be able to see the hair at the top of the drain and reach it with your fingers. If you cannot reach it with your fingers, use a small fork or something similar and reach down in the drain and grab the hairs to pull them out. 

Hair Weasel

The second method for removing hairs clogging the drain is using the hair weasel. You will stick the drain weasel down the drain as far as it will go, twisting or turning it, in and out of the drain. It should collect any obstruction it can reach. You may need to repeat this process a time or two to get as much out as possible. If this opens the sink up and allows it to drain, it would be a good idea to flush the drain with some boiling hot water. I do this as regular home maintenance. When I do this, I use a couple of 2, 5-gallon stewpots full of boiling water. After the water is boiling pour it into the sink that was clogged. This will help remove grease and soap scum in the pipes as well. It is not a bad idea to do this on a regular basis. 

Drain Weasel removing hairs clogging the drain
Using a plumbers snake to hairs clogging the drain

Using a plumber snake

If the above mentioned does not fix the problem. The third process is a little more involved for hairs clogging the drain. Look under the sink that is clogged and see if there is a clean-out. The clean-out will have a square end and has a threaded cap at the end of the coupling or drainpipe. By removing this or unscrewing the cap you will have an access point for the plumber’s snake. Insert the plumber’s snake into the cleanout extending it as far as it will go while rotating it as you go, then retract it while rotating it, back and forth. Do this a few times and if the plumber’s snake can reach the clog this should solve the problem. 

Multiple clogs

If water is standing in multiple sinks and showers throughout your home the problem may be further away. Between your house and the street. If your home has a clean-out in the front yard. You will be able to access your home’s main sewage line and run the plumber snake through there. You will need a longer plumber snake. Open the clean-out and run the plumber snake through the inlet and rotate it as you go extending it all the way in, and back out several times. Depending on where the clean-out is in front of your house you might need to go both directions. Toward the street and back towards the house. If this does not clear up your issue you may have a larger problem and need the assistance of a professional plumber. 

Clogs and Septic systems

If your home has a septic system, all the above would still apply. But there are some other places where clogs can occur and prevent the wastewater from traveling to its destination. Like where the wastewater goes into the first tank. There is a tee just inside the first tank, that diverts the entrance of the wastewater. It could be clogged at that point and would require opening the first tank. Most of the time you can reach into the tank clean-out hole with a stick or broom handle and remove any obstruction from the tee.  

 There could also be tree roots preventing gray water from traveling through your letteral lines or allowing them to function properly. In this case, you could use some root-killing products that will kill the tree roots. Products like Roebic K-77 Root Killer for Sewer and Septic Systems kills the roots and clear your lines. It could also be you need to have your tanks pumped out. 


Septic Tank System
Sewage standing in the yard

Aerobic Systems

Although, if your septic system is an aerobic system, you will not be needing a root killer. You do not have lateral lines for roots to grow in. If your home’s septic system is an aerobic system and water is standing in multiple sinks and showers you may have pump problems. If that is the case, you should see standing water around the tank lid where your pump is. If there is standing water, check your breakers to see if they are turned on and your pump is getting power. The breaker might have flipped off or been faulty. In this case, unless you are an electrician you will need an electrician to troubleshoot your electrical problems and replace the breaker if needed. 

Overall, there are multiple things you as a homeowner can do to repair a clog before needing a professional plumber!