How to Install Pop-Up Drain in a Bathroom Sink

  • 01 of 09

    Introduction

    Clean modern Bathroom Sink
    Fentino / Getty Images

    A bathroom sink pop-up is a very convenient feature, and while installation is usually easy, occasionally the process not quite as straightforward as you'd like. If you need to install a new pop-up drain for any reason, these instructions will simplify the process.

    NOTE: in our photo demonstration, we show the parts being installed with the sink removed from the vanity. This is for visual clarity. In practice, you may be installing the pop-up drain while the sink is in place. 

    Difficulty Level

    • Easy-...MOREto-moderate

    Tools and Materials You Will Need

    • Pop-up drain kit
    • Channel-type pliers
    • Pipe-joint compound
    • Plumber's putty
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  • 02 of 09

    Remove the Old Drain and Prepare the new Pop-Up Drain

    Preparing a pop-up drain for installation
    Aaron Stickley
    1. The first step is to remove the old pop-up drain. To do this, first loosen and remove the trap, using channel-type pliers.
    2. Next, remove the old pop-up assembly if there is one. Use channel-type pliers or a basin wrench to remove the mounting nut from the old drain tailpiece, then lift the drain assembly clear of the sink. Clean the sink before starting the new installation.
    3. Disassemble the pieces of the new pop-up assembly and unscrew the mounting nut all the way down the drain tailpiece. Install...MORE the plastic washer then the rubber washer and push it all the way down on top of the mounting nut, as pictured.
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  • 03 of 09

    Apply Pipe-Joint Compound

    Pipe joint compound on pop-up drain
    Aaron Stickley

    Next, put a thin layer of pipe joint compound on the rubber washer. Using joint compound on the rubber will ensure that it seals up easily.

    While the pipe joint compound is not strictly necessary, without it, you could have trouble getting the rubber to seal to the underside of the sink.

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  • 04 of 09

    Apply Plumber's Putty

    Plumbers putty on drain ring
    Aaron Stickley

    To prepare the chrome ring that goes above the sink, put a generous ring of plumber's putty around the underside of the ring. The putty will help the upper part seal.

    If you do not have plumber's putty or cannot use it on your type of sink, then you can use silicone or even a foam or rubber gasket that comes with some pop-up assemblies.

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  • 05 of 09

    Connect the Drain Parts

    Connecting pop-up drain parts
    Aaron Stickley
    1. Push the pop-up drain up through the drain opening from under the sink as high as you can. While holding the drain piece in place, fit the chrome ring into the opening from the top of the sink.
    2. Screw the top ring onto the bottom drain piece as far as you can by hand. The most important part is to ensure it is not cross-threaded. It only needs to be hand tight to hold it in place--the rest is done from beneath the sink.
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  • 06 of 09

    Tighten the Drain Pipe

    Tighten pop-up drain nut
    Aaron Stickley
    1. From under the sink, hold the pop-up drain pipe with one hand and tighten the nut upwards toward the bottom of the sink. Make sure the part for the pop-up nut is facing straight back towards the wall.
    2. Tighten the drain nut with large pliers while continuing to hold it still. Do not over-tighten this nut, but you should not be able to easily spin the drain from side to side by turning the pipe under the sink.
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  • 07 of 09

    Put the Drain Stopper Into Place

    Pop-up stopper rod
    Aaron Stickley
    1. Push the stopper into the drain, making sure the hole is facing the back of the sink.
    2. Once the stopper is in position, move back under the sink to put the rod into place. Usually, there is a plastic washer on each side of the plastic ball.
    3. With the ball on the inside of the nut, thread the nut onto the drain pipe. Push the pop-up rod up and down from under the sink to make sure the stopper goes up and down freely. If the pop-up is working properly, you can tighten the nut hand-tight. If the pop-up...MORE is not working, reposition the stopper so it catches on the rod.
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  • 08 of 09

    Install the Pop-Up Lever

    Connect strap to pop-up lever
    Aaron Stickley
    1. Feed the finished pop-up lever down through the hole behind the spout of the faucet. Before connecting the horizontal rod with the vertical lever, make sure your stopper is in the fully up (open) position. 
    2. Attach the strap and screw to the pop-up lever. This needs to be screwed tightly before connecting it to the horizontal rod.
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  • 09 of 09

    Connect the Pop-Up Lever and Rod

    Pop-up rod and lever connection
    Aaron Stickley
    1. Connect the vertical strap to the horizontal lever rod by threading the clip on the rod. One end of the clip needs to be on each side of the strap.
    2. After the two rods are connected, check to make sure that the pop-up goes up and down as high as you want it to. If it doesn’t, you can make some adjustments to the rod connections.
    3. Finish by reconnecting the trap to the drain pipe and checking for leaks by filling the sink up and draining it.