• In this video, This Old House plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey explains how to fix a bath sink stopper.


    1 Pull out the old pop-up sink stopper.

    2 Use an adjustable wrench to remove the pop-up lever from beneath sink.

    3 Loosen the compression nut connecting the trap to the vertical drain pipe.

    4 Use pliers to loosen the tailpiece.

    5 Unscrew the pop-up drain assembly from the sink strainer.

    6 Use two screwdrivers from above to prevent strainer from spinning; loosen strainer nut from below.

    7 Pull out old sink strainer.

    8 Place plumber's putty under new strainer; set strainer in sink.

    9 Tighten nut from below to secure new strainer; clean away excess putty.

    10 Thread new pop-up assembly onto strainer.

    11 Cut tailpiece to length using tubing cutter; coat threads on tailpiece with pipe dope.

    12 Fit tailpiece between trap and pop-up assembly; thread tailpiece into assembly.

    13 Tighten compression nut on trap to lock tailpiece in place.

    14 Insert new drain lever between pop-up assembly and perforated linkage.

    15 Place stopper into sink drain hole.

    16 Test stopper to ensure it glides up and down smoothly.
    • Difficulty: Easy to moderate
      Working under a sink is uncomfortable, but at least all the plumbing parts are easily accessible

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      Video Directory

      Selected Topic/Section

      Tools List

      • adjustable wrench
        Adjustable wrench
      • needlenose pliers
      • tubing cutter
        Tubing cutter
        used to cut tailpiece to length
      • Phillips screwdriver
        Two slotted screwdrivers
        used to hold sink strainer from spinning

      Shopping List

      1. Replacement pop-up assembly

      2. Plumber's putty, used to seal sink strainer

      3. Pipe dope, used to seal pipe threads