How to Remove a Sink Pop Up Stopper

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You can remove and replace your sink pop up stopper.
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Many sinks rely on pop-up plug stoppers to keep their plugs working properly. They hold your plug in place so it can't become lost around your bathroom and offer a convenient way to fill and release water from your sink.


But if your pop-up stopper becomes broken, it can be irritating. Whether it's not releasing your plug fully or holding your plug at a crooked angle so the sink isn't watertight, a broken pop-up sink stopper can be a real nightmare. Removing the pop-up sink stopper can be the best way to get it working properly again.

How Sink Pop-Up Stoppers Work

As Kohler explains, pop-up sink stoppers work by attaching the drain stopper to a mechanism below the faucet called a linkage. The linkage connects to a ball rod, which is what holds the plug in place when you push it down.


Having the linkage at the right angle is key to your pop-up stopper working correctly. Over time, these mechanisms can fall out of place or slightly warp, which can prevent the plug from adequately stopping the sink. If that's the case, you'll likely need to remove the stopper to readjust it for a better working plug and drain.

Issues With Sink Pop-Up Stoppers

There are a variety of reasons you may wish to remove your pop-up sink stopper. Alongside a badly fitting or crooked stopper, OnTime Service explains you could also wish to replace a broken or worn-out seal or another component or simply clear out a dirty or blocked drain.


Before you begin taking your entire sink apart, though, it's worth investigating whether you can remove your sink pop-up stopper from the outside of the sink. Sometimes a slightly crooked plug can just need a minor adjustment of millimeters in order to become free. Try lightly lifting the stopper and turning it around. Don't force it out, though, as this could cause even more damage.

Removing a Sink Pop-Up Stopper

If you've tried to remove your sink pop-up stopper from inside your sink to no avail, you'll likely need to go underneath your sink to adjust the mechanism. You'll need a standard pivot rod repair kit, which can be purchased inexpensively from Home Depot.


First, Landmark Home Warranty recommends that you make sure your water is turned off. Next, check under the sink for the longer pivot rod. It'll look like a straight, thick piece of wire. Lowe's then suggests loosening the retaining nut and removing the clevis screw. If you're planning on putting the pivot rod back afterward, you should mark on it where the clevis screw is first to make reinstalling the pivot rod easier. Removing the clevis screw will release the pivot rod, which you can then remove.

Once the pivot rod is out, you can remove the stopper. Take a close look at the stopper for signs of damage or warping. If you're planning on reusing the parts, you should clean the pivot rod, clevis and pop-up sink stopper before replacing them.



Annie Walton Doyle is a freelance writer based in Manchester, UK. Her work has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Daily Telegraph, Professional Photography Magazine, Bustle, Ravishly and more. When not writing, she enjoys pubs, knitting, nature and mysteries.