How to Repair a Bathroom Sink Pop-up Drain

What You'll Need
Channel lock pliers
Drain cleaning tool
J-bend trap (if necessary)
Clevis rod and Pivot rod (if necessary)

The sink pop up drain system is the most common drainage assembly that is found in mostly all bathroom sinks. However, after some years, this assembly can get damaged, and hence, it is important to keep up with maintenance when necessary. Here are some steps to follow in order to solve different kinds of problems that are commonly found in a pop up drain system.

Step 1 – How Does It Operate?

Before starting the maintenance process, it is important to know how a sink pop up drain system works. Basically, a pop drain has a ballcock assembly that when it goes up and down, the stopper at the center of the sink bowl will close and open respectively. With this mechanism, when you pull the lever found in the faucet, the stopper will close.

Step 2 – Stopper Lever Does not Work

When you pull the stopper lever, the stopper must go down, closing the sink drain hole. Hence, this mechanism functions by means of two rods joined together, forming an L-shape. The clevis rod is the one standing vertically, and it is attached from the top with the stopper lever, while the horizontal one, the pivot rod, is connected to the drain.

If one of these rods gets damaged, the whole mechanism will not work, and hence, both rods need to be replaced. You must unscrew the two thumbscrews using a screwdriver that attach both rods to the stopper lever and the drain. Then, install the new rods joined together by screwing the pivot rod with the drain pipe and the clevis rod with the stopper lever.

Step 3 – The Trap is Leaking

If the j-bend trap underneath the sink bowl is leaking, first check if the trap is properly connected from the bottom with the drain pipe and from the top with the drain basket. Otherwise, check if the trap has any cracks, and if so, it should be replaced.

To replace it, you have to detach it from the drain line and also from the drain basket using the channel lock pliers. Then, slowly pull the trap out and set it out of your way. Now, you can install the new trap the same way the old one was connected. Remember to screw the nuts properly to avoid any more leakages.

Step 4 – Drain Basket Blocked

With time, a lot of debris can accumulate inside the drain basket, and therefore, it will end up blocking the water from the draining well. This debris is generally created by a mixture of hair, toothpaste, shaving foam, and other soap leftovers. Hence, to clean it you must detach the stopper lever from the clevis rod and remove the stopper. Then, by inserting a drain cleaning tool in the basket pipe, you can start to get out all the debris from the drain basket. When ready, insert the stopper in the drain hole and reattach the clevis rod with the lever.

Basically, these are the three most common problems which you can find in your pop up drain system. However, if these steps don’t solve the problem, it is recommended to call for a professional plumber to get the job done for you.