A bathroom sink with a bad lift rod can be a real headache. If the sink is leaking from the lift rod, it can be challenging to determine the source of the leak and even more challenging to fix it. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to fix a bathroom sink leaking from the lift rod.
Some of the things to check out with a leaking lift rod include the following:
- Replace the lift rod
- Check the connection between the lift rod and the drain
- Check the shut-off valves
- Replace the washers
- Replace the P-trap
- Install a new sink
Replace the Lift Rod
If you’re like me, your bathroom sink sees a lot of use every day. Unfortunately, the lift rod that controls the drain stopper can gradually become worn or damaged, causing it to leak. Fortunately, replacing the lift rod is a relatively easy task that anyone can do. Here’s what you’ll need to do:
First, turn off the water supply to your bathroom sink. Next, remove the lift rod from the drain stopper. If the rod is attached with a set screw, unscrew it with a screwdriver. If the rod is held with a retaining clip, use a pair of needle-nose pliers to remove the clip and pull the rod out.
Once the old lift rod is out, take it to your local hardware store to find a replacement that is identical in size and style. I’ve learned the hard way that it’s always best to bring the part right along with you, so you don’t accidentally buy the wrong replacement.
To install the new lift rod, reverse the process you used to remove the faulty one. First, insert the rod into the drain stopper and secure it with a retaining clip or set screw. Then, turn on the water supply and test the new lift rod to ensure it operates smoothly.
Replacing a leaky lift rod quickly and easily keeps your bathroom sink in top condition. By taking care of this simple maintenance task, you can extend the life of your sink and avoid costly repairs down the road.
Check the Connection Between the Lift Rod and the Drain
One of the most common causes of a bathroom sink leaking from the lift rod is a loose or broken connection between the lift rod and the drain. The first step is to identify where the leak is coming from.
If the leak comes from the drain, the connection between the lift rod and the drain is likely loose. To check this connection, remove the cap from the back of the sink, and use a flashlight to look inside the drain. If you see any water pooled around the base of the lift rod, then this is the source of your leak.
To resolve this issue, simply tighten the connection between the lift rod and the drain using a wrench. If the leak persists, you may need to replace the washers on either side of the connection. Once you’ve made these adjustments, give your sink a test run to ensure the leak has been fixed.
Check the Shut-Off Valves
The shut-off valves in your bathroom sink control water flow to the faucet (if you find that your bathroom sink has no hot water, read here for more information). If you notice that your lift rod is leaking, it’s a good idea to check the shut-off valves to ensure they’re functioning correctly.
First, locate the main water shut-off valve for your home and turn it off. Next, locate the shut-off valves for your bathroom sink and turn them on. Once the water is turned on, lift the rod up and down to test the valves.
If they’re not working correctly, you may need to replace them. Fortunately, this is a relatively easy repair that you can do yourself. Just take my word and be sure to turn off the water before you begin so you don’t flood your bathroom.
Replace the Washers
If your bathroom sink leaks, you’ll likely need to replace the washers. Fortunately, this is a relatively easy fix that you can do yourself. Here’s what you’ll need to do:
1. Shut off the water supply to your sink. Doing this will prevent further leaks while working on the sink. The last thing you want is to have water everywhere.
2. Remove the lift rod from the sink. You’ll need to unscrew the retaining nut that holds the lift rod in place. But keep the nut somewhere so you don’t lose it when you put the lift rod back.
3. Once you’ve removed the retaining nut, you should be able to pull the lift rod out of the sink. Be careful not to lose the washers attached to the lift rod.
4. Take a look at the washers and determine if you need to replace them. If they’re damaged or worn, it’s best to replace them with new ones. You can tell washers are bad if they are cracked or dried out.
5. To install new washers, reverse the process you used to remove the old ones. First, insert the lift rod into the sink and screw on the retaining nut snugly (but not too tight).
6. Turn on the water supply and test your sink to ensure no more leaks. If everything is working correctly, enjoy your leak-free bathroom sink.
Replace the P-Trap
If your bathroom sink leaks from the lift rod, you might need to replace the P-trap. The P-trap connects the sink to the drain and prevents sewage gases from entering the home. Luckily, replacing the P-trap is a relatively easy do-it-yourself project. Here’s what you’ll need to do:
1. Turn off the water supply to the sink and remove the lift rod.
2. Use a wrench to loosen the nut that attaches the P-trap to the drain.
3. Remove the old P-trap and clean out any debris from the drain.
4. Install the new P-trap by attaching it to the drain and tightening the nut with a wrench (if the drain doesn’t line up with the P-trap, read the solution here).
5. Turn on the water supply and test for leaks by operating the lift rod. If there are no leaks, you have installed your new P-trap correctly.
There are plenty of videos on YouTube that will help you replace the P-Trap if you get stuck on one of the steps. Here’s one that can help you.
Install a New Sink
If your bathroom sink leaks and you’ve tried all the above troubleshooting options with no success, it’s time to install a new sink. I know, installing a new sink is more involved, but it’s still something most homeowners can do themselves. Here’s what you’ll need to do:
1. Shut off the water supply to your bathroom and remove the old sink (if there’s no shut off valve, check out this post here). You’ll need to disconnect the P-trap and any other plumbing connections. Ensure a bucket is handy to catch any water that may drain out when you remove the sink.
2. Install the new sink by following the instructions that came with it. Make sure to connect all of the plumbing connections properly. You can always take pictures when taking the sink apart so that you know how to put it back together.
3. Turn on the water supply and test for leaks. If there are no leaks, you installed your new sink correctly.
Installing a new bathroom sink is a relatively easy DIY project (for more information, read this post). Be sure to turn off the water supply before you start and follow the instructions that come with the new sink. Then, with a little effort, you can have a brand-new sink that doesn’t leak.
A bathroom sink leaking from the lift rod can be a frustrating problem that wastes a lot of money. But with a little bit of know-how, it’s a problem that you can quickly fix yourself. In most cases, the issue is a simple matter of replacing worn-out washers or the P-trap.
And if those options don’t work, you can always install an entirely new sink. Then, with a little bit of effort, you can have a bathroom sink that doesn’t leak.