How to Remove a Sink Stopper

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18 Jul How to Remove a Sink Stopper

There’s almost nothing worse than a sink that won’t drain. Have you ever brushed your teeth, only to find your sink filling with water and collecting the results of your teeth cleaning?

Yeah, not fun.

Drain cleaner products like Drano can help, but they are only good at breaking down soap scum and hair. Sometimes, some clogs need a bit more effort to fix.

When that happens, you’ll need to know how to remove and attach your sink’s stopper.

Here at Benjamin Franklin Plumbing Duncanville, we’ll walk you through the steps to find your sink stopper, remove it, clean out the clog, and put it all back together.

Content Breakdown

how to remove a sink stopper diagramHow do I find my sink stopper?

Your sink stopper is the plug that prevents water from flowing down your drain.

You usually use a plunger-like rod behind your faucet to engage the sink stopper. However, this piece is much longer than it appears, going beneath your sink.

Open the cabinet beneath your sink and remove items to give you some space to work. Have a flashlight on hand to give you some extra light if necessary.

Find the horizontal plunger rod—a metal rod beneath your sink drain to the stopper above the sink.

These are all the items involved in most sink stoppers. After successfully identifying them, you’re good to start the cleaning process.

How to Remove a Sink Stopper

Before removing the sink stopper, you’ll need to remove the metal spring clip that connects the horizontal plunger rod to the stopper rod. Be sure to place the tiny clip where it won’t get lost!

At the other end of the horizontal plunger rod, a sink will still connect a piece called the pivot nut to the sink. Again, have a bucket on hand to catch any excess water that may linger in the drain opener or sink before you remove the pivot nut.

You should be able to unscrew the nut by hand, but if not, use a wrench or a pair of pliers.

Once you have removed the pivot nut, you should be able to remove the stopper from the sink. If there’s a lot of gunk, you may be unable to remove it by hand, so use the pair of pliers to pry it out if necessary.

How to Clean a Sink Stopper

After you disassemble the sink stopper, it’s time to start cleaning it. There are many ways you can clean the sink stopper at this point.

You can pull off the gunk by hand. But make sure to wear some gloves for your safety!

You can also run it under hot water with soap. Soaking it in vinegar or detergent can also work.

However, just because you now have a clean sink stopper doesn’t mean you have a clean drain. If your sink stopper is covered in gunk, your drain is likely covered as well.

To clean the drain, products like Drano and a drain snake can come in handy. First, use the drain snake to agitate and loosen hair and gunk in the sink. Then, use a drain cleaner per the bottle’s recommendations to flush it out. Finally, run some hot water, and test if there’s still blockage.

over flowing sink, how to remove a sink stopper.How to put a Sink Stopper Back Together

Once you’ve thoroughly cleaned the sink stopper and drain, it’s time to put everything back together.

Put the sink stopper back in first. Then, secure the pivot nut with a wrench or pliers to ensure a snug fit. Finally, bring the rod and the strap together with the metal clip, and you’re all set!

Test it a few times to ensure your sink stopper isn’t loose. Also, check below your sink to see if any water leaks out. If it does, you may need to tighten the pivot nut a little more.

What are the different types of bathroom sink stoppers?

Not all sinks stoppers are made the same. But there are some main types, and you will likely have one of them.

The first is a pop-up sink stopper. These move up and down and are controlled by a plunger-like rod behind your faucet. This is the most common bathroom sink stopper type.

The second is a lift and turn stopper. You can tell it is a lift and turn sink stopper by the metal knob in the middle. You grab the metal knob, pull the stopper up, and turn it to allow the passage of water. These are relatively common in kitchen sinks or animal baths.

The third kind is a push and pull stopper. It operates similarly to a pop-up sink stopper, but the lifting action occurs on the stopper itself. There is no plunger-like rod involved. Instead, you pull the stopper up by hand to allow the passage of water or push it down to stop the flow of water. You can find these most commonly in bathtubs or showers.

In conclusion…

Here at Benjamin Franklin Plumbing Duncanville, we hope to have answered some of your questions about sink stoppers and cleared up the process of how to find your sink stopper, remove it, clean it, and put it all back together.

If you’re having issues with your sink stopper that you can’t seem to fix on your own, don’t hesitate to call Benjamin Franklin Plumbing Duncanville.

We have expert personnel with the right tools to help you with your plumbing needs at a moment’s notice. We can fix, clean, or replace your sink stopper. Call Benjamin Franklin Plumbing Duncanville today!


Benjamin Franklin Plumbing Duncanville serves the Southwest Dallas cities of Cedar Hill, Dallas, DeSoto, Duncanville, Glenn Heights, Grand Prairie, Maypearl, Midlothian, Oak Cliff, Oak Leaf, Ovilla, Red Oak and Waxahachie with a team of certified plumbers. In addition to emergency plumbing repair, some of the plumbing services provided by the company include faucet repair, drain services, toilet repair, plumbing fixture installations, tub and shower installations, kitchen sink repair, faucet installation, water heater repair/replacement, and garbage disposal replacement. Call us today at (972) 263-5010 to schedule an appointment!

Duncanville Plumber