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How to Unclog a Pedestal Sink

Melissa Kelly

Pedestal sinks are a common type of bathroom sink. These types of sinks generally differ from kitchen or utility sinks in that they have overflow mechanisms and the drain stoppers are usually connected to a mechanism, or pop-up, that allows the stopper to be raised or lowered as needed.

Unfortunately, the pop-up mechanism tends to create an area prone to clogs from hair, soap, toothpaste residue and many other common bathroom items.

  1. Remove the drain stopper. Some drain stoppers simply lift out while others require a quarter turn prior to lifting. If your drain stopper cannot be removed in one of these ways, remove the pivot rod connected to the pop-up mechanism. Clean the stopper and set it aside.

  2. Insert a damp rag into the sink overflow holes to prevent water from traveling up through the overflow.

  3. Place a plunger into the sink and keep the water level above the cup of the plunger. Plunge the sink several times with a series of quick plunges to clear the clog from the sink.

  4. If the clog persists, remove the trap from the underside of the sink by using a wrench to loosen the slip nuts on either side of the trap. Place a bucket below the area to catch any excess water or debris and remove the trap. Remove any debris by shaking the trap or running a auger through the area to clear the blockage.

  5. If there was no debris in the trap, then the clog is most likely in the waste line. Insert the auger into the drain opening that leads to the sanitary tee and waste stack until you feel some resistance. Then, rotate the auger handle to clear the clog.

  6. Replace the drain trap by tightening the slip nuts. Replace the sink stopper (reconnecting the pivot rod if necessary) and test the sink for proper drainage.


Do not use a chemical drain cleaner on a bathroom sink; the commercial brands are generally not strong enough and the professional brands can generate heat through the chemical reaction that can damage your pipes, traps or clean outs.