water flowing down an unclogged sink drain

Sink Drain

Originally contributed by Jeff Butler • last updated 1/22/2021

Whether you’re talking about a kitchen sink drain or a bathroom sink drain, there are a few things you should know before you start repairing and replacing. Like, what’s a sink stopper and do you need a drain trap (P trap)?


The term sink drain commonly refers to the plumbing network that connects the bottom of the sink basin to the main sewer drain. Typically, a network of sink drain parts consists of connectors, washers, gaskets, and pipes, as well as, the sink strainer and the drain trap (aka, P trap). Together, a sink drain is designed to strain and block solids, while allowing waste water to exit. A kitchen sink drain may have additional plumbing attachments for a pull down kitchen faucet, dishwasher, and/or garbage disposal. Likewise, a bathroom sink drain may contain additional pieces for a sink stopper.

How To Unclog A Sink Drain

Clogged sink drains are a part of life that no one really likes to encounter. However, knowing how to unclog a sink drain can not only help get things flowing smoothly again, it can save you an expensive plumbing bill:

  • There are several products available that you can simply pour down your sink drain to unclog most minor blockages, including a simple baking soda and vinegar DIY solution. But they may only be temporary if something bigger is stuck inside.
  • If something is stuck in the sink drain plumbing, you can probably find the blockage in the drain trap (P trap), which is fairly easy to disconnect and access. However, start by shutting off the water to prevent any mishaps, and grab a towel and bucket in case things get wet.