How to Remove a Delta Sink Stopper

In many Delta faucet kits, there is a sink stopper included. When properly installed, the stopper allows you to trap water in the sink by pulling up on the rod behind the faucet, closing the drain. Once you decide to drain the sink, you can push the rod down, open the drain, and allow the water to flow down the drain.

However, over the years, the stopper may catch all sorts of things, like hair, dirt, and other gunk. Removing the buildup is not hard, but you will need to be up close and personal with the sink drain. If you need to clean out the sink stopper in your home, keep reading for a quick how-to guide.

How Does It Work?

To better understand how to remove a Delta sink stopper properly, we will take a look at the components that make up the assembly and how they work. Most pop-up drains have a lever behind the faucet body. The stopper contains a few main parts, including a lift rod, clevis, horizontal pivot rod, and a drain tailpiece.

The lift rod is what you see sticking up behind the faucet body. It connects to the horizontal pivot rod by the clevis, which is a slotted bar. The pivot rod reaches into the drain tailpiece and through a hook located on the bottom of the stopper.

To remove the stopper, you’ll have to disengage each component, including the pivot rod from the hook. However, to do that, you have to take the whole stopper linkage apart. It sounds pretty overwhelming, but if you have a few minutes to devote to the project, you should have no problem doing it.

How To Take Out A Delta Sink Stopper

Before you get started on removing the sink stopper, you will need a few things, including:

  • Screwdriver
  • Pliers
  • Headlamp

Start by cleaning out the sink cabinet, so you have plenty of room to work. Next, you’ll need the help of your headlamp to locate the clevis. It will be attached to the lift rod via a screw. Using your screwdriver or pliers, remove the screw and pull the clevis off of the pivot rod.

There will be a spring clip that prevents the clevis from slipping out of place. To remove the clevis, squeeze the clip and slide off the rod, freeing the clevis to move.

Sink Lift Rod

Next, remove the pivot rod. It is fixed in place to the tailpiece by a retaining nut. Use pliers to loosen and remove the nut, then remove the pivot rod from the tailpiece. You can now remove the stopper and lift it out of the drain.

While you have the stopper out, it doesn’t hurt to use a hair clog removal tool to pull out any gunk or hair blocking the drain pipe. Follow the removal tool with drain cleaner liquid. It isn’t necessary for removing the stopper, but again, since you have it out of the drain, you might as well clean out the drainpipe before you put everything back in its place.

If you’d like to use a homemade drain cleaner instead of a detergent, you can make your own mixture at home. Mix together ½ cup of baking soda and ¼ cup table salt. Pour it down the drainpipe in question. Follow the mixture with 1 cup of warm vinegar. Note that the vinegar will cause the baking soda and salt mixture to bubble.

Seal the drain closed with the plug or duct tape to prevent the mixture from coming out. Allow it to sit for fifteen minutes, then follow with a flush of hot water.

It is also a good idea to clean the stopper while you have it out. You can use an old toothbrush or cleaning brush and bathroom cleaning detergent or vinegar to scrub the stopper. 

How To Remove A Sink Stopper That Is Stuck

Sometimes a drain will become clogged to the point that it will not move or is stuck in a semi-closed position, making the water drain ever so slowly. Either way, it is incredibly frustrating. Luckily, sink stopper mechanisms aren’t particularly complex, so fixing the issue is relatively simple.

Start by checking for movement of the stopper when you pull up or push down on the lift rod. If the stopper remains still, something has likely become unhooked in the mechanism beneath the sink.

Look beneath the sink and ensure that the mechanisms are attached as they should be: verify that the horizontal pivot rod, lift rod, and tailpiece are connected as they are supposed to be. If there are any disconnections anywhere, you have likely located your problem.