How to Fix a Kohler Sink Stopper

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Things You'll Need

  • Channel-type pliers

  • Small flathead screwdriver

Expect to spend about 20 minutes repairing the stopper

A sink stopper's purpose is to hold water within the basin of the sink by blocking the sink's drain opening. Kohler's line of bathroom sinks are fitted with a shaft-operated stopper conveniently positioned between the faucet handles. When the stopper is actuated, a linkage beneath the sink pulls the stopper down. If the bottom of the stopper is broken, the linkage will have no effect. Likewise, hair can accumulate along the shaft of the stopper and make it increasingly difficult to operate. A broken linkage or a linkage that requires adjustment may also cause a problem.


Step 1

Push the stopper handle all the way down to expose the bottom of the stopper linkage underneath the sink.

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Step 2

Locate the tension clip that secures the clevis to the stopper linkage. The clevis is the horizontal metal rod that extends from the back of the sink's drain pipe underneath the sink. The stopper linkage is the vertical metal bracket attached to the tip of the clevis. The tension clip is the metal, U-shaped clip located at the point at which the clevis meets the stopper linkage.

Step 3

Disconnect the clevis from the stopper linkage. Squeeze the two sides of the tension clip together to release the pressure on the clevis and then slide the clip off the end of the clevis to release the stopper linkage.

Step 4

Remove the clevis from the sink's drainpipe. Note that the clevis is secured to the pipe with an integral nut. Rotate the nut in a counterclockwise direction with channel-type pliers until the nut detaches from the pipe and then slide the clevis out of the pipe to release the stopper. Examine the small rubber ball on the end of the clevis. Replace the clevis if the ball is deteriorating.


Step 5

Lift the stopper out of the sink. If you are unable to grasp the stopper, insert the tip of a small flat-head screwdriver between the edge of the stopper and the sink and then raise the edge of the stopper with the screwdriver and lift the stopper away. Examine the small hole at the bottom of the stopper's shaft. This is the hole that the clevis slides into. If the tip of the shaft has broken away, discard the stopper and install a new one.


Step 6

Remove any debris from the shaft of the stopper if you intend to reuse the stopper.

Step 7

Lower the stopper into the sink.

Step 8

Hold the stopper at that closed position from above the sink and slide the tip of the clevis into the drainpipe. The goal here is to prevent the stopper from lifting so that the tip of the clevis slides through the hole on the bottom of the stopper shaft. Tighten the clevis's integral nut onto the drainpipe.


Step 9

Determine the appropriate location to attach the clevis to the stopper linkage. Note that the linkage features a number of holes along its length. These holes represent the available locations the clevis can attach to. Insert the clevis through the bottom hole and then operate the stopper handle. The stopper should rest firmly against the bottom of the sink when closed and raise completely off the sink when open. Move the clevis upward along the linkage until the stopper operates properly.


Step 10

Attach the clevis to the stopper linkage. Slide the clevis out of the linkage. Insert the clevis through only one side of the tension clip and then slide the clevis through the adjustment linkage. Finally, squeeze the ends of the tension linkage together and slide the clevis through the remaining hole on the clip. Release the tension clip to secure the clevis to the linkage.


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