Plumbing Maintenance: How to Clean and Repair Your Sink Stopper


Plumbing Maintenance: How to Clean and Repair Your Sink Stopper

It’s typical for the pop-up stopper on your sink to wear out or loosen over time. 

But once you understand how it works, you can keep them in good condition and handle minor repairs or adjustments. 

Before you begin, you’ll want to create enough room to work by clearing out anything stored under the sink.

How to clean or replace a bathroom sink stopper 

  1. Identify that the horizontal pivot rod and clevis are attached.
  2. Find the retaining nut securing the horizontal pivot rod, and loosen it.
  3. Once it’s loose, remove the horizontal pivot rod.
  4. After removing the horizontal pivot rod, mark the spot where the clevis is attached with the stopper rod.
  5. Loosen the clevis screw.
  6. Once the clevis and horizontal pivot rod are detached from everything else, soak them in a mild cleaning solution. Vinegar works for this, too.
  7. Lift the stopper out of the drain in the sink.
  8. Check the rubber seal on the bottom of the stopper head. If it is cracked or brittle, replace the seal. If not, you can reuse it.
  9. After removing the stopper, clean with mild cleaner or vinegar and scrub it with an old toothbrush.
  10. Rinse off the stopper and wash the horizontal pivot rod and clevis.

Reassembling and adjusting the stopper 

  1. Put the stopper back into the drain.
  2. Slide the clevis in over the stopper rod and insert the horizontal pivot rod into the drainpipe where it was before.
  3. Tighten the retaining nut just enough to hold the horizontal pivot rod in place.
  4. Tighten the clevis screw in the same spot as it was before (where you marked it).
  5. Now test the stopper rod. If attached correctly, then the clevis, horizontal pivot rod, and stopper will all move when the stopper rod is pulled.
  6. Now tighten the retaining nut just enough so that the stopper rod can still move. If it’s too tight, it will prevent the horizontal pivot rod from moving.
  7. Loosen the clevis screw and pull the stopper rod up. Slide the clevis as far up on the stopper rod as possible, and tighten the clevis screw.
  8. Now, the pop-up stopper should keep water contained in the sink. If it still doesn’t work, keep correcting the adjustments on the retaining nut and clevis until it is functional.

Need help repairing your sink or with another plumbing repair? Call the experts at Agentis. We’re here to help.