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Old 03-02-2008, 05:39 PM   #1
RDS
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Stuck fitting -- any expert tips?


All I want to do is remove the pop-up stopper from my bathroom sink. It suddenly stopped draining after my wife washed her hair in the sink, and I suspect there's a wad of hair wrapped around the stopper.

My pop-up stopper is not one you can just lift out, nor does it come out after a little turn to the left or right. So I gotta remove the pivot rod down underneath. (Hope my lingo is right -- it's all straight out of a DIY book.) I disconnected it from the clevis, but the pivot rod does not just pull out. So I'm figuring to get it out I need to remove (or at least loosen) the brass collar in which it's seated right at the drainpipe.

I can't get the collar off. There's a lot of corrosion around it, and all it has is these little ridges for grip. (No flat sides like a proper nut.) Got my channel lock pliers, and managed a few turns (to MY left as I'm facing the front of the sink -- hope that's correct -- it wouldn't turn the other way at all) but before long the pliers had just stripped all the ridges off, and now I've got nothing but an almost-smooth brass collar that I can't grip and that won't turn. Tried drizzling some H2O2 over it per someone's suggestion, but no luck.

At this point I'm out of ideas. Any suggestions from those more experienced than I? I would really like to achieve this on my own without paying a plumber, but I would gratefully accept free advice from one.

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Old 03-02-2008, 09:09 PM   #2
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Stuck fitting -- any expert tips?


It sounds like your turning the wrong way, make sure of your direction. Next, you might try a small pair of vice grips and some penetrating oil but be careful not to crush the nut with the grips. If the nut will turn a little keep working it back and forth until it's loose. If this dosen't work you may try to split the nut. A small hacksaw or dremel tool may work but this will be tricky due to the confined space. If you haven't had success by this point you'll probably be ready to call the plumber and consider it money well spent.

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Old 03-02-2008, 09:46 PM   #3
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Stuck fitting -- any expert tips?


RDS turning left when facing the sink is turning the wrong way, go right grasshopper
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Old 03-02-2008, 11:44 PM   #4
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Stuck fitting -- any expert tips?


Although it is possible, I highly doubt that the popup is what is clogged. It more likely is clogged in the trap. Try removing that and cleaning it out. (And yes, you're turning the popup swivel cap the wrong way as noted.)
You may want to try to open the drain up with some non-caustic enzyme-based drain cleaner like DrainCare. It won't harm the sink or drain, but it will eat out all organic gunk, such as hair, overnight.
Just run a little warm water down the drain, pour in the DrainCare, let it eat overnight, and then flush it down the next day with very hot water. I usually start that flushing with a kettle of boiling water, followed by straight hot water out of the facuet until it drains free. If it's really badly clogged, you may have to do it more than once.
Good Luck!
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Old 03-03-2008, 08:54 AM   #5
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Stuck fitting -- any expert tips?


Thanks to everyone. Apparently I'm a moron, turning it the wrong way. (Though as I say, that was the only way I could get it to turn!) I will go back at it. I did pick up some vice grips which I will try tonight. I did try DrainCare before this (well, another brand) with no success. I suppose I could try it a second time. That, and/or the pentrating oil. Hopefully some combination of this (primarily, of course, turning it in the right direction) will work.

At this point, even if the clog is in the P-trap rather than a the stopper, I think I need to remove the stopper because somewhere in my labors I seem to have damaged the pivot rod -- it won't go up and down any more. Or maybe that's just because I over-tightened the nut in attempting (ha) to loosen it.

This battle has become personal, between me and this nut, but if I have no more luck tonight I may indeed try a plumber as suggested. Thanks again everyone.
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Old 03-03-2008, 09:21 AM   #6
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Stuck fitting -- any expert tips?


Become one with the problem grasshopper :}
Think Holy Hand Grenade
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Old 03-04-2008, 07:38 AM   #7
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Stuck fitting -- any expert tips?


Vice grips + extra spinach for strength + one skinned knuckle = stopper successfully removed and cleaned. Thanks again to all for the tips.

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