Top Four Reasons and Direct Solutions for Apartment Kitchen Sink Backing Up

Apartment Kitchen Sink Backing Up

The kitchen sink is one of the most used parts of the apartment. You will use it daily multiple times for washing dishes, cleaning different utensils, and food preparation. Also, a kitchen sink is made to work effortlessly for years.

The problem starts when you see the apartment kitchen sink backing up to cause floods in the sink and floor. At that point, you must know why the kitchen sink is backing up in your apartment.

There are multiple reasons for water coming up from the sink drain. However, the main cause is a clogged drain pipe for water not going through the sink. Also, a powerful dishwasher, clogged washing machine, and main drain lines will be responsible.

So, let’s see the reasons for water backing up in the kitchen sink and how to fix them.

Why Is My Kitchen Sink Backing Up In My Apartment?

A kitchen sink usually backs up in the apartment because of clogged sink pipes. Clogged washing machine pipes and blockade in the main sewage line may cause water to back up against the kitchen sink. On top of it, you may use a too powerful dishwasher to stop the water from flowing through the sink pipes.

So, let’s dive deep into the discussion to determine the top 4 reasons for apartment sink backing up:

1. A Clogged Kitchen Sink Pipe:

We regularly use the kitchen sink to wash our used dishes and utensils and clean different food items. As a result, gunk, residues, soapy foams, and grease will flow through the sink drain pipes. When it happens for years, the residues, gunk, and greases will stick on the walls of the drain pipes. It reduces the actual diameter of the sink tubes.

Consequently, water and residues will have less space to flow through the pipes. As it happens, the water will move through the pipes slower than its actual flowing speed. It will, thus, cause the water to back up in the apartment kitchen sink.

2. A Clogged P-trap:

A p-trap is an integral part of the kitchen sink. It prevents the odor from the sewage line from flowing through the pipe and entering the apartment. It works fine to stop the sewer gas. Unfortunately, it works even finer to accumulate residues of different types. Naturally, it gets clogged up soon.

As the residual build-up becomes significant, the water can’t flow through it. Consequently, water will start draining slower than usual, causing an overflow. It is one of the top apartment building plumbing problems you will face. Also, it forces the sink water to back up without draining.

3. A Clogged Main Sewer Line:

The sewer line in your home is designed to work effectively for years. Yet, it may get clogged for many reasons. You must understand that all residues and food particles will flow through the main sewer line along with the bathroom residues.

Therefore, it may get clogged easily. You will see water not flowing through the sewer line appropriately when it happens. The kitchen sink drain pipe will lead to the sewer line from where it connects with the municipal line.

Nonetheless, a clogged sewer line is less likely to cause water to back up in the kitchen sink. It happens because the kitchen sink is the highest plumbing system in your apartment. So, a problematic sewer line will first cause clogging problems in other drain pipes on the surface. When you don’t fix it, problems with the sewer line will reach the sink to cause clogs and blocks.

4. Clogged Washing Machine:

In most apartments, homeowners will connect the washing machine drain hose with the kitchen utility sink. Thus, this washing machine and kitchen sink will drain through the same line into the main sewer line.

For this, you need to look at the washing machine drain hose. First, run the washing machine and see what happens. Do the washing machine run and the kitchen sink back up simultaneously? Then, the problem is with the washing machine hose. Due to years of use, the washing machine hose has got clogged.

The clog happens because of soapy and detergent residues. Also, residues and gunk from the clothes will cause the blockage.

5. You Use Too Powerful Dishwasher:

Although you won’t believe it, sometimes the washing machine can be the culprit too. If the dishwasher is too powerful, the sink drain will fail to function properly with the device. We use a dishwasher to clean off many dishes at a time.

A powerful dishwasher will push a considerable amount of water into the kitchen sink. It helps the device to wash off the dishes better. However, pushing more than the required water will cause the water to back into the kitchen sink.

How to Fix the Problem of Apartment Kitchen Sink Backing Up: 2 Different and Practical Solution:

When you see water backing up the kitchen sink, you must fix it ASAP. Otherwise, the water may flood the entire kitchen area to cause hazards. First, you would need to know how plumbing works in an apartment building?

In apartments, your home’s plumbing system remains at the highest point. On the other side, the main sewer line will be in the lowest position of your building. When the main sewer line gets clogged, it will spread the water flow to the lower surfaces. Slowly, it rises above to stop the water flow of the sink drain line.

1.Unclog the Sink Drain Hose Using a Plumbing Snake:

The easiest way to unclog the kitchen sink drain is to use a plumbing snake. It will stop the water from backing up in the kitchen sink. The steps follow as follows:

Clean Sink Drain Hose Using a Plumbing Snake
  • Firstly, fill up the kitchen sink with hot water. You need to fill it up to ½ and keep the water for a couple of minutes.
  • The hot water will weaken the chemical structures of the residues and gunk. You will also need to place the plumbing snake properly over the sink drain.
  • Carefully move the plumbing snake or auger through the kitchen sink drain. You will need to remove the filter to access inside the line.
  • Work continuously with the plumbing snake to remove the residual development. It will unclog the system.

If the kitchen sink clogged snake doesn’t work, you may need to use a large plunger. The working process will remain the same. Alternatively, you can use boiling water with baking soda and vinegar.

2. Use Vinegar and Baking Soda:

White vinegar and baking soda are readily available in apartments’ pantries. You can use it to unclog the drain pipes with ease. You must follow these steps to unclog the kitchen sink drain with baking soda and vinegar.

  • Remove the standing water from the kitchen sink. You need to dry it completely to unclog the sink drain. Also, wear gloves on your hand to stop any chemical irritation.
  • After removing the sink strainer, pour 1 cup of fresh and clean baking soda through the pipe. If you find it difficult to pour the baking soda, use a spatula. It will ease the process.
  • Then, put approximately 1-1/2 cups of white vinegar through the kitchen sink drain. Now, put in the sink strainer. It will push the vinegar and baking soda further toward the clog.
  • After waiting a few minutes, use the auger to wash off the clogged drain line. Also, pour warm water through the pipes. You will need 4 to 5 cups of warm water.
  • It will help if you continue repeating the process 2 to 3 times. It will depend on how much residue and gunk has accumulated inside the sink drain.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How do I unclog my kitchen sink in my apartment?

Answer: To unclog the kitchen sink, you can use boil water, baking soda, and white vinegar. Also, you may unclog it with a plumbing snake.

Can a garbage disposal cause the sink to back up?

Answer: Yes, the garbage disposal will also cause a backup of water in the kitchen sink. The water line of the garbage disposal will get blocked with the food waste causing the water to back up.


The kitchen sink in the apartment is a truly integral part. If it starts showing a problem, you can soon get panicked. When you see the apartment kitchen sink backing up, closely observe the drain pipe and main sewer line. You will also need to unclog the sink drain. Use baking soda, warm water, and white vinegar with a plumbing snake for this.

1 thought on “Top Four Reasons and Direct Solutions for Apartment Kitchen Sink Backing Up”

  1. My kitchen flooded because of blocked clog in the sink area I think .? Anyways I notice it and then try to ckean up the mess. Awful.then. maintenence comes in and says dud u leave the water runni g .wtf .then labdlo4s etc comes in and then accuses me if leaving water running etc bs

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