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:
My mom, she’s so cute, doesn’t she know that this sign taunted me the whole visit?
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.)
But not the real fix for a sink stopper that would not stay up.
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.
- Drain Down Rod
- Joint Clamp Clip
- Horizontal Rod
- Ball, Rod, Nut & Gasket
- Stopper Notch
- Pop Up Drain Stopper
Universal Pivot Ball Replacement Kit
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!)
2. Lay down some towels to cushion the edge of the vanity (or your back, rib cage or hips will be in screaming pain.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
8. Next thread the new gasket onto the horizontal rod and then the nut.
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.)
10. Feed the (3) horizontal rod into the (1) down rod.
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.
12. Screw the nut back onto the drain making sure the ball joint and gasket are lined up properly.
13. Now add the second stopper or the other end of the (2) joint clamp clip to the back of the (3) horizontal rod.
14. Look inside the drain, and notice the post end of the (5) ball joint inside the 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.
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.
Gently rotate the stopper 90 degrees until the end of the stopper hooks the post.
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.
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.
Next time your drain stopper is broken, I hope you will put off calling a plumber and fix it yourself!