How to Remove Sink Drain Cover

Sinks can have a lot to drain, such as soap, toothpaste and other debris that might clog them. Aside from this, the drain cover would occasionally become corroded or damaged and would no longer function the way it was properly. As you can see, frequent use of chemicals can damage such a component, as well as the pipes. If you have this problem, then it is just easy to remove the drain cover, where it requires no experience and only a few tools, and then fix things out. Here are the steps that you can take:

How a Sink Pop-Up Works

To be able to properly work around a sink drain, it is important to know as much as possible how this fixture works. As for a sink pop-up cover, it will raise and lower with a lever that is usually located near or on the faucet assembly. The lever is connected to a lift rod that is secured to a flat and slotted bar called the clevis, which is connected by a small spring clip to the pivot rod that runs through a rubber pivot ball and slightly slopes upward to the cover’s tailpiece. The rod also pushes the cover up and let it drop down into the drain system. The rod pushes the cover up when you push the knob or lift rod down. If you need to remove the whole assembly, you might be able to pull it right out. There are also cases where it is necessary to remove the retaining nut and the pivot rod first, where you have to twist the cover to unhook it from the rod.

Removing the Sink Drain Cover

1. To have room to work, you should move everything from under your sink. Check the horizontal pivot rod that is connected to the clevis, and then remove it from the drain pipe by loosening the retaining nut that holds it in place. Using a permanent marker, mark the spot where the clevis is connected to the stopper rod. Loosen the screw securing the clevis and then remove it, together with the horizontal pivot rod, to be soaked in vinegar and mild cleaning solution.

2. Lift the cover out of the drain and then inspect the rubber seal on the bottom of its head. If you see that the seal is brittle or cracked, then it should be replaced. You can reuse it if it is still in good condition.

3. Clean the cover thoroughly using any kind of brush and rinse it. Do the same thing with the clevis and the horizontal pivot rod.

4. After cleaning the cover, insert it into the drain. Slide the clevis over the pivot rod, which should also be inserted into the drain pipe, and then tighten the retaining nut to hold the pivot rod in place. Tighten the clevis screw where you have put your mark and test the rod to make sure you have reattached all moving parts. Make sure all the parts move when you pull the rod.

5. Tighten the retaining nut so the rod will not slide down. Take note that tightening the nut too much will not allow the pivot rod to move. Loosen the screw of the clevis screw, pull the rod up and then slide the clevis up the rod as far as you can. This time, you can tighten the screw.

6. Considering everything is properly in place, the cover should already hold water properly. If not, then you can continue to adjust the nut and the clevis to get a good seal.

Fixing a Sink Pop-Up Cover

There are times when water may refuse to drain or leak around a sink pop-up cover, and this can be caused by a number of reasons. If it would not seat or pop up properly, it will be easy to fix it by adjusting certain parts. Also, the cause could be a build-up of gunk around its base or that of the pivot rod system. Or, the clevis might be out of adjustment. To fix a sink drain cover problem, you can follow these steps:

1. Lift out the cover with a slight twist, and if it seems to be connected to the mechanism underneath, you can reach under your sink and unscrew the retaining nut of the pivot rod and then pull out the rod to disengage it.

2. Lift the cover from the drain and then clean off any debris. If it is broken or worn out, it is best to replace it.

3. Facing the hole at the bottom of the cover towards the location of the pivot rod, drop the cover back into the drain hole. Insert the rod in a way that it engages the hole and then tighten the retaining nut with the cover in its upward position. When you close the drain, the rod should be slightly sloped up from the clevis to the tailpiece.

4. Loosen the clevis’s set screw, adjust the strap down or up so that it will operate the rod to close and open the cover, and then retighten the set screw.

5. If adjusting the clevis screw does not work, you can try resetting the pivot rod by squeezing the spring clip and then freeing up the rod. To insert the rod to the clevis hole, move the clip up to the hole. You might need to do some little tweaking to find the right hole.

6. If there are drips of water from around the pivot ball, then tighten the retaining nut holding the ball in place. If this does not work, then you might need to replace the washer or gasket inside the pivot ball-and-rod assembly.

More Useful Tips

Always have a flashlight available sitting on the floor and directed towards where you are working if you are working under the sink to make things easy. Wear tight-fitting plastic gloves and safety goggles to avoid injury from using chemicals when clearing the drain. Moreover, you should never use excessive force when working on your sink drain.

Skip to content