Sinks clogging is common, particularly when they have a sink stopper rather than a plug in the sink.
You can often call plumbing services to clear this slow draining sink, or you can tackle it yourself as it can be much simpler than you think.
In our guide, you can learn how to remove bathroom sink stopper so you can clear all the gunk. By the end, you’ll find you have a free-flowing sink with no restrictions. (Learn How to Replace Hose Bib)
How Do I Disconnect a Pivot Rod?
Here you can find out how to remove a sink stopper without too much effort.
As you pull the small lever to the rear of your bathroom sink faucet, it lowers the stopper toward the sink drain. The stopper functions to let you fill the sink with water.
As we push the lever down, the drain stopper rises and enables water to flush away. However, this may not happen as intended all the time. The stopper design catches gunk that enters the drain.
To clean this stopper, disconnect it from the sink and remove it from the drain.
- Look under the sink for the horizontal pivot rod connected to the drainpipe and the strap attached to the pop-up drain lever. The lever strap will be flat metal-containing several holes.
- Locate the nut on the drainpipe which is surrounding the pivot rod.
- You will find this nut secures the pivot rod ball in the drain.
- You will need to use pliers or an adjustable wrench and rotate the pivot nut counterclockwise.
- Push the nut back along the pivot rod.
- Pull both the rod and pivot ball from the pipe. The pivot rod will be threaded through the ball.
- The pivot rod then threads through the tail of the drain stopper. When you pull the pivot rod from the drainpipe, you can disconnect the stopper.
- Grab the stopper and pull it from the sink to give you access.
Sink Stopper Removal Steps
When you have an issue, you’ll see water starts to take longer to flow down the sink drain, and as time goes on, it seems to take longer.
Once you reach this stage, the only option is to remove the stopper and unblock your drainpipe. The good thing is, you don’t need a professional to do this, and it can be done as a weekend project for your home improvement. (Find the Cheapest Wood Chipper Rental)
All you need are basic tools that you’ll have in your shed; next, you need to go through these steps and see how to remove a bathroom sink stopper.
Tools Needed to Remove Bathroom Sink Stopper
- Wrench or a pair of pliers
- Flashlight to see underneath your sink
- Old toothbrush – You don’t need this for removing sink stoppers, yet there are lots of gunk around the plunger
- Detergent – use this with your brush when you wish to clean your drain and the sink stopper
- Vinegar–When cleaning, you need something that helps cut through the gunk
- Bucket–You may need a bucket if you have accumulated water and need to drain it from the sink
- Hair removal tool–Once you remove the sink stopper, you find hair is the culprit, and a hair removal tool may be required. They are often long pieces of cheap plastic full of hooks.
- Liquid drain cleaner–You’ll find this may not be necessary after using vinegar and detergent. However, if your block is severe, you may need this to cut through the matted hair and gunk
How To Remove A Bathroom Sink Stopper Guide
With all your tools, you can follow the step-by-step guide in clearing the drain and removing your drain stopper.
Step 1. Removing stopper by hand
Some stoppers are designed to be removed by hand (wear rubber gloves). Try this as it can save lots of time, although it may be tight in its fitting if it is old.
Step 2. Locate your horizontal plunger
Once the sink is clear beneath the sink, take your flashlight and look under the sink. Search for the horizontal rod connecting the stopper to the strap. It is easy to spot as it is a metal plate full of holes.
Step 3. Locate the fastening clip from the rod to the strap
When you find the rod and the metal strap it is connected to, see a small metal clip connects them. Remove the clip, so the rod and strap are not connected. Make sure you don’t lose the clip.
It is worth noting which hole was used in the strap before you removed the clip. When you reattach the clip, it can save you lots of time when you put things back together.
If you need a replacement, you can find these at your local hardware store.
Step 4. Unscrew the pivot nut
You will see the opposite end of the rod you detached from the strap, which will be connected to the pivot nut.
To proceed, you need to unscrew it. It is here your bucket comes in handy to catch any water and the nut should you drop it. With the bucket in position, try to loosen the nut with your fingers; if you can’t, then you’ll need your pliers or wrench.
Step 5. Remove the stopper
The stopper should be free besides any gunk holding it; you should be able to raise it, release it vertical, and pull it from inside the sink opening by hand.
Now the stopper is out; you can put on your plumbing cap and give the drain a good clean. Use your detergent, vinegar and hot water to clean. Remember, if you flush the drain, you may catch this dirty water in your bucket.
Step 6. Remove hair
If the stopper is full of hair, the drain will be as well. Before replacing the stopper, pull hair and gunk from the hole using your hair remover tool. You shouldn’t have any trouble pulling the clogged hair out of the sink.
Step 7. Consider a drain-cleaning product
Before you assemble everything, you can take the opportunity and flush out your drain using a liquid drain cleaner. All you need to do is follow the instructions on the bottle and wear safety gear.
Some drain cleaners give off fumes and are caustic, so they might burn since this is how they clear a clog and loosen hair and grime.
Finally, you want to flush down the drain with hot water to make sure there are no traces of the drain cleaner for when you seal the plunger underneath your sink and replace all the fittings.
You should see water flow away easily, and if it does, you have successfully unclogged your sink stopper and drain. (Learn About Standard Socket Sizes)
Step 8. Put everything back into place
Once you’ve cleaned the drains and the stopper with your old toothbrush, you can put everything back and tighten the nut to hold it all together.
First, put the sink stopper and spring back into the hole. Go underneath your sink and screw the nut back into place, tighten with the pliers or your wrench. All you have to do is follow the steps in reverse and rather than unscrew, you screw the nut to the pipe and replace the spring.
Once you have tightened your nut, reattach the rod to the strap and hold it together with the clip. Once done, you can test your work.
If the stopper moves up and down freely as you push and pull the lever, you have successfully fitted it back into place. To finish, put all your stuff under the sink, and wipe your job down with a clean cloth.