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Repairing a Pop Up Sink Drain

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We just got back from a short trip to Vienna, Virginia to visit my family for the holidays. When we arrived, my mom had left me a note in the bathroom we were using.

Here it is:

Repairing a Pop Up Sink Drain

My mom, she’s so cute, doesn’t she know that this sign taunted me the whole visit?

Repairing a Pop Up Sink Drain

Besides, what kind of daughter would I be if I left this minor repair to a plumber? Puh-lease!

So, here was the deal with the hair clip in the sink. It was her way of holding the stopper up because the rod inside the sink had rusted and broken off. (Pretty creative in my opinion.)

Repairing a Pop Up Sink Drain

But not the real fix for a sink stopper that would not stay up.

Repairing a Pop Up Sink Drain

Let’s back up before I show you how to repair the stopper. Thank you to Dvorty Girl for the excellent illustration above that she posted on WikiHow.com.

Sink parts:

  1. Drain Down Rod
  2. Joint Clamp Clip
  3. Horizontal Rod
  4. Nut
  5. Ball, Rod, Nut & Gasket
  6. Stopper Notch
  7. Pop Up Drain Stopper


(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

Universal Pivot Ball Replacement Kit
Pliers (maybe)

Repairing a Pop Up Sink Drain

Repairing a Pop Up Sink Drain Instructions:

1. Clear out enough room so you can work under the sink. (Okay, my mom is going to kill me for showing you her cluttered sink vanity. But, who’s sink vanity doesn’t look like this?! Please leave a comment and tell her that she’s not the only one!)

Repairing a Pop Up Sink Drain

2. Lay down some towels to cushion the edge of the vanity (or your back, rib cage or hips will be in screaming pain.)

Repairing a Pop Up Sink Drain

3. Locate the (3)horizontal rod and (5) nut at the back of your drain that holds the (5) ball, rod & gasket.

4.  Unscrew the (5) nut with your fingers or use pliers if it is really tight. Pull out the ball and gasket.
Repairing a Pop Up Sink Drain
5. To release the (3) horizontal rod from the (1) down rod, squeeze the (2) joint clamp clip between your fingers and slide it off the end of the horizontal rod.
Repairing a Pop Up Sink Drain
6. Lay out your old pieces to assess the damage. You may or may not need a new gasket (which is sold separately.) This one was broken and needed replacing.
Repairing a Pop Up Sink Drain
7. Match the old pivot ball with the new ones in the kit. Be sure to choose the one that is exactly the same size. Thread the (5) new ball onto the new (3) horizontal rod.
Repairing a Pop Up Sink Drain
8. Next thread the new gasket onto the horizontal rod and then the nut.
Repairing a Pop Up Sink Drain
9. Next feed one end of the (2) joint clip clamp (the kit I bought contained two white stoppers instead of a joint clip clamp). Only add one side or one stopper at this point.)
Repairing a Pop Up Sink Drain
10. Feed the (3) horizontal rod into the (1) down rod.
Repairing a Pop Up Sink Drain
11. Line the other end of the (3) horizontal bar up and slip the ball joint into the hole at the back of the drain. Ideally the horizontal bar will be parallel to the floor, but you may have to make some minor adjustments at the end.
Repairing a Pop Up Sink Drain
12. Screw the nut back onto the drain making sure the ball joint and gasket are lined up properly.
Repairing a Pop Up Sink Drain
13. Now add the second stopper or the other end of the (2) joint clamp clip to the back of the (3) horizontal rod.
Repairing a Pop Up Sink Drain
Repairing a Pop Up Sink Drain
14. Look inside the drain, and notice the post end of the (5) ball joint inside the drain.
Repairing a Pop Up Sink Drain
Pull up on the (1) down drain rod and make sure that it moves up and down freely and the post in the drain moves as well.
Repairing a Pop Up Sink Drain
15. This next step requires a little patience, so put your patience cap on. Feed the drain stopper back into the drain. You want the end of the stopper to be at a 90 degree angle from the ball joint post as show below.
Repairing a Pop Up Sink Drain
Gently rotate the stopper 90 degrees until the end of the stopper hooks the post.
Repairing a Pop Up Sink Drain
16. Once the stopper has been properly rotated and hooked onto the ball joint post, test your sink by pulling up and own on the (1) drain down rod.
And you are done!
Pretty Handsome Guy thought it would be funny to re-arrange the letters in the sign.
Repairing a Pop Up Sink Drain
And just to prove to you that my Mom can also be handy, this is a photo I found of her from the 1970’s when my parents were building my childhood home.
Repairing a Pop Up Sink Drain
Next time your drain stopper is broken, I hope you will put off calling a plumber and fix it yourself!
131 replies
    • Dianna Fox
      Dianna Fox says:

      Definetley not only under the sink vanity to look that way. Don’t give it a second though. I want to meet the person who has a beautiful organized area down there and what’s the big deal anyway, not like it would ever be examened .

  1. Margie
    Margie says:

    Wow! I am SO impressed! We had a plumber here to fix a clog in our sink (among other things) and he took our stopper out when he did it, that was over a year ago, we still have no stopper because he told us he CAN'T get it back in. HA! Now I have proof that it CAN be done! Needless to say, that guy is NEVER coming back to our house (not just because of that, but because every room he worked in [bathroom, powder room and kitchen] he scratched, dented or plain broke something and cursed a blue streak) I envy you for being so handy, I would LOVE to be able to do these things myself or hire a WOMAN to do the job for me!

    I WILL be showing this post to my hubby!

    Have a wonderful Christmas!

  2. Handy Man, Crafty Woman
    Handy Man, Crafty Woman says:

    That is so awesome! I love that you not only fixed it, but of course stopped to take pictures so you could fully document this on your blog.

    You rock!! 🙂

  3. Shelly
    Shelly says:

    What a great daughter you are! I ALWAYS love a simple solution tutorial, especially from a woman's perspective. Way to go. 🙂 Merry Christmas!

  4. Reenie
    Reenie says:

    Can you come live with me for a week!! 🙂 Mom….you're not the only one with a messy under the sink cabinet. I bet it's all organized now…. thx to your daughter 😉

    Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  5. claudia
    claudia says:

    Thanks this was right on time for me. I can't wait to repair this. I kept thinking why bother I have to yank that ugly sink out one day when I remodel.The truth is it will be a while before I can afford to do the whole job and in the mean time miscellaneous things keep falling down the hole. Most recently a screwdriver clogged it rather well and wasn't easy to extract. So now that I know what that kit is called I am going to pick one up. Love ya for this.

  6. Cool Breeze
    Cool Breeze says:

    I so enjoyed this article immensely! The Teflon tape is not needed for screwing the plastic piece. That’s overkill. The best part is that the pivot ball assembly is made of plastic so it won’t rust anytime. I can see in your moms sink here that most other parts (water lines,etc) were replaced by nylon/plastic tubing as well. The trap is definitely original. It appears she has very hard water usage there.
    The pictures and illustrations were on the money handy girl. I loved the step by step. Even a guy can now fix this without having to read. lol

    In the end, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. You got your moms great brain genes. The hair clip idea was excellent and very funny.

    The finale here was the ingenious way Handsome Guy re-arranged the letters on your moms sign!
    Oops! I can see he didn’t use Teflon tape to make them stick! ;D


  7. Gale
    Gale says:

    I can’t believe your step-by-step instructions gave me the courage to tackle this project by myself and it was so easy! Who needs a man around the house when you have the internet!!! Thank you so much for taking the out to take the pictures and for the comprehensive narration!

  8. Kelly
    Kelly says:

    What exactly is the gasket called? When my sink was taken apart it got lost and I don’t know what to replace it with !!!!!!!!

  9. ST
    ST says:

    This was the best guide I found to help me do this exact repair. The broken/deteriorated ball rod looked the same and I happened to buy the same kit. I had trouble with the tension of the pull road (i.e., the rod wouldn’t stay up), but your helpful photos helped me fix the problem. I am indeed a man, and I only care about the advice, not who gives it! The “who needs a man?” comments hurt a bit :-), but I understand the sentiment. Save the plumber’s time for the complicated stuff.

    • Brittany (aka Pretty Handy Girl)
      Brittany (aka Pretty Handy Girl) says:

      ST, thank you so much for your comment. Glad the tutorial helped. I hope you don’t take that comment personally, there are so many women who were brought up to believe that they couldn’t be handy or fix things because they aren’t men. They are just expressing their new found confidence ;-). BTW, I always like to hear from the handy men out there too.

  10. Diane aka Josephine
    Diane aka Josephine says:

    I have fixed some plumbing problems in the past so my husband calls me Josephine. She was on a commercial for Draino or something years ago. Anyone remember her? So the stopper in the sink broke and we were stumped. My husband took it apart, but we were stumped. This is perfect so now Josephine can take over I guess. Love the pictures. Thanks for the detailed posting. Can’t wait to use this to get it fixed.

  11. Mary Ann McAfee
    Mary Ann McAfee says:

    Your directions were wonderful! The pictures really helped. I had to cut off the end of the rod because of some pipes at the back of my sink cabinet, but the stopper is working find now. Without your step-by-step directions I would have had to hire someone to do a relatively simple job. I am a 72 year old woman.

  12. Karen S
    Karen S says:

    Perfectly understandable directions and illustrations! Thank goodness I found your post after so many I found too difficult to follow. I will attempt this on Monday.

  13. dirk funk
    dirk funk says:

    hi, thank you for such an informative piece, i got mine all fixed up! Bought a replacement kit, but small gaskets and used teflon tape to rig it up.

    Thank you for taking the time to write this and put it online with pictures and drawings.


  14. Newbie
    Newbie says:

    This is a real handy article. Can you also please list of each item name and where I can get it?

    I am really going to try this for this weekend, wish me luck! :-))

  15. Samantha C
    Samantha C says:

    I have been trying this repair all weekend (independently of finding your site), and I can’t figure out how to get water to stop leaking out around the ball joint. I actually rejected that universal kit because it didn’t have that little gasket and I couldn’t find them anywhere separately. I found a different kit that had a gasket in it but that one keeps leaking too. Any suggestions?

    • Brittany Bailey
      Brittany Bailey says:

      Samantha, you might need a whole new drain assembly. You can unscrew the drain from the collar around the stopper. And then loosen the large nut above the PVC p-trap. It’s not too difficult to replace AFTER you get the drain out. That can prove a tad tough, if it is old and has been there a while. Try googling replacing sink drain.

  16. Susan Sturtz
    Susan Sturtz says:

    Thank you for woman instructions and pictures. After reading and seeing, I said, “I can do that, ” and I did in about 10 minutes.

    Thank you for your simple, easy to follow instructions!

  17. Andrea
    Andrea says:

    I followed all the directions, and everything seems to work, except for the last step. I cannot get the stopper to hook on to the rod. I am trying to be patient but it’s not working. 🙁 Please advise.

  18. Sam M-H
    Sam M-H says:

    Thanks Pretty Handy Girl. I’ve just fixed my sink pop up for less than £10. Would have been at least £45 if I’d called a plumber. Not only have I saved money, doing it myself has made me feel great! 😀

  19. Heidi
    Heidi says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! Great tutorial–photos helped tremendously! Just fixed our bathroom sink this morning thanks to you. 🙂 Do you have any advice on how to get the drain stopper to sit up higher to allow more water to go down? I’ve moved that rod into 3 different holes but am not getting the results I’m wanting. Thanks again–will definitely bookmark your blog!

  20. Dan W
    Dan W says:

    Hi, I purchased the repair kit after seeing your website. It works fine now. Other sites tell you to replace the whole drain piece, which is crazy.

  21. Marylynn Swartz
    Marylynn Swartz says:

    I have everything apart and keep my phone with your great directions by my side. Thanks so much!!! Here is the issue. The new horizontal rod that I have attached to the new ball is a bit too long and I can’t get the darn ball back into the pipe no matter how much I twist. ( my sink cabinet is only 18″ wide. Shall I cut off a bit of the rod? Also, the gasket is almost broken and my local hardware box store doesn’t carry them. Help.

    • Brittany Bailey
      Brittany Bailey says:


      You’ll probably have to contact Moen to see if they can send you a new gasket. And, I’m not sure I follow the issue with the down rod correctly, but if you have to you can probably cut it short. Or would it work to attach the horizontal rod before inserting the ball into the drain?

  22. Marylynn Swartz
    Marylynn Swartz says:

    One other thing. Now my Moen faucet leaks if I don’t leave the handle turned all the way to the right. Do I really have to replace the entire cartridge? The faucet has one handle that you lift and I don’t see how to get into the cartridge.

    • Brittany Bailey
      Brittany Bailey says:

      Well, you can just replace the rubber washer if you still like your faucet. But, you’ll still have to take it apart. Usually by the time our faucets leak they look awful (because of hard water) and I like to just replace them. but, that decision is up to you.

  23. Marylynn Swartz
    Marylynn Swartz says:

    I just have to unscrew and remove the faucet and then the screen etc? What kind of wrench won’t scratch the chrome.

  24. Brenda Lewis
    Brenda Lewis says:

    Your directions are great & easy to follow! But I still have a problem with it leaking. Did you have only 1 gasket. I replaced the faucet & it came with a ball & rod, but the ball was too large. so I bought the replacement kit with correct size ball. The faucet came with 2 gaskets, 1 for each side of the ball. I don’t remember if there was a 2nd gasket on the old ball that broke.

  25. Darell
    Darell says:

    So I ended up on this page while searching for a way to *eliminate* the pop-up stopper. Basically, I want to remove everything, and cap off the actuator hole. Anybody sell a little kit for that, do you suppose? I ask, only because I had no idea there was a universal repair kit for the actuator as you’ve shown. I’ve just always kluged mine back together when I clean them out. I’m just done with the hair-catcher post actuator in there. I don’t need to ever stopper the sink, and just want to use a drop=in strainer.

    And one other note to get off my chest: Why don’t we have something better than this “technology” for our drains now? Yikes.

    Thanks for the great write-up. If I hadn’t known how to do it before, it sure would now. You’ve helped a lot of people save time, money and frustration!

    • Brittany Bailey
      Brittany Bailey says:

      Darell, You should check at your local hardware store and ask someone in plumbing. Okay, but here is something that you could try (although keep all your parts because it may not work. What if you cut a piece of rubber (like from an old inner tube) and fit it in the nut before screwing it back on? I’d put a basin underneath while you test it out for a while. In theory it should work…maybe?

  26. Darell
    Darell says:

    Not a bad thought. After looking at the images of your mom’s broken actuator, it may be the easiest to just nip off the post that catches the pop-up, and put the thing back together with just the ball as the sealer. I’ll figure it out. Thanks again!

  27. Darell
    Darell says:

    I use a scrap piece of leather. I find that my tools will still mar through cloth or rubber. But the leather gives good traction and is tough enough to prevent the tools from doing damage. Find an old belt or purse or shoe and cut it up!

  28. Melissa
    Melissa says:

    Thanks for these instructions. My stopper has been stuck for months. This handy girl (me) knew that she wanted to try fixing it herself. Will have out of town visitors this week, so I said “better now, then later”. It’s fixed!!!

  29. Debbie
    Debbie says:

    Thank you. It was your hand-drawn diagram that led me to this site. I’ve spent more time than I should have on this bathroom sink job, as I couldn’t get the rod into the hole in the bottom of the pop top stopper. So, I got out some thread and looped it through the hole and voila! Thank you for your detailed instructions!

  30. NVN
    NVN says:

    Thank you! I am an extremely clumsy guy, and most of DIY works I reluctantly did were unsatisfactory. This one seems to be in working order thanks to your detailed instructions.

    Your picture shows the Universal Fit Ball Rod Assembly, Dunco #88532. I think the one I got at Home Depot, Universal Lavatory Pop-Up Ball Rod, Partsmaster Pro 58423, is exactly the same thing.

    I have a question: What if I did not insert the gasket? Does that affect the longevity of this fix? The old broken system did not contain it anyway.

  31. GiGi
    GiGi says:

    Hi there,

    I have a somewhat weird problem. The hole that the pivot rod goes through is big causing water to leak into my cabinet. Anyway to fix this problem?


  32. Jane Yokoyama
    Jane Yokoyama says:

    Great instructions and drawings. Thanks to this site I was able to fix it perfectly. Our sink which we have not used for months is now ready for our guests. Please keep up the helpful repairs. You are my go to girl!

  33. Derrick
    Derrick says:

    Appreciated the how-to, I had exactly the same problem and I liked that you had a picture of a broken pivot rod because when I pulled mine out I wasn’t sure if it was supposed to be that way or not. Also that the name of it is ‘pivot rod’ and not ‘doohickey thing’ so I looked like I knew what I was doing when I asked the guy at the hardware store for a new one.

  34. Anastasia
    Anastasia says:

    Thanks! My fix wasn’t that complicated but just looking at the diagram made me realize I should at least take a look before dumping money on a rubber stopper. (Although I did find a cool one that looks like a fish!)

  35. Megan
    Megan says:

    Thank you so much! My sink stopper was stuck in the plugged position for a week and your tutorial helped me to finally fix it! I’m bookmarking this for future reference.

  36. Melanie
    Melanie says:

    Thank you! I loved the clear and thorough directions. Many diy sites assume you know things and skip over details. This was great and my sink drain is fixed. I never imagined it would be that simple! Thanks again!

  37. Amy
    Amy says:

    Thank you so much for this post! The photos and clear instructions were very helpful in my first bathroom sink drain stopper repair. Thank you again!!!

  38. Usman Malek
    Usman Malek says:

    What great and simple instructions with pictures to follow! Just for not handy man. Thanks for making it and saving my money in fixing drain stoper. I love you.

  39. Usman Malek
    Usman Malek says:

    What simple and great working instructions with pictures! I was blank in pluming but I fix my drain stopper in 15 minutes. Thanks for saving my money and trouble. I love.

  40. Lara
    Lara says:

    I accidentally pulled the drain stopper out of our sink. It came out very easily! Our stopper has a hole at the end of it. When I pull the up on the drain rod from the faucet, you can see the rod moving in the drain. It seems like it will be so easy to hook the hole onto the rod. But, it isn’t easy. Two of us tried without success! Is there a way to hook the hole onto the rod by inserting the stopper into the sink and pulling up on the drain rod from the faucet? Is there a way to do this without going underneath the sink and disconnecting things down there? It came out so easily. And I’d like to repair this without calling a plumber or taking anything apart under the sink. I know I couldn’t do that! Thank you for your advice!

  41. Donna
    Donna says:

    Just replaced my stopper today after reading your blog for the last week. I would like to say it was easy but I had a hard time unscrewing the cap to get the old stopped out. I finally did but it wasn’t easy. I bought the same kit you did. But I needed new washers. Very difficult to find. Big box store didn’t have it. I went to the local hardware store, and they had a better kit with washers and 2 stopppers attached to the rods, and 2 different screw caps. Finally worked w the new kit. Although I had to figure the washers myself. I think I did it right. Your pictures were helpful. Thank you pretty handy girl!

  42. Timbo
    Timbo says:

    Great job. I really like the pictures, and drawing, along with the easy to understand steps on how to do this.

  43. Jennifer Wilson
    Jennifer Wilson says:

    I have replaced everything that can be replaced, but my stopper still will not go up all the way. If I turn it to the right a quarter of in inch, once it is up, it will sort of lock in place and stay. But if it gets hit, it goes back down to only giving me about a centimeter opening, which doesn’t allow for water to drain appropriately. I have tried moving the location of the pull up and down the rod and about everything else I can think of, to no avail. Do you have any suggestions? Also, it doesn’t give me a very good seal when it closes either, unless I give it a little push to close it the rest of the way.

  44. betty
    betty says:

    I have a vessel sink with a soft pop up drain. There are no rods, etc. It is stuck in the down position. How do I open it? Thanks

  45. Montecasso
    Montecasso says:

    Been bugging me for months pop-up closing when basin half empty
    Took 5 minutes to fix!
    Took 25 minutes to get a 78 year old body into and out of confined space!
    Excellent info

  46. kit10phish
    kit10phish says:

    OK, I know you asked for encouraging words regarding your mom’s under sink situation–but it distracted me so much I couldn’t read the rest of the article! I want to help her, and I’m not sure if anyone suggested it yet, but shoe box-sized rubbermaids will make a world of difference under there. They stack nicely, close out water or dust, and you can organize ‘like’ items (sunscreens in 1, meds in another, hair products, etc. . .). Another easy fix! Now I can concentrate on the article and fix my sink–thanks so much for a jargon-free tutorial.

  47. Sharon Bryant
    Sharon Bryant says:

    Thank you for this tutorial. This was the kind of day when one problem led to another and unfortunately when it came to the sink stopper I was at a loss as to what to do AND I refused to wake my napping husband to only have him grumble and complain. It took me a few attempts, and I was close to being in tears…but persistence paid off and I did it! YEA!!!!

  48. Wilbur
    Wilbur says:

    I just found out that one of the sinks in our master bath had a similar problem. Is it common for the pivot rod to break as yours (and apparently mine) did? Do you think it is necessary to see if the broken piece is still in the trap?


  49. Mae
    Mae says:

    Well, my stopper was stuck down so it wouldn’t drain. The kit I bought apparently won’t work on this because it’s a Moen brand. So…I have to order the part (the universal Danco doesn’t seem to work). In the process of your directions I at least got the stopper up…but my lift rod won’t stay up to plug the sink. What am I doing wrong? I have the clamp kind versus plastic washers. Thanks….I feel incredibly empowered doing these repairs when hubby is off at work!

  50. mark landau
    mark landau says:

    Great explanation and diagrams. The only problem/question I had was how should the ball be attached to the rod? I used the same kit as you did. The ball would not really screw onto the rod. I ended up gently tapping the ball piece onto the rod with a hammer.

  51. heather
    heather says:

    You saved me!!!! Thank you sooooooooo much for the awesome pictures, so that I knew exactly what the heck I was looking at and what does what!!! You are a-ma-zing!!! Thank you, truly… Saved me a lot of explaining and now it works better than it did before… THANK YOU!!!

  52. Anne
    Anne says:

    Excellent! Being a single home owner often presents these little problems that seem too silly to actually call a professional in. These instructions were great and it took no time at all!!

  53. Theresa
    Theresa says:

    I’m the oldest of 2 daughters and I was the one handing tools to my dad while he worked on our cars daddy always told me I can do anything and there’s no need to wait for a man when you can do it yourself. Thank you Daddy. And thank you pretty handy girl because I am truly a girl yet not at all helpless.

  54. Robin
    Robin says:

    Thank you so much for posting this! My husband & I would have had to call a plumber if not for your very detailed instructions. We saved enough money on the plumbing call to buy a new grill for father’s day….you’re awesome!!!

  55. Michele
    Michele says:

    So the hubby has been out of town for a few weeks. One drain has been broken for 6+ months and I “broke” the second one a week ago in the same bathroom. Through this tutorial I learned that both were actually rotted just like the one in your mothers bathroom. I fixed them both and hubby isn’t home yet. Feeling pretty accomplished. Thanks for excellent tutorial!

  56. Kevin
    Kevin says:

    Brittany, thanks for the step by step instructions , including photos! I fixed 2 broken sink stoppers in 15 minutes. Your tutorial was a (minor) life saver. Thanks!

  57. Dani
    Dani says:

    Thank you so much for this guide!!! In a college apartment where the drain in the sink isn’t working but somehow no one broke it this was a life saver. Just need to pick up a ball and metal stick and It’ll be as good as new. Thank you so much!!!! Literally fixed the sink in less than 5 minutes

  58. Udi Levy
    Udi Levy says:


    Thank you for the information. I installed a new faucet with the horizontal ball and cap (picture 9).

    My question is that the ball & cap part is dripping after hand tightening. There was never a plastic washer with the ball (between the ball and the cap).

    Would you know where I can purchase one?


  59. Kristen
    Kristen says:

    Thank you so much for posting this. I spent several hours struggling with posts by men about ‘how the drain works’, when all I needed was your post about how to fix a broken drain. If it’s broken, I couldn’t care less about how it works- just how to fix it!

  60. Amy Thompson
    Amy Thompson says:

    Unfortunately, this repair kit didn’t come with the washer that is included in this post. Our washer is broken, too!! My husband is now so frustrated that he’s going to ask our plumber to do the work!!

  61. Gillian
    Gillian says:

    For almost a year I’ve been without the stopper in the sink drain and went to get a sink strainer that didn’t fit. I came home and found this site and am so grateful to you! I finally fixed it! Tonight, in fact. I returned the sink strainer for the drain and got the correct ball rod. It wasn’t easy but I did it with some more finagling of the clevis (lol, just learned that term) and low and behold it’s fixed. I can’t thank you enough and I can’t wait to check out the rest of your site.

  62. Janet F.
    Janet F. says:

    Thank you for this tutorial! I took the nut and ball parts to Our local Ace. I bought the kit, noticing the balls were the same. I would advise anyone making this repair to keep the old parts until the job is a confirmed fix. When doing the repair, the nuts in the kit were not the right size. Thank goodness I hadn’t chucked the old parts. I used the old nut with the new ball/rod and it all worked beautifully. I put on my patience hat and tried hard to hook the stopper onto the ball end, but eventually gave up. It still stops and in-stops the sink. Actually, all four of our lav sinks do not have stoppers that are connected. I, too, do a lot of stuff around the house that people would normally think were man’s work. I don’t care, I have the capacity and the willingness. Thanks for being yourself. Janet in PA

  63. ERIN
    ERIN says:

    The plastic washer between the ball and nut wasn’t actually there when I took it apart, and I don’t know where to get one or what size it should be. Since it has worked for ten years without it, until the metal arm corroded (just like the one in your mom’s) I installed it without the washer, and it seems to work just fine! And tell your mom that most under-sinks look messy. Ours sure does!

  64. Robin
    Robin says:

    Thank you! The corroded pivot arm disintegrated when I was cleaning my sink the other day, so you and Ace saved my day. And I just noticed that your post was seven years ago to the day. So, Merry Christmas!

  65. Jen
    Jen says:

    Wow! After much frustration with other websites with no detailed diagrams or explanations, I found your site … best diagrams and explanations!!! am bookmarking your site. Keep up the super work … will be back for more help. Thanks!

  66. Sheila
    Sheila says:

    Thank You! Thank You! I just repaired my sink using these instructions. My husband was shocked. I have always loved learning new tasks and I can add this one to the list. Keep up the good work you are doing to educate homeowners. Thank You!

  67. Nora Bilbro
    Nora Bilbro says:

    Thank you for this excellent post. Found it when doing some research on how to fix my broken sink stopper and it gave me all the information and confidence to fix it myself!

  68. Abigail
    Abigail says:

    If I just want to take out the stopper all together do I need a new pipe? Do I keep the “Ball, Rod, Nut & Gasket” in without the stopper or do I need something in its place to keep the water from spilling through?

  69. Jennifer P
    Jennifer P says:

    Ugh, my ball d assembly kit did not come with a new washer!! I just assumed it would. Now I have to go to the store yet again!
    You would think the person helping me at the store could have asked if I needed a gasket. (They also could have pointed out thst i did not need to buy the pop up rod clips, since those cone washers were included in the kit.I did not realize that.)

    But, your tutorial is spot-on! Most helpful, thank you!!

  70. Grace
    Grace says:

    It all sounds great, however, I can’t get the plug out of the hole no matter what I do. I tried releasing the rod and ball from the lever and moving it up and down manually, but it still will l not move the plug up at all, not even enough to grab it with something and leave it out until I can do the rest.

  71. Grace M Joubarne
    Grace M Joubarne says:

    I used a small suction cup and got it off. I ordered the new part 2 weeks ago and should have it soon. I believe I should have no problems assembling it now.

    Many thanks for your excellent explanation. This has saved me hundreds of dollars and really stoked my confidence.

  72. Janette Rochman
    Janette Rochman says:

    Hi there my boyfriend pulled out the sink plug not realizing your supposed to unhook the rod under the sink. Now when i put the plug in the rod is moving up and down but the plug won’t move or open. Any advice? My boyfriend and I are not good with this kind is stuff lol

    • Brittany Bailey
      Brittany Bailey says:

      Ugh, it’s a real pain to reattach the drain plug. You might have to put on your patience cap and try to pry it up with a flat head screwdriver, then try to reattach it to the rod paying attention to the diagram in this post.


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Repairing a Pop Up Sink Drain – Pretty Handy Girl – Wow! I am SO impressed! We had a plumber here to fix a clog in our sink (among other things) and he took our stopper out when he did it, that was over a year ago, we … […]

  2. […] Repairing a Pop Up Sink Drain – Pretty Handy Girl – Besides, what kind of daughter would I be if I left this minor repair to a plumber? Puh-lease! So, here was the deal with the hair clip in the sink. […]

  3. […] Reach behind your drain and unscrew the cap around the pop-up ball and rod. Remove them from the drain. (FYI, if you ever have a broken pop-up, you can fix your pop-up stopper with this tutorial.) […]

  4. […] Hopefully this quick and non-toxic solution will clear your drain. Need some help getting that pop up back in place, follow this tutorial. […]

  5. […] especially liked the instructions and illustrations on the Pretty Handy Girl site. I went to the hardware store, stared at the astonishing array of plumbing gadgetry, and […]

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