Best Guide: How to Remove Sink Stopper in 7 Steps

Most of us have been stuck with a clogged sink at some point in our lives. This is where water stops draining, and we find ourselves with a flooded kitchen or bathroom.

In addition to this, it’s really disappointing when you realize you don’t know how to remove sink stopper. This is the only way to fix your drainage problem.

How to remove sink stopper

The easy way to solve this is to hire a plumber.

However, homeowners can save money by learning a few basic plumbing skills, including how to remove sink stopper, or how to clean out the bathroom sink drain.

Therefore, in order to understand how to deal with this annoying drainage problem, keep on reading.

What is a Sink Stopper ?

How to remove sink stopper

  • A sink stopper is the metal component of the sink, normally circular in shape.
  • It is mounted on top of the sink drain, and is operated by levers close to the handles that keep it open or shut.
  • This circular portion is generally joined to a longer piece that extends inside the drain.
  • If you have a buildup issue, you’ll need to remove sink stopper.
  • As soon as you take the stopper off, it is easy to unclog the drain and stopper at the same time.

Types of Sink drain Stoppers

If you want to know how to remove the sink stopper, you need to understand the different types, as it makes a difference.

The main purpose of all stoppers is to keep the water in the bathroom sink drain or bathtub and to allow them to be easily emptied.

However, there are six types of stoppers.

If you know what type of sink drain stopper you have in your kitchen, it will be easier for you to replace it and remove it from the kitchen or bathroom sink drain.

Here are some of them.

1. Lift and turn

  • A small knob poking out from the stopper‘s cap can easily distinguish lift-and-turn models from other types of stoppers.
  • There is a small knob which opens and shuts the sink drainage, depending on the direction it is turned.
  • There is also an installation screw underneath the cap.
  • This type is kinda tricky to remove, since the setscrew may be challenging to remove, particularly if it’s rusted or overtightened.

2. Pop-Up Sink drain Stopper

  • Many individuals, including professional plumbers, mistake this drain end for a traditional pop-up sink in the bathroom because the design and use of the two are quite similar.
  • In this model, the stopper lever is located on the upper portion of the overflow plate, and a spring is used to open and close the valve.
  • This stopper mechanism is designed in such a way that dirt easily gets trapped inside.
  • Although it has an elegant design, it is quite difficult to remove it or replace it.

3. Push and Pull Stoppers

  • Push and pull models have a lot in common with lift and turn models.
  • In simple terms, you can lift them up to open and push them down to shut.
  • In contrast to lift and turn models, a screw is also found below the cap of push and pull stoppers.

4. Flip-It Drain Stopper

  • Instead of a pull or push mechanism, the flip-it bathroom sink stopper includes a toggle lever that flips between two positions, allowing you to either open or close the sink.
  • Easy installation makes this model suitable for regular or corner bathtubs, as it doesn’t need any tools.
  • Sink stoppers must be inserted into sink holes, and the seal created by the rings will keep the sink stable.

5. Toe-Touch Sink Stoppers

  • Toe-touch sink stoppers work like pull and push models.
  • Although it comes with a spring clip, it’s pretty easy to install.
  • It is simple to use bathtub drain stopper, just as you would with a bathtub.
  • With your toes, you simply push down on the stopper to open or shut.
  • It’s easy to keep the stopper clean, but the spring clip needs to be changed after a while.

6. Trip Lever Drain Stopper

  • Among all the bathroom sink stopper models, the trip lever model is probably the only one that offers levers on its overflow cover.
  • Instead of the normal pop-up stopper, a strainer is installed in the opening of the sink.
  • As opposed to press-and-pull stoppers, and the rest of the bathroom sink plugs on this list, it’s difficult to clean this one, since both the overflow plate and tube need to be removed.

What causes bathroom sink stoppers to clog

You should remove your bathroom sink stopper because you probably have clogged drainage due to clogging.

But what is blocking this sink drain stopper?

Let’s look at the most common causes of blocked drainage in bathrooms;

  • Soap scum – soap scum is typically caused by a reaction between the soap ingredients and the magnesium and calcium minerals in water. As a result, chalky deposits form on the walls of pipes with time. It is similar to hair, and it catches everything flowing into the drain opening system.
  • Grease – Grease and cooking oil are the main things that clog kitchen sinks. sometimes gunk and debris can also be the reason for blocked drainage.
  • Hair– hair is usually the cause of clogged bathroom sink stoppers. Whenever hair is wet, it gathers together and collects all other materials being flushed down the drain pipe.

How to Remove Sink Stopper

Materials required

As a first step, you’ll need to gather the tools that you’ll need in order to remove the bathroom sink stopper.

Below you can find a list of the tools that you need.

  • Flashlight
  • Vinegar
  • Bucket
  • Drain cleaner liquid (optional)
  • Hair clog removal tool
  • Brush
  • Wrench or pliers
  • Normal detergent

Step by Step Guide on How to Remove Sink Stopper

How to remove sink stopper

Step 1. Remove the stopper by hand

  • It is sometimes possible to remove some stoppers by hand without the use of any special tools or methods.
  • All you have to do is lift the stopper up and rotate it.
  • Then you’ll be able to pull it out.

Step 2. Clear out the area below the sink

  • In case the stopper won’t come out, you’ll have to reach under the sink to get it out.
  • Let’s start by clearing out everything that’s underneath the sink so you have enough floorspace to work.
  • I recommend clearing out everything under the sink before we get started.
  • You’ll be able to work much more comfortably if you have enough space to move around.

Step 3. Find the horizontal plunger rod

  • Put your flashlight on and try to look below the sink with it.
  • After that, try to locate the horizontal rod that attaches the stopper to the strap.
  • You can easily identify the plunger rod.
  • It will be attached to the vertical strap, the part of metal that has holes in it.

Step 4. Find the clip.

  • Once you find the rod and the metal strap to which it is attached, you’ll notice a small metal clip holding them together.
  • Take the clip off the rod so that it is not in contact anymore with the strap and secure it in a safe place so it does not fall off.
  • When removing the clip, remember which hole the rod fits into.
  • It will make reassembling the clip easier.

Step 5. Take off the pivot nut.

  • In addition, the rod end which you previously took out of the strap was connected to a pivot nut of some sort, and now that nut needs to be unscrewed.
  • Once that’s done, you’ll have to free up the other end that is connected to pivot rod.
  • Ideally, a bucket should be placed under the sink to hold any water that may leak out during the removal of the pivot nut.
  • Once you’ve got the bucket, you should attempt to unscrew the nut by hand.
  • However, if the screw does not come loose, you will need to use pliers or a wrench to undo it.

Step 6. Remove the stopper

  • Now you should able to pull the stopper out of the sink.

Step 7. Replace everything

  • It is time to restore everything to its original state after you have cleaned up everything and unblocked the tub drain, so simply reverse the steps.
  • Replacing the sink stopper is the first thing to do.
  • After that, go below the sink and secure the nut again, using a wrench or pliers as needed.
  • After you tighten the nut, put the strap back on the rod using the clips you took off earlier.
  • As soon as you have done this, come out of the sink and test the sink stopper.
  • As long as it rises and falls as usual when pushing and pulling the level, it is in correct alignment.
  • After this, place all of the items below the sink, wipe them clean with a cloth, and the job is completed.

How to Clean the Sink Stopper Assembly

  • As a result of a clogged sink, there is a high chance that the stopper has been covered in gunk and is extremely unpleasant.
  • As soon as it is out of the sink, this is a best opportunity to wash it thoroughly.
  • Remove as much gunk as possible, and use a small brush to clean them.
  • Once it’s out, it might even be a smart idea to wash it, a little bit more.
  • You can clean it with detergent and a little bit of vinegar, followed by some warm or hot water, so that it can soak before you use it again.

Hair Removal

  • When you replace the stopper, make sure you pull out all the hair and gunk.
  • You can use the hair remover tool to remove the clogged hair.
  • I am confident that you will be able to pull out a lot of the hair.

Drain Cleaner

  • Before you reconnect the plug, take a moment to clean the drain pipe, especially if it was clogged earlier.
  • Make sure you follow the steps on your drain cleaner, run it down the bathtub drain or sink drain and let it work its magic.
  • Once you’ve let it sit for 10 minutes – wash it down with hot water.
  • If you can clearly see the water flowing away from the drain plug, then you have succeeded in unclogging this drain blockage.

Tips to Consider While Removing the Sink Stopper

I have a few tips to make it easier to remove and replace the bathroom sink stopper;

Take action early

  • No matter how well your drain works, you need to wash your bathroom sink as quickly as possible.
  • Almost no one pays attention to clogged sinks, hoping they’ll clear up on their own.
  • If you let the bathroom sink stopper to drain slowly, it’ll continue to worsen unless you take some action right away.
  • For that reason, it is advisable to clean the sink as soon as it starts draining slowly so that it does not become clogged or annoying.

Find the right replacement part

  • Check your parts and make sure they’re the same, even if you’re just replacing a few parts.
  • For this reason, it is advisable to take your old parts to your nearest hardware shop.
  • When you bring your old parts to the store, you can find the exact fit.

Use a tray to store your fittings

  • A tray is absolutely essential when you are performing any kind of procedure that involves removable parts.
  • In other words, you might risk losing small, yet very important parts of the sink if you don’t follow this advice.
  • Keep them in a bucket or tray so they don’t get damaged.

Use rubber gloves

  • It is always a problem when our sinks get blocked because of all types of gunk, including hair and tangles.
  • These are also things you shouldn’t touch with your bare hands.
  • So make sure you wear some rubber gloves and don’t touch your drain pipe with your bare hands.

Video Guide: How to Remove Sink Stopper

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Wrap Up!

There is no doubt that knowing how to remove a bathroom sink stopper is essential if you are a homeowner looking to save money on insignificant tasks like this.

As a bonus, this easy process will not only help you save money but will also improve your DIY skills in a remarkable way.

Clogged sinks may cause a number of serious problems in your bathroom or kitchen like reduced water pressure in the kitchen faucet.

It’s possible that you could run into more problems than you thought, if the sink still remains clogged after you unclog the stopper.

If you’re in such a situation, consider hiring a plumber.

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