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Removing The Pop-Up Stopper Challenge

Updated on January 17, 2015
Brass Universal Fit Pop-Up Sink Stopper
Brass Universal Fit Pop-Up Sink Stopper | Source

Restricted Water Flow

For several weeks now, the drain in one of my bathroom sinks has been taking its merry old time allowing the water to escape its bowl. While anxiously watching the water run while waiting for any warmth to make its appearance at the faucet, the sink is now cradling more than four inches of standing water each time.

The task of washing ones face leaves residue of makeup floating in the water which refuses then to rapidly drain. At long last, the water gradually seeps into the drain to continue its journey elsewhere leaving behind the residue which had taken residence there. The same process holds true at tooth brushing time although not as much water accumulates in the bowl of the sink as the water is turned off during the actual bushing time for water conservation. Nonetheless, toothpaste residue is now added to the mix. Not wishing to spend time watching water drain, by the time I return, the now empty sink is coated and needs to be cleaned.

Pop-Up Sink Drain Stopper

Trying several times to twist the stopper with the hope of lifting it out proved to be unsuccessful, but more information needed to be obtained to determine what needed to be done for its release. It is definitely now apparent that this task has never before been attempted by me. Since transporting the sink and plumbing attachments to Lowe’s, where I typically ask my do-it-yourself questions, was not a possibility, I now turned to my next best source, YouTube. Of course, there were videos explaining the process. Everything and anything is on YouTube.

How To Clean Out A Sink Pop-Up Drain Stopper

Loosening the nut which held the horizontal pivot rod in place was easy enough and when it released its hold on the stopper, I knew the moment was hand. Slowly and gently lifting the stopper began to reveal the most disgusting mass of accumulated residue which had evolved into a slightly hardened tube-like form from being pressed against the sides of the drain piping.

Rapid Removal

Quickly grabbing a paper towel on which to lay this newly found mess was crucial to keep even one drip of water from landing on any surface. The newly found tube, which bore its own horrible encrustation, appeared to be acquiring the traits of plastic consistency. Had I discovered the recipe for a new material which could be manufactured from recycled sink water? Regardless of what it was or what it might have become, all I knew at this moment was that it was truly disgusting!

Clogged Drains

Have you ever tried removing a pop up stopper?

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Photo insertion at this time would now be appropriate, but this was the last thing anyone would want to see, and my current goal was quick disposal. Flushing was not an option as the substance of this newly found item might result in clogging repercussions. Fortunately, plastic bags were in close proximity under the adjacent cabinet where they silently wait for their turn to be chosen for trash removal

Carefully lifting the clotted substance with tissue covered fingers, placement in the bag was quick, and then I realized that my trash can was already out by the street for tomorrow’s pickup. Not wishing to dress once again in clothes warm enough to brave the outside cold, and the realization that this newly found form had lived with me for quite some time already throughout the evolution of its creation, I knew another week, now in the garage, was not going to make any difference. The current frigid weather should also restrict any future growth in the event that a new life form begins to arise from my newly discarded discovery. Too many sci-fi movies? The blame here is resting on too many episodes of The Twilight Zone, Night Gallery, and Outer Limits in my youth.

What drain challenges have you overcome?


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    • DaphneDL profile imageAUTHOR

      Daphne D. Lewis 

      3 years ago from Saint Albans, West Virginia

      That was a very large concern I had, too, but decided to give it a try anyway. Had it been more complicated or involved doing anything with the pipes, I probably would not have risked doing it. There have been several things I've tried to do after watching self-help videos first, including replacing the hard drive in my computer after mine unexpectedly crashed. Thanks for visiting my hub!!

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      This is a very useful hub. Thank you for sharing. Voted up. I think I would dread to undertake repair of a clogged sink on my own, in the fear of messing it up further :)

    • DaphneDL profile imageAUTHOR

      Daphne D. Lewis 

      3 years ago from Saint Albans, West Virginia

      Bribery usually works, and that might be your best option. I did realize that the sink about which I wrote was probably the "most used" sink in the house from the time it was built eight years ago. It definitely reflected that, and, of course, would have to be the first one I tried.

    • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

      Marcy Goodfleisch 

      3 years ago from Planet Earth

      I'm afraid to even get into mine - I have a feeling it would win a prize (not one I'd be proud of). I might bribe my son to tackle it. It's going to be nasty. Ugh!

    • DaphneDL profile imageAUTHOR

      Daphne D. Lewis 

      3 years ago from Saint Albans, West Virginia

      @Marcy Goodfleisch The video clog was bad, but unfortunately didn't even compare to the mess I pulled out of mine. Had I known how bad it was going to be, I would have had on a pair of the disposable plastic gloves I keep for crafts. The other two drains I cleaned after this one were more like the one in the video which was bad enough. Good luck in cleaning your drains! Thanks for visiting and commenting on my hub!

    • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

      Marcy Goodfleisch 

      3 years ago from Planet Earth

      Oh my - I needed to read this today. Once my stomach calms down, I may try to clean out my sink drain - I dread it. I am sure mine has a clog at least as bad as what is pictured in this video. Ewwww!

      Thanks for putting this together for us! Very useful, and I am voting it as such!


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