How to Fix a Sink Stopper that Won’t Stay Up

If fixing that sink stopper has fallen to the bottom of the to-do list before it drives you (or your partner) crazy. Here’s a step-by-step guide.

Getting the materials you need for the job ahead of time makes it that much faster to get started and easier to to finish. Here’s what you’ll need:


  • Universal Pivot Ball Replacement Kit
  • Gasket (if old one is damaged)
  • Pliers

Sink  parts (good to review, even if you know your way around the sink):


  1. drain down-rod
  2. joint clamp clip
  3. horizontal rod
  4. nut
  5. ball, rod, nut and gasket
  6.  stopper notch
  7. pop-up drain stopper


  • Clear-out space so you have room enough to work under the sink.
  • Cushion the edge of the vanity by laying down towels or something to cushion your back
  • Locate the # 3 – horizontal rod and the #4 – nut at the back of your drain that holds the #5 – ball, rod and gasket.
  • Unscrew the #4 nut with your fingers or pliers, if it’s really tight.
  • Pull out the ball and gasket.
  • Release the #3 horizontal rod from the #1 down rod by squeezing the #2 joint clamp clip between your fingers and sliding it off the end of the horizontal rod.
  • Assess the damage. Spread-out the old pieces to examine them. You may need a new gasket, which is sold separately.
  • Match the old pivot ball (#5) against the new ones in the kit – you need the one that is exactly the same size. Thread the #5 new ball onto the new #3 horizontal rod.
  • Next, thread the #5 new gasket (if needed) onto the horizontal rod (#3) and then the nut (#4).
  • Now, feed one end of the #2 joint clip clamp and connect to the end of the stopper.
  • Next, feed the #3 horizontal rod into the #1 down rod.
  • Line the other end of the #3 horizontal rod up and slip the ball joint into the hole at the back of the drain (Note, the horizontal bar ideally will be parallel to the floor, but you may have to make some minor adjustments at the end).
  • Screw the #4 nut back onto the drain; make sure the ball joint and gasket (#5) are properly lined up.
  • Add the second stopper or the other end of the #2 joint clamp clip to the back of the #3 horizontal rod.
  • Look inside the drain. Take note of the post end of the #5 ball joint inside the drain.
  • Pull-up on the down drain rod (#1) and make sure that both it and the post in the drain move up and down freely.
  • Feed the drain stopper back into the drain. Be patient… you’ll get this! You want the end of the stopper to be at a 90 degree angle from the ball joint post.
  • Gently rotate the stopper 90 degrees until the end of the stopper hooks the post.
  • Once the stopper has been properly rotated and hooked onto the ball joint post, test your sink by pulling up and down on the drain down rod (#1).

And – ta da! – you’re done.


Our knowledgeable and pleasant staff are always available to offer tips and advice. Visit our store in downtown Saint Cloud, at the corner of 10th street and Massachusetts Avenue.

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