Slow Draining Kitchen Sink Not Clogged

A slow draining kitchen sink not clogged got you down?  Are you scratching your head trying to figure out why you have a slow draining kitchen sink when you can’t find a clog anywhere? 

 If your kitchen sink is draining slowly but not clogged, keep reading for a few expert DIY solutions. 

slow draining kitchen sink not clogged
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Slow Draining Kitchen Sink Not Clogged? 

 A slow sink drain could be because of one of the following things, or even a combination: 

  1. Grease and Gunk Build Up
  2. Pipes Aren’t at the Right Angle
  3. Plugged Air Vent

What Causes a Kitchen Sink to Drain Slowly?

As soon as a sink starts draining slowly or stops draining at all, we all think it must be clogged.  But, a slow sink drain can be the result of a number of problems. 

A kitchen sink draining slowly but not clogged should be diagnosed properly before you can start fixing it.  A slow running sink drain that isn’t clogged will eventually turn into a clog if you don’t take care of it fast. 

Grease and Gunk Build Up

Most kitchen slow sink drain issues are a result of food, garbage, grease and other types of kitchen debris getting into the pipes and collecting in the elbows, joints, or the P Trap.  Prevent this from happening by buying a drain guard for a few bucks online. 

Pipes Aren’t at the Right Angle

Some builders but corners and don’t install the plumbing properly.  This results in pipes that are not angled enough so the pipes drain.  This can cause a slow draining kitchen sink. 

Water, gunk, grease end of collecting and pooling in these “flat” areas and causing slow sink drains and clogs.  Check under your sink and make sure that the pipes are angled enough so the water would drain out. 

Plugged Air Vent

Under every sink, there should be an air vent that allows air to escape as the water rushes down your kitchen sink drain.  It looks like short pipe that would be built off the main pipe.  Make sure that there is nothing covering it.    

How Do You Fix a Slow Draining Kitchen Sink? 

There are a few options for fixing a slow draining kitchen sink that’s not clogged. 

Grease and Gunk build up inside your pipes can be solved quickly by running very hot water down your pipes.  This isn’t a permanent solution; more grease and gunk will collect in your pipes and cause your sink to run slow and even clog at a later date.  The only solution here is a drain auger. 

Pipes built at the wrong angle could cause a kitchen sink to drain slowly but it’s not clogged. You can remove the pipe without turning the water off and check if the pipe is clogged.  You should replace the pipe with one that is angled properly to allow the sink to drain completely.

A plugged air vent can prevent air from escaping your pipes, which means there is not water flow through your pipes.  You could hear your kitchen sink drains bubbling and draining very very slowly. Thankfully, You can remove the air vent without turning the water off.  Once you’ve removed the small pipe, check if there is gunk blocking the vent itself.  Then, check for gunk, build up, or a tiny clog where the air vent joins the main pipe under your sink.   Remove any debris and put it back together and hopefully, your sink drains out.

Slow Draining Kitchen Sink Home Remedy 

If you have a slow draining kitchen sink not clogged, you might want to try a home remedy.  Some folks will say “use baking soda” or “vinegar” or “pop”.  I even wrote a whole post about home remedies and clogs HERE.  

I am here to tell you, if you need a fast and cheap fix for a slow sink drain of any kind IMMEDIATELY, there is only 1 way that I recommend you clear that drain.  Using very hot or boiling hot water.   

The hot water will dissolve enough grease and gunk build up in your sink drain (if that’s the problem) so that your drain will work.  However, this is only a temporary solution. Anything that is a home remedy is a fast fix and clogs WILL return.  

You will need to get a drain auger to clear out your pipes on a regular basis as preventative maintenance.  You should use a drain auger on all your pipes regularly to prevent build up and possible clogs. 

Drain Clog Prevention

Here are some tips to prevent future drain clogs:

  • Watch that the kids put anything down the drains
  • Clean out your pipes twice per year with a drain auger
  • Grease should be poured into a container and thrown out, not down your toilet
  • Use a drain catcher in your sink drains to catch any debris that gets into the sink

Cost of Hiring a Plumber Versus Buying a Drain Auger

Hiring a plumber to unclog your drains costs anywhere from $100- 250, depending on the area and how complicated the clog is. A drain auger can be as cheap as $30. You can also use your drain auger as many times as you like, so I consider it an investment.

Why is my Sink not Draining After I snaked it?

For a number of reasons including:

  • you didn’t actually unclog it
  • the clog is further down the line
  • your drain auger or tool you’re using isn’t long or thick enough for your pipes
  • sink air vent could be the problem
  • more than 1 clog
  • Main vent stack could be plugged
  • Main drain line plug/clogged with tree roots, debris, collapsed pipes, etc.

Cost of Hiring a Plumber Versus Buying a Drain Auger

Hiring a plumber to unclog your drains costs anywhere from $100- 250, depending on the area and how complicated the clog is. A drain auger can be as cheap as $40 ish. You can also use your drain auger as many times as you like, so consider it an investment.

What is the Best Homemade Drain Cleaner?

The best thing to unclog drains quick and give them a bit of a clean is very hot water. It melts away the clog and washes it down the drain. It works short term and in a pinch. But, your clog will come back because the hot water didn’t thoroughly clean the inside of your drains and remove all the debris and gunk. A drain auger is the best method to clean out your pipes and provide long term relief from any clogging issues.

What causes a slow draining Kitchen Sink with a Garbage Disposal?

There are a number of things you aren’t supposed to put down your garbage disposal that maybe you didn’t know about. They can clog up your sink, drain and garbage disposal. Honestly, I get alot of calls for clogged garbage disposals. Don’t put the following down your garbage disposal:

  • paper towels
  • bones
  • coffee filers
  • wipes
  • grease
  • fruit pits
  • egg shells
  • anything starchy like pasta or potatoes
  • coffee grounds
  • tea bags
  • dry foods that expand like uncooked oatmeal
  • Nuts
  • fibrous veggies like celery, pumpkin, squashes, corn husks

Conclusion Slow Draining Kitchen Sink Not Clogged

Hopefully, our post has helped you to solve why you have a slow draining kitchen sink that isn’t clogged.  Please take a look at our drain auger reviews by clicking the button below and pick out the best auger for yourself and your home. 


How can I cheaply stop drain clogs in my kitchen sink?

For a few dollars, you can buy drain catchers that are little strainers that fit in your sinks drains in your kitchens and bathrooms. They catch all the stuff, including hair, so it doesn’t go down your drains and cause a clog later on.