Fixing A Bathroom Sink That Won't Hold Water

If your bathroom sink keeps draining out before you finish cleaning up, the pop-up stopper is likely cracked or not sealing properly. With a few tools and about an hour of your time, you can replace the stopper yourself. Here are the steps to this DIY project to keep the water in your sink until you're done with it.

Supplies You'll Need

  • flat-blade screwdriver
  • channel lock pliers
  • small bucket
  • old rags for cleanup

From the plumbing section of the home improvement store:

  • a replacement pop-up stopper kit

Removing the Old Stopper

  1. Follow the push rod that you use to open and close the drain to where it stops beneath the sink.
  2. Loosen the small clip or screw that secures the push rod to the clevis plate and remove the rod.
  3. Loosen the clip or screw at the other end of the clevis plate.
  4. Slide the clevis plate off of the pivot rod.
  5. Follow the pivot rod to the pivot ball that rests in the drain pipe.
  6. Place the small bucket under the pipes to catch any water that spills out with the next step.
  7. Loosen the large nut that secures the ball in the pipe.
  8. Pull the ball out of the drain pipe.
  9. Notice the smaller rod coming out of the ball into the pipe. This rod connects with the bottom of the pop-up stopper and is what moves the stopper up and down.
  10. Pull the old pop-up stopper out of the drain.

Installing the New Stopper

  1. If not already in place, push the rubber seal up against the bottom of the stopper where it sits on the drain.
  2. Place the stopper down into the drain.
  3. While looking through the hole under the sink where the pivot ball sits, turn the stopper until you clearly see the slot in which the pivot rod sits.
  4. Place the short rod on the pivot ball into the opening in the drain pipe and slide the rod into the slot on the bottom of the pop-up stopper.
  5. Push the ball into the opening until it stops and secure with the large nut.
  6. Slide the clevis plate onto the pivot rod and tighten the screw or clip to secure it.
  7. Secure the push rod onto the other end of the clevis plate with the clip or screw.
  8. Use the push rod to raise and lower the new stopper. Adjust the pivot rod and push rod on the clevis plate to make it easier to open and close the drain.

Problems You Might Encounter

If you have any of the following issues, contact one of your local plumbing contractors to help finish your project.

  • The large nut holding the pivot ball won't come loose because of rust or corrosion.
  • The portion of the drain where the pop-up stopper sits is cracked or rusted and won't allow a good seal to be made. The plumber will have to replace that part of the drain pipe.

For plumbing contractors in your area, contact a company such as Trenchless Pipe Technologies.