Removable pop up sink drain ?

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Pat Davis

New Member
Jan 9, 2020
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I remember growing up that all that was needed to remove the stopper on a rod and plunger style stopper was a quarter turn, which disengaged the stopper assembly from the rod. We did this in my house as normal cleaning maintenance. Why has the design changed on pop ups so that you can't remove the whole gizmo to clean out the drain. I don't know where else to pose this question so came to you guys. I can't believe there has been a regression in design without a good reason. BTW we lived in that house for over 20 years and the stopper never broke or wore out.

Jeff Handy

Pro Handyman, NOT A Pro Plumber
Jul 5, 2019
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Chicago suburbs
Most pop-ups can be installed in two positions.

One with the stopper just resting on the lever rod that controls it.
So it can be lifted and cleaned.

The other has the rod going through a hole in the base of the stopper.
This is to avoid tampering with it.

You can unscrew the nut that retains the lift rod inside the sink tailpiece, and pull the lift rod out about an inch, until the stopper becomes free.
Pull the stopper out.
Then replace the lift rod, make sure any washers or seals go back in where they belong behind the retaining nut.
Put the stopper back in.