How to Retrieve an Item Dropped Down the Sink Drain – Part 4

By |Last updated on |Bathroom, Bathroom Sink|11 Comments

Reinstall the pop-up sink drain and adjust the stopper handle to complete the repair. This repair is continued from How to Retrieve an Item Dropped Down the Sink Drain – Part 3.

Install the Pop-Up Drain

To reassemble the pop-up drain, orient the stopper such that the bottom loop faces the back of sink to catch the end of the pivot rod:

Bathroom Sink Stopper

Bathroom Sink Stopper

Insert the stopper and hold almost all the way in while you insert the pivot rod into the drain T.

Bathroom Sink Drain: Reinsert the Sink Stopper

Bathroom Sink Drain: Reinsert the Sink Stopper

Insert the pivot rod into the drain T while holding the sink stopper. Working by feel, a bit of trial and error is needed to insert the rod into the end of sink stopper. You’ll have it in a couple seconds.

Bathroom Sink: Pivot Rod (Ball Rod)

Bathroom Sink: Pivot Rod (Ball Rod)

Next steps:

  • Screw on the pivot rod retaining nut.
  • Place the spring clip on the rod.
  • Put rod end in the 2nd hole of the clevis (or whichever hole it was in before).
  • Secure the rod and clevis with the spring clip.
Pop-Up Drain: Pivot Rod Retaining Nut

Pop-Up Drain: Pivot Rod Retaining Nut

Adjust the Pop-Up Drain Travel

The vertical travel or up/down movement of the pop-up drain is adjusted by sliding the spring clip along the pivot rod.

Begin by pushing the drain handle all the way down (see inset photo below) and slide the spring clip along the pivot rod until the height of the sink stopper is approximately 1/4 inch above the drain as shown. If you later find the water isn’t draining quickly enough, increase the stopper clearance until you are satisfied.

Bathroom Sink: Pop-up Drain Adjustment

Bathroom Sink: Pop-up Drain Adjustment

Pull the drain handle up to confirm the stopper is fully seated with a good seal.

Bathroom Sink: Pop-Up Drain Adjustment

Bathroom Sink: Pop-Up Drain Adjustment

Check the Sink Drain for Leaks

Check for leaks by closing the drain and filling the sink with some water. Watch the water level while listening for leaks.

Bathroom Sink: Pop-Up Drain Testing

Bathroom Sink: Pop-Up Drain Testing

Open the drain and inspect the P-trap and drain plumbing for leaks. If you’re worried about a slow drip that might not be readily evident, place a section of toilet paper on the bottom of the sink cabinet under the trap. Any slow drips will be readily seen. Tighten the slip nuts a bit if necessary.

Take care,

Bob Jackson

Copyright © 2018   Reproduction strictly prohibited.


  1. kevin April 3, 2010 at 4:56 pm - Reply

    awesome article, nice pics, clear instructions. thank you!!

  2. Eugene December 7, 2011 at 3:47 pm - Reply

    This is the most clear, complete and therefore useful instruction. Thank you very much, Bob!

  3. Katie December 21, 2011 at 12:15 pm - Reply

    You made my day, Bob! My cat knocked an earring down the sink and I wasn’t sure how to retrieve it. Thanks for the clear step-by-step instructions and photos. I had no idea it was so easy. :)

  4. jonathan guo December 15, 2012 at 9:23 pm - Reply

    could you tell me where I can buy a retaining nut for the pop-up ball same as in the image.

  5. KK April 4, 2013 at 4:24 pm - Reply

    I want to buy this exact sink stopper , searched online , lowes and home depot ,did not find it. Could you please let me know where I get it.

  6. Seth June 13, 2013 at 9:43 pm - Reply

    I’ve been having trouble with the retaining clip since I fixed a clog a couple of years ago. Damn thing kept falling off. Why? Because I was putting it on wrong. I thought I had to squeeze it. Thanks to your article, I know it was too loose as a result of that. Now it’s secure and in place.

    Next step will be to remove the retaining nut and get the stopper properly affixed to the rod. And now that I’ve seen your detailed instruction, I feel pretty confident about doing it too.


  7. Susie August 6, 2013 at 11:31 am - Reply

    Thanks! Easy to follow for a first timer! Perfectly clear (instructions and now my drain)

  8. Shawanna October 23, 2016 at 2:02 am - Reply

    For some odd reason, I decided to take my earrings off in the bathroom tonight. I dropped the second one. As it was falling, I thought it was too big to go down the drain. Apparently it took that as a challenge and went in. It was wedged between the stopper and the pipe. It was too late to call my dad, so I turned to the Internet. Thanks to your tutorial, I have my earring back. Thank you!!!

  9. Maddie August 13, 2017 at 1:21 am - Reply

    Dude, I am so thankful for you right now. I dropped a charm from a necklace that a dear friend of mine bought me. I checked the bottom of the pipe with no luck and I was heartbroken. Then, I tried googling because maybe there was some way to still get it, and I saw how you said it might be stuck in the hair and stuff. It is currently midnight and I got the charm back, thank you so much for this tutorial!!!!!!!!!!!!! ❤️

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