How to Fix a Vessel Sink That Doesn’t Drain Completely

fix a vessel sink that doesn't drain

Need to fix a vessel sink that doesn’t drain?

Need to fix a vessel sink that doesn’t drain? If you are a homeowner who has recently remodeled her master bath, odds are you have probably installed a vessel sink and might have now noticed that your sink does not always promptly drain or drain completely. OK, for me, I hate to admit, it took me 6 years to get fed up with the sink not draining and to acknowledge we had a problem. I imagine it’s because I’m preoccupied, either in a rush to get out the door, or I’m too tired and I’m heading for bed, to focus on the problem of slow drainage.

The need to fix a vessel sink that wasn’t drain completely was one of those things that caused minor irritation but not enough to register on the brain waves in such manner that I needed to find a solution for it. It was just a small PITA, not a huge one. The thing about human nature is after a while, those constant nagging voices in your head that say you should do something about this manage to ripple to the surface, and then I pay attention.

air gap vessel sinkOf course, we tried other things first. Like pouring caustic substances into the drain, hoping maybe it was a hair clog. Although, I replaced all of the horizontal plumbing pipes in my home with copper and the vertical under the sink has been replaced, along with the sewer line, so that was actually kind of a stupid thing to do. Not only that, but the acid tarnished part of the brushed nickel pop-up drain, which had replaced the previous grid drain, because we initially thought the drain itself was causing the problem.

As a result, we had to replace the drain a third time. Since I’m too busy these days as a Sacramento real estate agent to replace the drain myself, I decided to hire a plumber. I hate working on plumbing because things can leak — with plastic you can’t tighten it too much or you’ll break it and with metal you really need more arm strength than I possess. If a plumber had to come out to do such a small job, then he or she may as well fix the drainage issue, too. The time had come. After much research, it became apparent to me that the problem was ventilation. There was no ventilation, no air hole in the vessel sink. If you plugged up the drain with a wash cloth and quickly pulled it, the suction would force the water to drain.

fix a vessel sink that doesn't drain

To fix a vessel sink that doesn’t drain, install an air gap, on the left, with a black cap.

This is the same principal as the unhygienic backwash that can happen with a kitchen dishwasher and no air gap, and is why home inspection reports will note the absence of an air gap like a defect. An air gap can be installed under the sink or on top of the sink. In my bath, I opted for under the sink. This means attaching a piece of plastic plumbing that resembles a Saguaro cactus arm, like a right-hand turn signal bike riders use. You stick it in below your sink drain with a piece of plastic that connects the sink drain to the plumbing pipe below leading to the P-trap portion, and to this connecting piece of plastic, you screw in the arm. Then attach an air gap at the top.

Bingo! The sink drains perfectly now. I hope this solves your vessel sink draining problems. If you need to fix a vessel sink that doesn’t drain, this is the solution. If you have a real estate query to solve, I also hope you will call Elizabeth Weintraub, the #1 Sacramento real estate agent at Lyon Real Estate. *Nobody sold more homes in Sacramento last year at Lyon. 916 233 6759.

*per Trendgraphix 2014

Subscribe to Elizabeth Weintraub\'s Blog via email

Sorry we are experiencing system issues. Please try again.