Ultimate Guide For How To Remove a Sink Stopper FAST

Last Updated On June 22, 2024

Updated on September 1, 2023



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How To Remove Sink Stopper

Need to remove your sink drain stopper? With the right guidance and a little bit of elbow grease, anyone can master this handy DIY skill. 

It’s not as complicated as it seems!

In fact, learning how to remove your sink stopper will save you money and give you a sense of accomplishment. 

Follow this easy guide to learn how to remove your bathroom drain stopper in 5 minutes or less.

Bonus: Watch the videos below for every type of stopper!

What's In This Guide?

      How To Remove Sink Stopper – Step by Step

      Gather Supplies: Here are a few basics you’ll need for removing a stopper:

      • Clear the deck: If you’re doing any work under the sink, remove the contents. You’ll want some elbow room down there.
      • Gather tools: Pliers, screwdriver, adjustable wrench, small bucket, rags, flashlight. Depending on the type of sink stopper, you won’t need all of these tools. But it’s good to be prepared.
      • Gloves: It can be a bit gross. This one’s up to you.

      Identify the Type of Drain Stopper:

      Be aware, there are a number of different types of drain stoppers. We cover a few of the most common types. If you have that “odd duck” stopper, you’ll need some additional information.

      Let’s start with that good ol’ fashioned standard drain stopper, the push-pull.

      Push-Pull Sink Stopper

      1. Locate the lift rod and pivot rod connection

      The first thing we need to do is find where your lift rod and pivot rod meet under your bathroom sink. (You might need that flashlight).

      You’ll know you’ve found them when you spot two metal rods connected together; one vertical (lift rod) and another horizontal (pivot rod). 

      2. Now it’s time to disconnect the lift rod from the pivot rod.  

      To separate these components, unscrew the connecting nut that holds these two metal rods together (clevis strap and clevis screw). 

      There might be a clip holding them together instead of a screw.  

      3. Next, remove the pivot nut.

      Place the bucket underneath the P-trap (you will get some water out of the drain pipe with this step). 

      The pivot nut is attached to the drain pipe and holds the pivot rod in place. You should be able to turn this by hand. If not, use the pliers (easy on that elbow grease). 

      4. Remove the stopper.

      Now that the stopper is free from the rods, you can simply lift it out. 

      Watch this video on how to remove a sink stopper will provide you with more visual details. 

      Remove Other types of Sink Stoppers

      Some plumbing problems are easier to resolve when you first remove the sink stopper. Like using a hair clog remover tool for the bathroom sink.

      But the process of removing drain stoppers varies depending on their type. Pop-up stoppers, like the rockers, might require a different method compared to toe-touch drain stops or trip lever bathtub drains. This video will help.

      Let’s look into these different types of stoppers.

      How to Remove the Lift & Turn and Push & Pull Drain Stoppers 

      1. Unscrew the knob on top of the stopper. This usually can be done by hand.

      2. If removing the knob exposes a bolt, use a screwdriver or pliers to loosen and remove it.

      3. Now it’s time to lift out the rest of the stopper.

      Watch the Video: How to Remove Push Style Bathtub Stopper to Clean Your Drain

      Remove a Flip-it Sink Stopper

      This one is easy.

      1. Flip the lever to the open position.

      2. Then twist and pull the stopper out of the drain flange.

      Watch the Video: Flip-It Jr. Sink Stopper

      How to remove a Trip-Lever Sink Stopper

      This one is tougher. You’ll find the lever on the overflow plate.

      1. Important: First open the drain. Make sure the lever is in the open position.

      2. Remove the overflow cover by loosening the screws. Caution: cover the drain so the screws don’t fall into the drain opening. 

      3. Carefully pull out the entire stopper mechanism. This includes the plate, connecting rod(s), and plunger. Slow and easy, you don’t want to break anything.

      Watch the Video: Bath tub trip lever/ bath tub stopper replacement or adjustment

      Key Takeaway: 

      Learning how to remove your sink stoppers is the first step to solving common plumbing issues like a blocked drain line. Techniques vary based on the type of stopper, but it’s a reasonably simple DIY which allows you to replace it if needed and helps when dealing with a clogged drain.

      When You Remove Sink Stopper: Clean and Inspect It

      You’ve managed to remove your sink stopper, but the work isn’t over yet. Now it’s time for a critical step in maintaining an efficient plumbing system: cleaning the stopper mechanism and drain opening.

      • Your work isn’t over after successful disconnection – all parts should then be cleaned free of debris, rust, or corrosion. (And hair, of course.)
      • A thorough inspection should be done, making sure there aren’t any signs of wear and tear that could potentially cause issues once reinstalled.

      Key Takeaway: Removing a sink stopper is simpler than it sounds. Don’t forget to clean and inspect all parts before reinstalling. See hair clogs further down the pipe? Use this tool to remove hair

      The Importance of Cleaning Your Drain Opening

      Cleaning your drain opening is not just about aesthetics, it plays a vital role in preventing future plumbing problems, including foul sink odors. Debris such as hair and soap scum can accumulate inside bathroom sinks or even kitchen sink strainers, causing blocked sink stoppers if left unchecked.

      And let’s not forget about odor – the unpleasant kind that is. A great way to help reduce sink odor is with baking soda. It’s cheap, efficient, and easy to do. You can also use natural enzymes.

      Clean Your Drain Opening After Removing The Sink Stopper

      To get started with this process after removing your pop-up stopper, grab a cloth or sponge soaked in warm soapy water and gently scrub around the interior walls of the drain opening, eliminating any visible grime or buildup.

      1. If stubborn deposits persist within your toe touch stopper assembly – like calcium buildups due to hard water – consider using a drain snake tool. Remember safety first when dealing with tools; wear protective rubber gloves during this process.
      2. Rinse off loosened debris thoroughly by pouring boiling water into drains, leaving behind a clean surface ready for reassembly.
      3. This routine maintenance helps prevent common issues associated with bathroom sinks, such as slow draining caused by blockages from accumulated debris like soap scum and other gunk. 

      Key Takeaway: After removing your sink stopper, don’t forget to clean the drain opening and drain pipe. 

      Importance of Knowing How to Remove Bathroom Drain Stoppers

      Knowing how to remove your sink stopper will allow you to clean and maintain it. And if you need a new drain stopper, you can easily install that as well. 

      Next time you have a clogged drain pipe, it will also be easier to use a drain snake after you remove that stopper. But be sure you learn how to turn corners, first.

      I bet you didn’t realize all the benefits of knowing how to do this one little thing!

      DIY is a great way to help maintain your home. Removing your sink stopper falls into plumbing work can be done without a license, and is fairly easy. 

      Final Thoughts on How To Remove Sink Drain Stopper

      You should now know the different parts of a sink stopper and how they interact. And, the different types of stoppers and the basics of how they work. The first step in any DIY is understanding how something works.

      Congratulations, you did it! With these skills in hand, no sink-stopper mechanism will stand in your way again.

      And you’ll have an easier time getting to any clogs in the plumbing when you first take off the drain stopper. Your plumbing snake will work much better when the stopper is removed.

      If other plumbing mysteries still baffle you, or if new challenges arise, remember Plumbing Nav is here to guide you through every step of home repair tasks. 

      FAQs in Relation to How to Remove Sink Stopper

      Do sink stoppers come out?

      Yes, sink stoppers come out. Some of them can be removed by hand while others need some tools.   

      How do you remove a pop up sink plug?

      A pop-up sink plug can be removed by loosening and removing its retaining nut under the sink. Once done, simply lift out the plug from above.

      How do you remove a bathroom sink drain stopper?

      Bathroom sink drain stoppers are removable by unscrewing them counter-clockwise or pulling them straight up depending on their design.

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      About Plumbing Navigator

      We write about "all things plumbing," helping you navigate common questions, repairs, and the best plumbing products on the market.

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      We write about “all things plumbing,” helping you navigate common questions, repairs, and the best plumbing products on the market.

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