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How to Remove Kitchen Sink Drain Stopper

ByDave Stopher

Nov 8, 2021

The decision to remove kitchen drain stoppers arise from a broken mechanism or a clogged sink. This may result in an untidy kitchen full of dirty dishes. Sinks have various types of stoppers, but Pop-up drain stoppers in particular have this problem.

Pop-up sink stoppers function by attaching a rod to the stopper. This linkage is found beneath the sink. The horizontal lever is attached to a ball rod. When the sink drain stopper is pushed inside the drain, the ball rod ensures the drain stopper is in place.

There are three main issues that cause these stoppers to stick. First, the pop-up stopper may be broken. Second, the clip attaching the horizontal lever to the metal strap may have come off. Lastly, the horizontal lever may have rust.

Therefore, uninstalling various parts of the sink is necessary to take out the sink drain stopper. By doing this, you also get to inspect the parts for rust or breakage.

In this article, we will provide an in-depth guide on how to remove kitchen sink drain stopper.

How to Remove Kitchen Sink Drain Stopper

Before delving into the guide, below are the necessary material you will require for the process.

Materials Required

  • Wrench
  • Bucket
  • Detergent
  • Flashlight

Step 1: Starting out

After assembling all your tools, make sure to turn off the water. Depending on the type of drain stopper, you will have to clear underneath the sink. This is because you will require adequate space to maneuver around. The decision to either work with your head directly under the sink will depend on how large it is. It is also at this point that you will take the flashlight and find a suitable position for it.

Step 2: Pinpoint where plunger rod is located

The plunger rod is found underneath the sink, and it links the sink trap and the drain stopper. You will notice that it’s the only horizontal rod below the sink, making it easy to identify. The function of this rod is to push the stopper up and down. You will notice that the sink strap that it is attached to has several holes.

Step 3: Detach plunger rod from the strap.

Upon further inspection, you will realize that the plunger rod and the metallic strap are held together by a clip. You will gently remove the small metallic clasp and place it in a safe place. This is to avoid misplacing it, as you will need it when putting everything back together.

As mentioned before, the metallic strap has some holes. As you’re removing the plunger rod, keep in mind which hole the plunger rod was inserted in.

Step 4: Disconnect plunger rod from the stopper

Once you’re done detaching it from the strap, you will notice the other end is still attached to the stopper. These two are connected by a pivot nut. Before you proceed with disconnecting, place a large tin or bucket underneath the sink. This is to catch any water that may flow, particularly if the sink is full of water. Thereafter, you can easily use your hand to unscrew the nut. If it proves difficult, you can incorporate the use of a wrench.

Step 5: Take out the stopper

With the plunger rod disconnected, you can easily take out your stopper. There is a high chance that it will be filled with dirt all around it. This is made worse by cooking oil that passes through the drain. Take the time to properly clean it. Use warm water, vinegar, and detergent. Keep in mind that the drainage pipe will also require cleaning.

Step 6: Inspect the parts.

As much as the stopper may be filled with dirt, it’s possible that it wasn’t the culprit causing it to malfunction. Inspect the other parts to ensure they are in tip-top shape. If you find anything amiss, consider getting replacements. The parts to look out for are the clip, strap, and clevis screw. Any issue with these parts may cause the stopper to misbehave.

Step 7: Assemble everything back together

Once you’re done with the cleaning and inspecting, you need to put everything where it belongs. This process is fairly easy as you will be carrying out the steps above in reverse. Once you’re done, check to see if the sink is working properly.

NB: There are sink stoppers that don’t require a lengthy process. This particularly applies to traditional stoppers. All you need to do is to use a plunger or a pair of pliers, and you can pull them out.

How to Replace a Kitchen Sink Strainer Basket

A strainer basket is a necessary addition to your kitchen sink. Thanks to its mesh feature, it keeps solid objects from getting into the drain pipes. However, these pieces of equipment start leaking at some point. When this happens, its time to replace them.

Below is a leaking kitchen sink drain strainer replacing process;

  • Start out by getting rid of the pipes underneath the sink.
  • Take out the coupling nut (located at the base of the strainer) using pliers.
  • Proceed to unscrew the coupling nut that’s closer to the sink. Hold the basket strainer in place while doing so as it may begin to turn.
  • With the basket strainer now free, go ahead and remove it.
  • Clean the sinkhole and the area around it thoroughly. Once you’re done, dry it up.
  • Most of the time, a new basket strainer comes with its parts already assembled. Separate them and place them at a distance you can reach with ease.
  • Apply silicone sealant or plumbers putty on the base of the basket strainer
  • Place the basket strainer into the sinkhole and press it down a bit so that the putty holds fast to the sink.
  • Go back underneath your sink and install the parts (nuts and washers) that come with the strainer.
  • Reinstall the pipes
  • Turn on the tap and let water flow to determine there is no leakage.


Washing dishes is a daily practice. When your sink is clogged or the sink drain stopper is stuck, this can be highly inconvenient. Fortunately, you don’t have to rely on outside help to remedy the problem.

Provided you have the necessary tools, you can easily conduct this DIY process. However, before starting out, you should be familiar with the various parts of the sink. This will make the process easier.

Leaking sinks can also result in a pool of water on your floors. With the guide above, removing the sink drain stopper and removing a sink drain flange will be easy.