Sometimes the only thing that stands between you and a well-draining sink in your bathroom is a clump of hair tangled around the bottom of a pop-up. It is hard to believe how much hair ends up accumulating there if you don’t actually wash your hair in the sink. Nevertheless, somehow hair finds its way down the drain. Whether you brush your hair over the sink, or rinse your hands of hair gel, over time hair strands build up and obstruct water from passing through the pipe.
The hair clog may also inhibit a pop-up from closing properly when you try to fill the sink with water – water slowly drains down because the hair prevents the stopper from creating a tight seal. For this reason, it is a good idea to clean your pop-up regularly or very soon you will need plumbing skills to deal with this plumbing problem.
Some pop ups do not require any disassembly and can be pulled out from the top of the sink. If this is the type you have, simply pull up the pop-up and clean off the hair clog. Remember to have a garbage bag handy to discard the hair and muck. (Be prepared – it isn’t pretty.)
Working under the sink is always cramped and awkward. To make more room for yourself, remove all your under-the-sink articles. (How do we accumulate so much stuff?)
Put down an old pillow or blanket to lie on it so that you can be more comfortable as you are working.
Stand a lit flashlight inside the vanity for better visibility.
1. Locate the retaining nut under the sink.
2. With pliers, unscrew the retaining nut and pull it back onto the pivot rod. Do not run the water after you have loosened the retaining nut of the pop-up; it will leak from the opening.
3. Pull back the pivot rod until the pivot ball is visible. This will release the stopper. Pull out the stopper from the top of the sink and clean off the hair and muck.
4. Reinsert the clean stopper and push the pivot rod back into its original position. You will need to catch the hole at the bottom of the stopper with the tip of the pivot rod, which can be a little tricky. Slowly twist the stopper until the hole lines up with the pivot rod. You will know you have got it when you rug on the stopper and it doesn’t come out.
5. Tighten the retaining nut with the pliers.
6. To be sure the pop-up is screwed in properly, close in the pop-up, fill the sink with water, release the pop-up and see if the water drips from the retaining nut. If it does, snug down the retaining nut a bit more.
Congrats! You have just given your bathroom sink a rejuvenating little repair like a pro plumber!