How to Retrieve an Item Dropped Down the Sink Drain – Part 2

After taking apart the drain P-trap and recovering the lost earring, the pop-up drain is removed to clean out the hair to prevent future drain clogs. This repair is continued from How to Retrieve an Item Dropped Down the Sink Drain – Part 1.

Remove the Pop-Up Drain Pivot Rod

The hair clog I found in Part 1 must be removed it would continue to build up over time and clog the drain. It was obvious the hair was caught on the pivot rod (also called a ball rod) that attaches to the stopper of the pop-up drain. To do a proper job of cleaning the drain, it is necessary to remove the pivot rod.

Here are the parts of the pop-up drain pivot rod (click on the image for a full size view):

Pop-up Drain Mechanism: Pivot Rod / Ball Rod

Pop-up Drain Mechanism: Pivot Rod / Ball Rod

Step 1: Remove the Spring Clip

Note which clevis hole pivot rod is in, which is the 2nd hole from the bottom here. Squeeze the ends of the spring clip together slightly and slide the clip and clevis off the end of the rod.

Bathroom Sink Pop-Up Drain: Spring Clip

Bathroom Sink Pop-Up Drain: Spring Clip

Spring clip released from the pivot rod (a.k.a. ball rod) and clevis.

Spring Clip Removed from Pivot Rod

Spring Clip Removed from Pivot Rod

Step 2: Unscrew the Retaining Nut

Unscrew the pivot rod retaining nut to release the pivot rod from the drain T.

Pivot Rod Retaining Nut at the Drain T

Pivot Rod Retaining Nut at the Drain T

Step 3: Grasp the Sink Stopper

Before removing the pivot rod from the drain T, press down lightly on the rod to lift the sink stopper. Grasp the stopper, pull out the pivot rod, and lift the stopper from the sink drain. The trick is to get a grip on the stopper before removing the pivot rod, otherwise the stopper is seated flush with the drain and you can’t get your fingers under the rim of the stopper to lift it out.

Bathroom Sink Drain: Pop-Up Stopper

Bathroom Sink Drain: Pop-Up Stopper

Step 4: Pull out the Pivot Rod

Pull the pivot rod out of the drain T.

Bathroom Sink: Pivot Rod (Ball Rod) Removal

Bathroom Sink: Pivot Rod (Ball Rod) Removal

Step 5: Clear the Debris from the Drain Pipe

The clump of hair that was looped over the pivot rod now drops easily from the drain pipe.

Bathroom Sink: Remove the Hair from the Drain

Bathroom Sink: Remove the Hair from the Drain

After removing the obvious clog of hair from the drain pipe, I used a flashlight inspect the drain pipe to see if it was clear. Everything was fine, no other obstructions. The J-bend trap was clear of sediment and debris with a only a light coating of scum inside the PVC pipe. If there were a really a bad clog, it would be simple enough to push it would of the vertical drain pipe with a wooden dowel rod and flush water down the drain into the bucket.

Step 6: Clean the Pipe Joints

Wipe the scum off the end of the drain pipes and P-trap with paper towels.

Bathroom Sink: Clean the Drain Pipes

Bathroom Sink: Clean the Drain Pipes

This repair is continued in How to Retrieve an Item Dropped Down the Sink Drain -Part 3.

Regards,

Bob Jackson

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3 Responses to How to Retrieve an Item Dropped Down the Sink Drain – Part 2

  1. inchicago February 3, 2013 at 12:09 pm #

    Just wanted to say that I rescued my wife’s earring from the drain following your easy directions. I just did part 1 and not 2 or 3.

    Thank you again!

  2. Makayla December 15, 2015 at 3:15 am #

    Very helpful – thank you so much! My only concern is now when I put everything back together, I still get a few leaks and the stopper is a bit off on an angle. There weren’t any leaks before, suggestions?

    • Bob Jackson December 15, 2015 at 7:41 am #

      Take it apart, clean the slip washers and pipe ends as explained in the project, then reassemble taking care the parts are aligned and joints tightened.

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