Kohler drain stoppers fulfill the important need of keeping water in the tub or sink while you are using them or need to soak something. When the stopper is opened, it allows the water to leave via the drain. Over time, mold, soap scum, calcium deposits and other debris can build up in the sink stopper. Removing the stopper and cleaning it can resolve most of these issues; fortunately, removal is fairly straightforward.
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Removing the Sink Stopper
If you happen to have instructions on hand for your Kohler sink stopper, it's a good idea to take a look to refresh your memory about the removal process. Though drains are fairly universal, there may be subtle differences.
You'll then need to look beneath the sink to identify a horizontal rod, which is usually found in the drainpipe. The rod is attached to a part of the drain known as the clevis. The clevis links to the stopper's level on the sink.
Use a wrench to loosen the nut that holds the rod to the drainpipe. This will allow you to slide the rod out. The stopper is then no longer attached to the drainpipe. You'll still need to remove the stopper from the top of the sink.
Completing the Removal Process
To finish taking the stopper out of the sink for cleaning, you will need to move the ball rod with which it is attached. The ball rod is usually threaded through the side of the drain. It may be attached there with a nut. If so, use your wrench to remove the nut.
Once you have removed the ball rod, you can lift the drain straight up. Use a plastic putty knife or another blunt object to loosen it from the sink; this will help to avoid scratching the surface of the sink.
If you are working with a Kohler pop-up bathtub drain, you can follow many of the same steps as outlined for a sink. Again, it's always wise to refer to the manufacturer's instructions for your specific drain stopper before you get started, as each model may be slightly different.
Maintaining Your Sink Stopper
Avoid the need for sink stopper removal by taking certain preventive measures. To care for your sink stopper, wash your sink regularly. Avoid the use of liquid drain cleaners if at all possible, as these can be caustic and may harm your drain stopper and your pipes.
Use a spray bottle filled with half water, half white vinegar to spritz the basin of your sink on a regular basis. You may also pour a small amount of this cleaning solution down the drain to help keep the stopper clear of mineral deposits, mold, mildew and soap scum. All of these may gum up the sink stopper and lead to clogs over time.
You may also use a hair catcher or other guard device over your drain to protect the sink stopper from becoming clogged with gunk that necessitates its removal. However, this sort of device is much more common with a shower drain than a sink drain.