When a pop-up drain stopper is difficult to open or close — or doesn’t operate at all — it is usually due to hair, soap scum buildup, or a loose worn or broken part somewhere within the mechanism. There is no need to call in the plumbers for this problem. These devices are often fairly easy to fix.
Drain Stopper Repair
The first order of business is to remove the stopper from the drain. This can be done by twisting and then lifting the stopper, or by loosening the nut closest to the drain on the pivot rod and pulling it away from the drain. The pivot rod is the horizontal “bar” that runs into the drain and is connected to the stopper on one end, and to the lift rod or “plunger” on the other. The lift rod is the vertical bar that comes up through the faucet and controls the stopper.
A little drain cleaning and clearing of the scum and debris from the stopper may be all that is necessary to get the assembly to operate smoothly again. But if the hole at the bottom of the stopper is broken and can no longer attach to the pivot rod, the stopper will likely have to be replaced.
Check all screws along the length of the lift rod and pivot rod. Tighten them where necessary. Also, take a look at the gaskets to make sure they aren’t broken or leaking. Inspect the clevis fasteners on the rods for looseness or damage.
Once the assembly is tight and working properly, place the stopper back into the drain and maneuver it around until it connects with the pivot arm. This may take a few tries, or even some adjusting of the pivot rod. But once the stopper is back in place you should once again have a fully functioning pop-up drain stopper assembly.
Among the plumbing problems that can arise in your home, issues surrounding the drain stopper are usually minor and can be repaired in do-it-yourself fashion.
Written and published by Thompson Electric, Plumbing, Heating & Cooling.
(Photo via Flickr)