Bathroom Sink Drain Pop-Up: The Rot Continues

Once again, the black bathroom sink drain stopper stopped popping up. Having had this happen once before, I knew what I would find:

Corroded bathroom sink drain lever
Corroded bathroom sink drain lever

The lever arm to the left of the ball should be about twice that long, minus the jagged end.

I slid the ball rightward to expose more rod, introduced both ends to Mr. Bench Grinder to round them off, scuffed up the short end with sandpaper to improve its griptivity, then slobbered on enough JB KwikWeld to cover the entire length of rod that will live inside the drain:

Epoxy-coated bathroom sink drain lever
Epoxy-coated bathroom sink drain lever

The first failure took 9 years, this one took 4…

Memo to Self: Next time, replace the rod with something that doesn’t corrode.


5 thoughts on “Bathroom Sink Drain Pop-Up: The Rot Continues

  1. I wonder what would survive in a bathroom drain? Oh! I know, make the rod out of nasty bacteria!

    1. Back when we had well water, we had a thriving crop of iron bacteria… and they’re still flourishing in the drains.

      They might fight the “rod bacteria” to a standstill! [grin]

  2. A few years ago, I replaced the bathroom fixtures with ones by American Standard. These use a cable and cam arrangement to run the popup, and everything below the sink is a robust plastic.

    Pros: 1) Nothing to corrode.
    2) The cable and cable-to-rotary cam are easy to locate, and the drain mechanism needs no tools to service (usually)..
    Cons: 1) it’s complex, with a washer-like unit that locates the popup lever. Easy to lose it if you forget it’s in place.
    2) if you have to open up the drain a lot to clean gunk, it’s not that easy. Between our hard water, soap scum, and Julie’s hair, I have to clean her drain every 4-6 months. Mine about 6-8 months. The other bath (used as a powder room) hasn’t clogged since installation. Getting the sink popup engaged with the lever takes a couple of tries. I have needed tweezers or needle nose pliers to get the lever in place.

    The gunkup rate is about half that with the Delta system we replaced, so I’ll rate it as OK.

    FWIW, the faucets need plumber’s grease every few months, since it’s plastic on o-ring type gasket, and the plastic isn’t that smooth. Allen key, phillips screwdriver, and an adjustable wrench will let you do that job.

    Still, I like it, and it’s a lot easier to keep going than the Delta one-handle faucet. Price was reasonable.

  3. Apparently they can now be had as a one-piece plastic ball and stem; the rod that connects with the pop-up lever screws into the dry side of the ball. Lowe’s has several versions; searching on 112775 will bring up a universal-fit kit. (or you could google “Pop-Up Drain Ball Rod Assembly” – leave out words at your own risk…) I don’t know whether they are any good – just doing a little reconnaissance a few days back.

    1. Looks like it has a brass rod, too: what’s not to like?

      Having to pay eight bucks to replace a part that was originally cheapnified ticks me right off, but …

      Thanks for the reconnaissance!

Comments are closed.