Sorting Out Your Own Plumbing Issues

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Fixing Your Own Leaking Bathroom Sink

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If you close the stopper in your bathroom sink, but it still won't hold water, it could be a worn stopper or simply an adjustment problem. If you're uncomfortable doing plumbing work, a local plumbing services company can quickly fix this problem for you. But if you're handy with a few household tools, this may be a DIY plumbing project that you can do yourself.

Tools You'll Need

  • flat-blade screwdriver
  • channel-lock pliers
  • a couple of old rags

Removing the Pop-Up Stopper

  1. Find the knob behind the faucet that you use to open and close the stopper. It connects to the push rod which goes through and under the sink.
  2. Follow the push rod to where it connects to a flat plate called the clevis.
  3. Loosen the screw that connects the push rod to the clevis and pull the rod up out of the sink.
  4. On the other end of the clevis, loosen the clip that connects it to the horizontal rod, the pivot rod, and remove the clevis.
  5. The pivot rod goes through the pivot ball, which rests in the side of the drain pipe. Loosen the plastic nut holding the pivot ball in place and pull out the pivot rod and ball. Use the pliers if you can't loosen it with your hands.
  6. Pull the pop-up stopper up and out of the sink.

Cleaning and Inspection of the Parts

  1. Clean any clogs from the bottom of the stopper and the end of the pivot rod that sits in the drain pipe.
  2. Clean and inspect the rubber seal underneath the top of the stopper. If it is torn, brittle or missing, take the stopper to a plumbing supplies store and have them find a match.
  3. Clean any material out of the drain pipe where the pivot ball rests that could be blocking the stopper.

Replacing the Pop-Up Stopper

  1. Lower the new or clean stopper into the drain. Watch through the opening where the pivot ball rests in the drain pipe and turn the stopper until the slot or hole on the bottom of the stopper faces you.
  2. Push the pivot rod into the drain pipe and through the slot or hole on the stopper.
  3. Push the pivot ball in place against the drain pipe and hand tighten the large plastic nut to secure it to the pipe.
  4. Attach the clevis plate to the pivot rod with the clip.
  5. Lower the push rod down through the hole behind the faucet and under the sink.
  6. Attach the rod to the top of the clevis and barely tighten the set screw.
  7. Push on the knob on the push rod and watch how the pop-up stopper rests in the drain.
  8. If the stopper doesn't go down far enough to make a seal in the drain, loosen the set screw connecting the push rod to the clevis and slide the rod up or down until you get a good seal. Tighten the set screw when the correct position is found.

When You Might Need Help

If you can't get the pivot ball and rod out of the drain because of corrosion, you'll need a plumber to replace that section of the drain. This may happen with older, metal drain pipes that have started to rust.

Talk to experts like ACC Drain & Sewer for more information.