Sunday, March 4, 2012

Deleting a Peerless Pop-Up Basin Plug

Pop-up wash basin plugs are something that no one in our household ever uses. In the rare event that anyone did need to fill a basin, the logistics of keeping a discrete plug handy are not too difficult to handle. So, pop-up plugs to me are just a needless complication in the event of a clogged drain. I've already done away with the one that was in the basement bathroom. Now, I have a clogged drain in the main floor bathroom's wash basin, and the pop-up is in the way of clearing the clog. Not only that, but the plug's mechanism is seized from disuse in the open position -- it's quite inoperable. I'm going to delete it altogether. Here's a view of the mechanism underneath the basin.

It's all-plastic, made by Peerless. It looks like it's just a snap-fit on the pipe, and can be pried off.

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Except for getting the rod loosened off, that was easy. The rod is clamped in place by a big plastic nut that's hidden from view behind the basin. I had to get Channellocks on the nut by feel to loosen it. Here's a view of the plug's works all removed.

Needless to say, the plug didn't emerge from the drain looking like that. I scrubbed it for the photo; there are limits to how much reality needs to be presented here.

I really can't fault the design of it. It's well-thought-out and well constructed, but as I said earlier, we never use it, and the lift rod had seized in the faucet body from disuse.

That semicircular piece that clips onto the pipe is called the 'yoke'. I'll reinstall that with only the ball portion of the pivot rod to seal the opening in the pipe, and there's an end to pop-up plug aggravation. Here's what I'll be clipping back onto the pipe, along with some silicone gasket maker for a 'sure-thing' sealant.

That went nicely. That clip-on yoke is a fine piece of engineering, whether for its intended function or as merely a hole-plug holder.

By the way, there's a way to install these plugs so the plug is easily removable. You clip the closed end off the plug's shank, like so.

With that little alteration made, the plug just perches on its pivot rod and can be taken out at any time. The only downside is that the lift rod can't pull the plug firmly closed, you'd have to push down on the plug after letting it drop to seat it firmly. In any event, at this address, I'm just as happy to be rid of the thing entirely.

A further 'by the way' is that a bicycle spoke makes a pretty good tool for fishing hairy clogs out of drains. Whenever possible, fishing out a clog is preferable to dumping chemical muck down the drain.

Two spokes can be coupled together with a spoke nut to make a longer tool.

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