Ways to Remove a Stopper from a Sink Drain

Removing a stopper from a sink drain may seem like a daunting task, but with a few simple steps, you can have it removed in no time. Whether you need to clean the stopper, retrieve a lost item, or simply replace it with a new one, this guide will provide you with the necessary instructions.

Before you begin, gather the necessary tools: a pair of pliers, a bucket or towel to catch any water that may spill, and a flashlight if your sink is poorly lit. Once you have everything you need, follow these steps:

1. Start by locating the stopper. Depending on the type of sink you have, the stopper can be located on the top or in the drain pipe underneath the sink. Look for a small metal or plastic knob, or a lever that controls the stopper.

2. If the stopper is controlled by a knob or lever, try turning or pulling it to see if it releases. In some cases, the stopper may be stuck due to a buildup of hair or debris. If this is the case, use the pliers to gently twist or pull the stopper free.

3. If the stopper is located in the drain pipe, you may need to crawl under the sink to access it. Use the flashlight to get a good view of the stopper. You may see a metal rod that connects the stopper to a lever on the back of the drain pipe. Use the pliers to loosen the nut that holds the rod in place, and then slide the stopper out of the drain.

Remember to be patient and gentle when removing the stopper, as excessive force can damage the sink or pipes. If you encounter any difficulties or are unsure about the process, it is best to consult a professional plumber to avoid any further damage or complications.

Tools You Will Need to Remove Stopper from Sink Drain

Removing a stopper from a sink drain can be a simple DIY project if you have the right tools. Here are the tools you will need:

1. Screwdriver: A screwdriver is an essential tool for removing the stopper. It is used to loosen the screws that hold the stopper in place.

2. Pliers: Pliers are helpful for gaining extra leverage when removing the stopper. They can be used to grip and twist the stopper, making it easier to unscrew.

3. Adjustable wrench: An adjustable wrench is useful if the stopper is connected to a rod or linkage system. It can be used to loosen or tighten the nuts that hold the rod in place.

4. Plumbers’ tape: Plumbers’ tape is a thin, white tape that is used to create a watertight seal. It can be applied to the threads of the screw or nut to prevent leaks.

5. Bucket or bowl: Having a bucket or bowl nearby is handy for catching any water that may escape when removing the stopper.

6. Clean rag or towel: A clean rag or towel can be used to wipe away any water or debris that may be present around the stopper.

With these tools on hand, you’ll be well-prepared to tackle the task of removing the stopper from your sink drain.


Another tool that can be helpful in removing a sink drain stopper is a wrench. A wrench is a versatile tool that can be adjusted to fit different sizes of nuts and bolts. In the case of a sink drain stopper, a wrench can be used to grip the connecting rod, which is the part of the stopper mechanism that connects to the lift rod.

To use a wrench to remove the stopper, start by locating the connecting rod underneath the sink. This is the metal or plastic rod that connects the lift rod to the stopper at the bottom of the sink drain. Once you’ve located the connecting rod, use an adjustable wrench to grip it firmly.

Next, turn the wrench counterclockwise to unscrew the connecting rod. As you turn the wrench, the stopper should start to loosen and become easier to remove. Continue turning the wrench until the connecting rod is completely unscrewed and the stopper is free.

After removing the stopper, it’s a good idea to clean the area around the drain to remove any buildup or debris. This can help prevent future clogs and keep your sink draining properly.

Once the stopper is clean, you can reattach the connecting rod and tighten it with the wrench. Make sure the rod is securely fastened to ensure proper operation of the stopper.

Using a wrench to remove a sink drain stopper can be an effective method, especially for stoppers that are stuck or difficult to remove by hand. However, if you’re unsure of how to use a wrench or don’t have the necessary tools, it’s best to call a professional plumber for assistance.


If the stopper in your sink drain is stuck and cannot be removed by hand, using a pair of pliers may help to loosen it. Pliers are a versatile tool that can provide more leverage and grip, making it easier to twist or pull on the stopper.

Before using pliers, make sure to wrap the jaws with a soft cloth or tape to prevent any damage to the stopper or the drain. This will also help to provide a better grip on the stopper.

To remove the stopper, place the jaws of the pliers around the top of the stopper. Apply gentle pressure and try to turn it counterclockwise to unscrew it. If the stopper is stuck or difficult to turn, you can also try wiggling it back and forth while applying pressure.

Once the stopper starts to loosen, continue to unscrew or pull it out with the pliers until it is completely removed from the sink drain. Keep in mind that some stoppers may have a long stem attached to them, so be careful not to pull too hard or jerk it out forcefully.

After removing the stopper, clean it thoroughly and check for any debris or buildup that may have been causing it to get stuck. Additionally, inspect the drain for any clogs or blockages that may need to be addressed.

Using pliers can be an effective method for removing a stuck sink drain stopper. However, if you are unable to remove the stopper using this method or if you encounter any difficulties, it may be best to seek professional assistance from a plumber.


A screwdriver is a versatile tool that can be used to remove the stopper from a sink drain. Most sink stoppers are held in place by a screw that is located underneath the sink. To remove the stopper, you will need a screwdriver with the appropriate size and type of head.

First, you will need to locate the screw that is holding the stopper in place. This screw is typically located in the center of the drain, underneath the sink. Use a flashlight if needed to help you see more clearly.

Once you have located the screw, use the screwdriver to remove it. Turn the screw counterclockwise to loosen and remove it. Keep the screw in a safe place so that you do not lose it.

With the screw removed, you should be able to lift the stopper out of the drain. Sometimes, the stopper may be sealed or stuck in place. In this case, you may need to gently twist or pry the stopper to loosen it.

Once the stopper is removed, you can clean it or replace it as needed. To replace the stopper, simply place it back into the drain and secure it with the screw.

Using a screwdriver is a simple and effective way to remove a stopper from a sink drain. By following these steps, you can easily remove and clean or replace the stopper in your sink.

How to Unscrew the Stopper from Sink Drain

Sink stoppers can become a nuisance when they begin to trap debris and prevent water from draining properly. If you are looking to remove the stopper from your sink drain, you will need to follow these steps:

Tools and materials:
– Screwdriver
– Pliers
– Bucket or bowl

1. Locate the stopper: Look under your sink for the stopper mechanism. It is usually connected to a rod that goes into the drain. The stopper may be connected to the rod using either a metal nut or a plastic clip.

2. Remove the rod: If the stopper is connected with a metal nut, use pliers to loosen and remove the nut. If it is connected with a plastic clip, simply unclip the stopper from the rod.

3. Unscrew the stopper: Once the rod is disconnected, you should be able to see the stopper itself. It may be screwed into the drain or have a knob that can be turned to unscrew it. Use a screwdriver or your fingers to unscrew the stopper from the drain.

4. Clean and remove debris: Take the opportunity to clean any debris that has built up around the drain. Use a bucket or bowl to collect the debris and dispose of it properly.

5. Reassemble: After the stopper has been removed and the area is clean, reassemble the rod and any other components that were disconnected.

With the stopper removed, your sink drain should now be free of any obstructions and able to drain water properly. If you encounter any difficulties or the stopper is not removable, it may be best to consult a professional plumber to avoid causing further damage.

Locate the Stopper

Before attempting to remove the stopper from the sink drain, it’s important to locate it first. The stopper is typically found near the bottom of the sink, inside the drain opening. Look for a knob or handle sticking out of the drain or a raised lever on the faucet.

If you don’t see a visible knob or lever, you may need to remove the drain cover to access the stopper. The drain cover is usually held in place by screws or clips. Use a screwdriver or pliers to remove the screws or release the clips. Once the drain cover is removed, you should be able to see the stopper inside the drain.

Some sinks have a pop-up stopper, which is operated by a lever located on the faucet. To locate the pop-up stopper, look for a horizontal bar or rod connected to the back of the faucet. When the lever on the faucet is lifted or pushed down, it activates the pop-up stopper to open or close the drain.

If you’re still having trouble locating the stopper, consult the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific sink model. They may provide detailed diagrams or instructions on how to find and remove the stopper.

Use the Wrench to Loosen the Lock Nut

Before removing the stopper from your sink drain, you will need to use a wrench to loosen the lock nut. The lock nut is located underneath the sink and holds the stopper assembly in place.

First, locate the lock nut underneath the sink. You may need to feel around with your hand to find it. Once you have located it, position your wrench around the lock nut.

Tighten the wrench around the lock nut and turn it counterclockwise. This will loosen the lock nut and allow you to remove it from the drain assembly.

Be sure to hold onto the stopper assembly while loosening the lock nut to prevent it from falling into the drain. The stopper assembly consists of the stopper, a ball rod, and a linkage that connects it to the lift rod on the faucet.

If the lock nut is difficult to loosen, you can use some penetrating oil or lubricant to help loosen it. Apply the oil to the lock nut and give it some time to penetrate before attempting to loosen it again.

Once the lock nut is loose, you can continue with the process of removing the stopper from the sink drain. Proceed to the next step to learn how to remove the stopper assembly.

Note: It is important to use caution when using the wrench to avoid damaging the lock nut or other parts of the drain assembly. If you are unsure of how to proceed or encounter any difficulties, it is recommended to seek the assistance of a professional plumber.

Remove the Stopper from the Drain

To remove the stopper from the drain, follow these simple steps:

  1. Locate the stopper in your sink drain.
  2. Inspect the stopper to determine the type.
  3. If you have a plunger-style stopper, look for a small knob on the top of the stopper.
  4. If you have a twist-and-lock stopper, find the knob or lever on the stopper.
  5. If you have a push-and-pull stopper, look for a small tab or handle on the stopper.
  6. Depending on the type of stopper, you may need to twist, lift, or pull the stopper to remove it.
  7. Apply gentle pressure as you turn or lift the stopper, ensuring not to break or damage it.
  8. Once the stopper is free, lift it out of the drain carefully.

Removing the stopper from the drain is an essential step in maintaining your sink and keeping it clean. By regularly removing and cleaning the stopper, you can prevent clogs and keep your sink draining smoothly.


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Ryan Pietrzak

Ryan Pietrzak, a licensed plumber with 12+ years of experience, is the trusted expert behind Plumbing.Academy. With a wealth of practical knowledge, Ryan guides you through plumbing challenges, making informed decisions easier. His reputable advice, rooted in real-world expertise, empowers both DIY enthusiasts and seasoned plumbers.