The 3 Step Guide to Fixing a Sink Stopper

In this blog post, you’ll read:If you're trying to remove a bathroom or kitchen sink plug and it's giving you trouble, don't worry. You're not alone. This blog post will cover some of the most common methods for removing a stuck sink plug.

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If you’re trying to remove a bathroom or kitchen sink plug and it’s giving you trouble, don’t worry. You’re not alone. This blog post will cover some of the most common methods for removing a stuck sink plug. We’ll also share some insights into why these plugs can get stuck in the first place. So read on for helpful tips that might make your life a little easier the next time you need to unplug your sink!

Why remove sink plugs

Sink stoppers are small, practical tools that can be found in almost every home. They plug the hole at the bottom of a sink, so water can’t drain through. Sink plugs have many different uses; you can use one to clean jewelry or hand wash delicate items, for example.

Usually, we only take out the sink plug when it requires cleaning. If your sink isn’t draining promptly enough, you’ll need to figure out how to remove the plug so that you can clear the drain. Unfortunately, a stuck plug might make things more complicated than necessary.

A sink plug becomes stuck when the rubber seal at the top of it meets snugly with the top of the drain. In time, pressure builds behind and makes a stronger seal, making it more difficult to move. If there is too much buildup in your drain or an obstacle like a toy or paper towel, this might also cause your plug to become stuck in the “open” position.

Let’s explore some easy ways to loosen a sink plug if it becomes stuck.

sink stuck

Project Overview

  • Working time: 5 – 20 minutes
  • Total time: 5 – 20 minutes
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $10 to $20

If your sink plug is stuck in the closed position, don’t worry, there are a few easy ways to fix it. Shaking the lift lever up and down often works. If that doesn’t trick, try prying the plug open with your fingernail. Just be careful not to damage your nails in the process.

You would be surprised to know that undoing a sink’s pop-up stopper is simpler than you think. It’s advised that you try multiple methods above the sink. However, lifting the plug directly from under the sink is most effective. By doing this, you can fix the problem so that it won’t happen again.

1. Pull off the sink plug from above.

Pull by suction cup.

  • A suction cup with a diameter of 1 1/4 inches or greater can pull up a sink stopper. If the suction cup is smaller, it likely won’t have enough grip. And in some cases, the suction cup will work even when the sink is full of water.
  • You can find small suction cups on various things like shaving mirrors in bathrooms, shower wall hooks, window glass hooks, or children’s toys. To attach the suction cup to the sink stopper, use a moderate-length rubber band – usually, a 3-inch one works best, but it depends on the size of both the cup and your object.
  • Place the end of the rubber band not attached to the suction cup in the water. Use said cup to pull both itself and the sink stopper towards you; the water will keep the band from snapping off either object.
  • Use multiple small suction cups or rubber bands to spread out the application of force so that one area does not bear the brunt of it. You can also use multiple pieces of glue or packing tape to attach the rubber bands securely. Just make sure they are snug, so nothing falls off the mid-project.
From Fast Fix

Pull with a magnet

Looking for a powerful neodymium magnet that can be used to attach kitchen appliances or spice containers to walls, refrigerators, fishing tackle, or workshop benches? These magnets are strong enough to lock onto sink plugs and lift them.

They can also keep tools and other metal objects in place. Neodymium magnets are made from an alloy of iron, boron, and other rare earth elements and are often used in industrial applications where a strong magnetic field is needed. But they can also be a handy addition to any home, garage, or office.


The magnet will not be attracted to the sink stopper if it is made of plastic or stainless steel.

Ejecting stop parts

  • Pop-up stopper: The sink part that collects water and prevents it from going down the drain is called a sink stopper. It is usually made of plastic and has a circular cross-section, with a long portion that extends under the sink.
  • Lift Rod: The lift rod is a thin metal rod used to open and close the pop-up stopper. The lifting rod can be found above the sink, generally an inch or two away from it.
  • Lift Rod Strap: The lift rod strap is located below the sink and can be attached by placing the flat metal piece with five to eight holes under the horizontal extension of the lift rod, which should fit into one of those holes. The top of the strap should then be attached to bottom part of the lift rod.
  • Horizontal Rod: The horizontal rod is a small metal rod that goes from the sink’s drain to the lift rod band. It’s an important part because it gets used to unclip the poppet.
  • Clamp: The purpose of the clamp is to snugly and securely connect the horizontal rod to the lift rod band using a small, flat piece of metal to form a U-shape.

What you need

Equipment / Tools

  • Flashlight
  • Pliers


  • Leveling bar
  • Lifting rod with
  • Clamps
Equipment: Tools

2. Unlocking the sink plug from below

The most efficient way to loosen the sink plug is by reaching under the sink and lifting the horizontal bar. You can either do this until you see results or continue doing it blindly until it feels loose.

Clear under the sink

Clear under the sink

It’s important to keep your kitchen sink clean and clear of clutter. That means removing anything that’s not essential from beneath the sink. This includes things like paper towels and cleaning products. Keeping the area around your sink clean and uncluttered will make it easier to work and help prevent accidents.

Moving water supply lines

Moving water supply lines

Mobile water supply lines are water supply lines that may need to be moved in the future. These water supply lines may be made of metal or other materials. Whether metal or other materials, these water supply lines may be combined with a stop device.

The stop usually consists of a central pop-up mechanism and two free-hanging water supply lines on either side. If you are installing a new water system or if you are inspecting an installed water system, make sure that both water lines on the left and right sides are free-hanging.

You should be able to see them, and you should be able to feel them easily. The purpose of the stop is to prevent the center ejector mechanism from catching up and damaging the supply lines.

If you find that your center ejector has been chased, contact an experienced technician immediately to repair the stop mechanism to prevent future movement that may be required.

Positioning horizontal bar

Positioning horizontal bar

When the pop-up stopper is in the closed position, the horizontal rod may be level or slightly higher than the level. The purpose of the horizontal rod is to help keep the drain cover in place and to provide a stop for the pop-up stopper when it is in the open position. The horizontal rod is usually made of metal and is attached to the drain cover with a set screw.

In some cases, the horizontal rod may also be attached to the pop-up stopper itself. When the pop-up stopper is in the open position, the end of the horizontal rod rests against the side of the drain opening. This prevents the pop-up stopper from being pushed too far into the drain opening and becoming stuck.


Find the horizontal metal rod attached to the drain below your sink basin. The rod extends outward towards the back of your sink.

Lower the horizontal bar

Lower the horizontal bar

To unclog your sink, grasp the horizontal bar with your fingers and pull it downward with force. This will loosen the stopper in the basin and allow the water to drain.

3. Fixing a stuck sink plug

If you don’t repair the sink plug after loosening it, the same problem will occur again in the future. First, see if you can use an existing part from the sink to fix it. Only some parts may be connected poorly or have come apart with age. Be cautious when purchasing a replacement pop-up stop – they differ based on manufacturer and model.

Bend or replace the leveling bar

replace the leveling bar

One way to fix a bent leveling bar is by bending it back into shape by hand. This can be done using a hammer or another heavy object to gently straighten the metal. Alternatively, you can also replace the rod entirely. This may be necessary if the damage is too severe to be repaired by bending. To do this, remove the old leveling bar and then insert a new one in its place. Make sure that the new rod is securely in place before using it.

Attaching the horizontal bar to the lifting bar strap

lifting bar strap

When you’re ready to attach the horizontal bar to the lifting bar strap, it’s important to find the hole that best fits it. You can do this by moving around and examining things from above. Once you’ve found the perfect spot, insert the bar into the hole and secure it. This will help ensure that your horizontal bar stays in place during your workout.

Correctly attaching clamps

attaching clamps

Attaching the clamps correctly is crucial to secure the horizontal bar. The clips should be placed between the lifting bar strap instead of on one side or another. This will create a more balanced and secure grip that will be less likely to slip or come loose. Be sure to check that the clamps are firmly in place before proceeding to lift the bar. Taking a few extra moments to ensure that the clamps are properly secured can save you from a potential injury.

Attaching the Lifting Rod to the Lifting Strap

Lifting Rod to the Lifting Strap

The lift rod and the lift rod strap may have become disconnected. If so, lightly hit them together until they snap back into place. For other models, a small bolt goes through the connector, clamping the two parts together. Join the separated parts and use pliers to tighten the bolt.

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