Stoppers that don’t close can keep the drain or tub from filling properly and waste water. Stoppers that don’t open readily or don’t open all the way make water drain sluggishly. These kinds of stopper problems are mechanical and can be solved with simple adjustments.
It’s easy to remove a tub stopper to check it for mechanical problems or blockage. Simply pull it out along with the rocker arm.
Check the rubber seal, if there is one, for damage, and replace it if necessary. Clear the stopper of hair and debris. Slip on a new rubber seal if needed. Then make sure the flange is tightly seated and in good shape. (Older tubs may have corroded flanges.)
Water may leak or refuse to drain around a sink pop-up for a number of reasons. If your sink pop-up won’t pop up or seat properly, fixing it is quite easy—usually just a matter of adjusting a few parts. The culprit is often a buildup of hair around the base of the stopper or the pivot rod mechanism. Or, the clevis may be out of adjustment (see illustration to identify the various parts).Here’s how to fix the problem:
1With a slight twist, try to lift out the stopper. If it seems to be linked to the mechanism below, reach under the sink and unscrew the pivot rod retaining nut and pull out the pivot rod to disengage it.
2Lift the stopper from the drain. Clean off all hair and debris. If the stopper is broken or its seal looks worn, replace it.
3Face the hole at the bottom of the stopper toward the pivot rod’s location, and drop the stopper back into the drain hole. Insert the pivot rod so that it engages the hole in the bottom of the stopper, and tighten on the retaining nut with the stopper in its up position. When the drain is closed, the pivot rod should slope slightly uphill from the clevis to the tailpiece.
4Loosen the set screw on the clevis and adjust the strap up or down so that it operates the pivot rod to open and close the stopper. Retighten the set screw.
5If adjusting the clevis screw doesn’t help, reset the pivot rod by squeezing the spring clip and freeing the pivot rod. Move the clip up to the next clevis hole and insert the rod. You may need to keep tweaking this a little to find the right hole on the clevis.
6If water drips from around the pivot ball, tighten the retaining nut that holds the ball in place. You may also need to replace the gasket or washer (or both) inside the pivot ball-and-rod assembly.
Keeping drains clear of hair, soap and shampoo residue, and other debris is one of the best ways to help keep pop-up stoppers in good working order.
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