Bathroom Sink Drain


The pop-up assembly on a bathroom drain has several moving parts that wear out over time. If the unit is made of thin metal or plastic that is easily bent or broken, you may not be able to repair it.


If a stopper is loose and won't stay open, tighten the pivot ball retaining nut.

If a stopper is difficult to raise, loosen the pivot ball retaining nut. If that doesn't work remove the pivot rod, clean out the opening in the drain body, and replace worn gaskets or washers. If the stopper does not seat all the way into the drain body when you pull up on the lift rod, adjust the lift rod.

If a stopper does not hold water, remove it and clean the rubber seal. If there is an O-ring, replace it or the stopper.

If water leaks from the pivot rod, tighten the retaining nut. If it still leaks, remove the pivot rod and replace the gaskets.

Prestart Checklist

An hour or so for most repairs

Long-nose pliers, groove-joint pliers, screwdriver

No special skills needed

Make the work area comfortable; place a bucket under the assembly to catch water

Replacement 1-1/4-inch rubber or plastic washers, perhaps new gaskets, perhaps a new drain assembly, plumber's putty

Adjusting the Stopper: Step 1

Some stoppers can be removed simply by pulling up. With others you twist a quarter-turn or so, then lift. A third type has a hole through which the pivot rod passes (shown); remove the pivot rod first. Check the O-ring for damage; replace it if necessary.

Adjusting the Stopper: Step 2

To adjust a stopper up or down, loosen the lift rod screw with your fingers or with a pair of long-nose pliers if it is corroded. Slide the clevis strap up or down as needed, tighten the nut, and test.

Replacing Drain Body: Step 1

Disconnect the trap. Slide the clevis strap off the pivot rod, loosen the retaining nut, and remove the pivot rod. Insert a screwdriver into the drain opening in the sink to keep it from turning, and loosen the locknut with pliers.

Replacing Drain Body: Step 2

Unscrew the locknut. Push down on the sink flange with one hand while you unscrew the drain body with the other.

Replacing the Drain Body: Step 3

Buy a new drain assembly with a lift rod that fits through your faucet or buy a new faucet and drain body. Slip the sink flange through the hole in the sink and screw on the drain body. Tighten the locknut, install the pivot rod, attach it to the clevis strap with the spring clip, and adjust.

Comments (1)
manark012gmail wrote:

If you have a grease clog, you should be able to clear that up with dish soap and hot water. Try to remove as much water as possible first and then pour a half cup of dish soap in the drain. Then you want to follow that with about a half a gallon or two liters of the hot water. It may take up to 30 minutes, but this should clear things up.

3/13/2017 05:39:07 PM Report Abuse
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