remove bathroom sink stopper

How Do Sink Stoppers Work?

Removing your bathroom sink stopper is something you may need to do if your sink is not draining properly. Whether your drain is clogged or your stopper isn’t functioning properly and you need a new one, it is beneficial to remove it.

What is a Bathroom Sink Stopper?

A sink stopper is the system in your sink that pops up and down to hold water in the sink. All you have to do in order to operate it is pull the handle behind your faucet up and down. This is a fairly simple process, but it is important to know exactly how it works in case it isn’t doing its job properly. 

removing bathroom sink stopper
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Sink stoppers allow your bathroom sink to hold water, simply by lifting or pushing down the lift rod (in between the hot and cold handles)

If your sink is not able to hold water or water is not able to properly drain in your sink, this could be an issue with your sink stopper.

How A Sink Stopper Works

There are many working parts that allow a drain stopper to function;

removing bathroom sink stopper
clevis strap, pivot rod, stopper, gasket
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Clevis strap, pivot rod, stopper, and gasket
Clevis screw, lift rod, clevis strap
Bathroom sink stopper
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Clevis screw, lift rod, and clevis strap

When you pull the lift rod up, it pulls up the pivot rod. The pivot rod attaches to the gasket, which attaches to the stopper. This allows the sink to close by pulling the stopper down and sealing the drain. The pivot rod allows the lift rod and the stopper to work together. One end of the pivot rod sits in the hole of the clevis strap, and the other attaches to the bottom of the gasket. 

Now that you understand how a sink drain stopper works, let’s look at how to remove it! 

How to Remove It

If there is something wrong with your sink stopper and you need to replace a part, commonly the pivot rod or stopper. Here is how to disassemble it. 

Removing your bathroom sink stopper can be a simple process. You can remove some stoppers by twisting the stopper itself. If this is not possible, you will have to disassemble it from under the sink.

  1. Before you start, we recommend turning the water off to the sink and placing a bucket under the p trap. 
  2. First, you need to loosen the spring clip. This allows you to remove the clevis strap to the pivot rod.
  3. Once the spring clip is loose, you can remove it from the pivot rod, as well as the clevis strap. 
  4. The pivot rod attaches to the gasket with a screw on cap. To remove the pivot rod from the sink stopper, unscrew this to completely and remove the cap. You should see a ball on the end of the pivot rod. This creates a seal between the rod and the stopper. Make sure this is clean and in good condition to allow the sink drain to work properly.
  5. If the pivot rod is not the problem, unscrew the clevis screw that connects the lift rod to the clevis strap. 
  6. After you disassemble everything, you can remove the stopper by lifting it up from the sink drain.

Clean Or Replace Your Drain Stopper

Now that you’ve removed it, you can clean it! Remove all of the hair, dirt, and other debris from around the stopper that you can. After you do this, rinse it down with water and scrub it with dawn dish soap. For bigger cleaning jobs, you can let it soak in a mixture of 1 part vinegar and 1 part water for an hour.

Hair, dirt, and other debris
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Sink drains can easily get clogged with dirt, hair, and other debris

If cleaning or replacing parts of your drain stopper didn’t solve the problem, we recommend having a plumber take a look at your drain to find the solution!

Final Thoughts

Drain stoppers are an important part of your bathroom sink. They can easily become dirty or clogged, so it’s important to know how to remove them incase you need to replace or clean a part. Some stoppers can be replaced by unscrewing the stopper, but a lot of stoppers will need to be removed from under the sink.

Call 1-Tom-Plumber

Don’t hesitate to contact us here or call us at 1-Tom-Plumber (1-866-758-6237) if you need any plumbing, drain cleaning, or excavation service. 1-Tom-Plumber’s certified team of plumbers and drain technicians respond immediately to any emergency plumbing, drain cleaning, or water damage problem. 
We also handle the excavation of underground water lines and sewer main lines. Our immediate-response team is available every day and night of the year, even on holidays.

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