Introduction: Fixing a "Push Button" Sink

About: I am a Marine Engineer in the RNZN (45 years done in various navies) and am looking forward to retirement!!! so I can do more messing about with tools

We have these spring loaded push button sink plugs in our house, and from time to time they stick in the closed position so you can't drain the sink.

This is usually due to a build up of soap scum, mould etc (yum) so this is how you get them to work again --with the added bonus of cleaning the crap off of them, so they are more hygenic.

Sorry some of the pics are a little blurry but I was trying to get close ups while doing the job and holding the camera -- I need a helper to take the pics!!

Step 1: Materials and Tools

A pair of pliers


Steel Wool or Wire Brush

Silicon Spray or WD40

Mould Cleaner

Step 2: Removing the Plug

Firstly you have to get the plug bit out (the shiny chromed bit)

If you can get the plug to open (ie you are doing this before it is jammed in as preventative maintenance) you can grip the outside with your fingers or CAREFULLY with pliers and rotate it to come off

If the plug is jammed shut the push down on the top surface while trying to rotate anticlockwise, they will usually come apart pretty easily, for extra grip try wearing a rubber glove. (On your hand - silly!!)

Step 3: Removing the Stem

Use the pliers to CAREFULLY turn the stem anticlockwise and remove, sometimes it will come out in one piece still attached to the plug, This is a BONUS!!

Step 4: Clean

Clean as thoroughly as possible using wire wool, wire brush etc

I also sprayed with mould killer, washed the whole thing in very hot water and then sprayed with silicon spray.

Work the "action" several times (open and close) to ensure it is free to move

If it is still a bit sticky then there is a small locating screw on the side, which may have worn a groove or lip internally, try slackening this 1/4 turn.

Step 5: Reassemble

As they say in the Haynes Manuals Reassembly is the reverse of dismantling --easy enough, don't overtighten anything just do it up and "give it a nip" Remember these bits are usually brass and not got a huge amount of strength.

Operate it a few times to make sure it functions

While you're at the sink it is probably a good time to clean the U-Bend or P-Trap depending which you have.

I will cover this in a later I'ble

Thanks for reading