How to fix: My push to pop up sink stopper is stuck down

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  • Nickvoc's Avatar
    Level 6
    My push to pop up sink stopper is stuck down - what should I do?
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  • Nickvoc's Avatar
    Level 6
    If your pop up or push down sink plug is stuck it can be incredibly frustrating, especially if you have got a sink full of water at the time. To try and fix the issue yourself we recommend following these steps:

    1. Check for a lever on the tap that can operate the plug. If this exists, try moving it up and down to see if the plug moves.
    2. With a cup, scoop out the contents of the sink. This’ll make it easier to get to the plug.
    3. With a rubber glove on, push down on the plug and attempt to twist it anti clockwise.
    4. If that doesn’t work, spray WD-40 on to the plug, give it a minute to work itself under the plug, then repeat step 2.
    5. And if that doesn’t work, try taking a suction cup (such as those on children’s toys, or anything attached to a window) and pushing that down against the plug. Once it’s airtight attempt to pull it up again.
    6. The plug should pop out and it can be screwed back on again.

    Once that’s done, you’ll need to fix the issue, otherwise you’ll have the same problem again very soon.

    How to stop push down sink plug getting stuck again

    In terms of a DIY fix, the best option is to remove the stem and clean it. This can be done by following these steps:

    1. If the plug didn’t come all the way off in the above steps keep turning it anti clockwise and it’ll come off.
    2. Once the plug has been removed you can use a pair of pliers to delicately turn the stem (the remaining bit that held the plug in place) anticlockwise.
    3. With that off we recommend cleaning it with a sponge scourer. You want to make sure there’s no soap scrum and other debris on it.
    4. Reattach the stem by turning it clockwise and then do the same with the plug.
    5. Test it and make sure there are no leaks.

    If all else fails, then a plumber will be able to help. Tell them that “My push to pop up sink stopper is stuck down” and they’ll know what to do. To view vetted trades, and find out prices, read our plumber cost guide.