Clearing Out Your Clogged Bathroom Sink Drain

Posted on: 11 August 2015

Over time, debris builds up in your bathroom sink until it starts to flow slowly, or stop draining completely. You may be able to pull some of the material out, but if you have a pop-up drain stopper, the clog may be wrapped around the mechanical pieces that open and close the drain. You can call a plumbing services company if you're uncomfortable working with your household plumbing. But if you're a DIY homeowner, here is how you can take the drain apart and clear out that clog in a few minutes.  

Tools You'll Need

  • flat-blade screwdriver
  • channel lock pliers
  • a rag for cleanup

Taking Apart the Drain

  1. Clear out enough space under the sink to work on the drain.
  2. Find the long rod that comes down from the sink that you use to open and close the drain.
  3. Loosen the screw on the flat plate to which the rod is connected and pull out the rod.
  4. Pinch the clip that secures the flat plate to the short rod coming out of the drain pipe and remove the plate.
  5. Unscrew the large nut that holds the rod into the drain. Use the pliers if you can't loosen it with your hands.
  6. Remove the large nut and gently pull out the rod and ball to which the rod is attached. Some of the clog may come out with the rod as you pull it out.
  7. Reach up into the sink and pull the pop-up stopper out. The rest of the clog will likely be attached to the end of the stopper.
  8. Reach into the hole in the drain pipe and remove any of the remaining clog.  

Reassembling the Drain

  1. Wipe off the stopper and other pieces you removed.  
  2. Check that the rubber washer on the stopper is clean and snug against the top of the stopper.
  3. Place the stopper down into the drain from within the sink.
  4. Look through the hole in the drain pipe and turn the stopper until the slot on the bottom of the stopper lines up with the hole.
  5. Place the rod and ball assembly into the drain. Slip the short piece of rod that goes into the drain into the slot on the bottom of the stopper.
  6. Secure the ball in place with the large nut. Hand tighten the nut so the ball still moves easily up and down.
  7. Slide the flat plate onto the rod coming out of the ball and secure it with the clip.
  8. Connect the long rod coming down from the sink to the flat plate with the screw.
  9. Test opening and closing the drain. You can make adjustments on the flat plate to both rods so the drain opens and closes easily.

What To Do If You Encounter a Problem  

If you have metal drain pipes and can't remove the large nut, it may be rusted to the pipe. You'll want to have a plumber come and finish the work. Also have them replace the metal pipes with plastic so future maintenance will be easier. If the washer on the stopper is cracked or broken, take it to a plumbing supply store and get a match so the stopper will make a good seal in the drain.

For more information, contact a local plumbing company like Bode's Electric & Plumbing Inc