Why Do Pop Up Emitters Clog?

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Why Do Pop Up Emitters Clog?

Yes, Pop-up emitters can get clogged over time. The design of pop-up drains includes a mechanism that allows water to flow through while catching debris and preventing it from going down the drain. Yet some things make the pop-up drains clog, such as: Soap scum, Overflowing, grease, Hair, grinds and plumbers tape.

1. Soap scum

When you don’t use the pop-up drain correctly, the soap scum can clog the holes of the drains to prevent water flow.

2. Overflowing

Overflowing water from the tub or sink can cause a great amount of water to go down the drain, which can cause a clogged drain and more damage if not fixed in time.

3. Grease

Grease is another cause of clogged sink drains. It hardens inside the pipes constructing an obstruction that blocks water flow.

4. Hair

Hair is something that can quickly get accumulated in the pop-up drain and can cause a clog in the sink or tub.

5. Plumbers Tape 

The most common reason behind a jammed pop-up drain is “plumbers’ putty. “It is the white or colored putty a plumber uses to repair a water leak. Unfortunately, it can also stick in the pipes and cause clogs, posing a serious flood threat.

6. Clogs/Grinds

While some troubles are avoidable, others are not. Grinding food matter down the sink drain is not recommended; however, upon doing so, it can cause clogs in the sink, and will accumulate dirty water stinking with gross odors.

To avoid these conditions, you should regularly inspect your drain and catch hair that can clog the sink before it breaks.

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Pop-Up Drain Vs. Push-Down Drain

Pop-up drains are found in the plumbing systems. They’re meant to be installed at the bottom of a sink, shower, or other low-profile fixture and are designed to collect debris that otherwise would clog up the drain and cause backups in the pipes.

There are four reasons they tend to back up: improper installation, blocking grease traps with trash, not flushing household chemicals properly, and overuse of strong detergents.

Pop-Up Drain Vs. Push-Down Drain: Main Differences

1. Mechanism

Pop-up drain: A pop-up drain has a lever or knob that, when lifted or turned, causes the drain stopper to rise and allow water to drain.

-Push down the drain: Requires pushing the stopper down to close it and pushing it again to open it.

2. Appearance

-Pop-up drain: Has a flowing appearance with the water moving from the pop-up stopper.

-Push down the drain: Has a fixed appearance with no visual flow.

3. Difficulty and Time needed to install

-Pop-up drain: Easy to install and can be done without tools; lift.

-Push down the drain: Harder to install, requires special tools and knowledge. It requires more time as it could be more intuitive to operate.

4. Share-Ability

-Pop-Up drain: Can be used almost permanently as it does not require tools to keep open.

Push down the drain: Requires tools to keep open. It cannot be used permanently as it needs extra maintenance and interaction with the user.

5. Durability

-Pop-up drain: Less likely to be broken due to its complex mechanism, so very durable.

-Push-down the drain: Easily broken as it is a simple mechanic, and little attention is needed.

6. Feel and Sound while using the bathroom

-Pop-up drain: The flow from the pop-up drain gives the feeling of a flowing water.

-Push-down drain: No visual flow but some movement noise when closure happens.

Can A Pop-Up Drain Be Adjusted?

Yes! You can adjust a pop-up drain by adjusting it. To adjust a pop-up drain, follow these steps:

1. Look for the lever or knob that controls the pop-up drain. It is typically located behind or near the faucet.

2. Pull the lever or knob to raise the pop-up drain until it is completely extended.

3. Close the pop-up drain by pushing it down into position.

4. Turn the faucet on and check to see if there is any water in the sink. If there is, flush out any water in the sink with a few pumps of bottled water.

5. If the sink completely drains when flushed, the drain is adjusted correctly, and you are done. If the pop-up drain does not completely drain, you must continue adjusting it until it does.

6. When you adjust the pop-up drain, always try to leave the drain in place. The adjustment should cause no problems except a clogged drain when in place.

Why Do Pop Up Emitters Clog?

7. After adjusting the pop-up drain, shut the water off and wait a minute. Then immediately turn on the water again and watch the sink drain.

Can You Replace A Pop-Up Sink Plug?

Yes, You can replace a pop-up sink plug. The pop-up sink plug, also known as a drain stopper, can become worn out or damaged over time, or you may want to change it for aesthetic reasons.

Replacing a pop-up sink plug is generally a straightforward process. Here’s how:

1. Start by locating the lever or knob on the back of the faucet that controls the pop-up drain. This is usually located behind the sink, near the top of the drain.

2. Turn the lever or knob to open the drain. Usually, this will allow you to lift the stopper and remove it from the drain.

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3. Remove the old sink plug, if possible, by inserting a pair of pliers into the hole where it was mounted and pulling up to remove it completely (or grasp a corner of it with pliers).

4. Insert a replacement pop-up drain stopper into the hole in your new one. It should be an exact fit for your sink.

You may want to wrap the new stopper in Teflon tape or apply the plumber’s putty to the inside of the new drain stopper before installing it to ensure it is watertight.

5. Move the lever or knob on your faucet back down if you opened it earlier, and test your repair by turning on the water. Let the water run until you are sure your drain is functioning properly.

6. Turn off the water and ensure no excess water flows into the drain.

7. Apply a little plumber’s putty or sealant to finish your repair.

How Can I Make My Pipes Drain Faster?

If you’re experiencing slow drainage in your pipes, you can take several steps to improve the situation, such as:

1. Remove Any Visible Debris: Check for any visible debris, such as hair, soap scum, or food particles, near the drain opening. Use gloves or a suitable tool to remove these obstructions.

2. Clean the Drain Stoppers: The drain stoppers can become blocked. Use a small pick to remove the debris and clean them with soap and water or a mild cleaning agent.

3. Shower Before You Flush: If you quickly use hot water to flush your toilet, this can create a warm spot that may cause the pipes to freeze when cold outside due to cold winter temperatures.

To prevent this, take a shower before flushing your toilet.

4. Decrease Water Pressure: If you are having slow drains, it might be time to reduce the water pressure in your home. The pressure applied to the pipes will be spread evenly throughout them, causing them to move more efficiently.

5. Reduce Your Demand for Hot Water: When flushing your toilet, you must have enough hot water available. This will enable the toilet to flush properly and empty the bowl of its contents.

However, if you have a high level of demand for hot water, this can cause your pipes to take longer to drain their contents. Try flushing the toilet using cold water instead of hot water to drain your pipes faster.

How Do I Know What Size Pop-Up Drain I Need?

MethodProcedureIndication of Drain Size
Manufacturer’s SpecificationCheck the product description or packaging for the recommended drain size provided by the manufacturer.Manufacturer’s suggested size.
Existing DrainMeasure the diameter of the existing drain opening using a caliper or measuring tape.Current drain size
Sink TypeIdentify the type of sink (e.g., bathroom vanity, kitchen sink) and refer to commonly used drain sizes for that sink type.Common drain size for the sink type
Sink ManualConsult the manual or documentation of the sink to find information on the recommended drain size.Recommended drain size by the sink manufacturer
Professional AdviceConsult a plumber who can assess your sink and provide expert advice on the appropriate drain size.Expert recommendation based on sink characteristics

Is It Safe To Put Vinegar And Baking Soda In The Drain?

Yes, it’s generally safe to put vinegar and baking soda down the drain. When combined, vinegar and baking soda (create a chemical reaction that produces carbon dioxide gas, water, and a salt called sodium acetate.

This reaction can help break down certain organic materials, remove minor clogs, and deodorize the drain.

Here’s a simple method you can follow:

1. Pour about half a cup of baking soda down the drain.

2. Pour some vinegar down the drain. (Use about half a cup.)

3. Let this mixture sit for thirty minutes to two hours.

4. Check the drain by running hot, soapy water down it for about fifteen seconds each time and also using a small funnel to check if it still clogs up at any point during this period.

If so, add more vinegar and baking soda before repeating steps 1 through 4 until your drain is clear again.

5. Flush the mixture from your drain with hot water.

6. Repeat this entire process if the initial flush fails to clear your drain.

Are All Bathroom Sink Plugs The Same Size?

No, Bathroom sink plugs can vary in size. While there are standard sizes for bathroom sink plugs, variations may still be based on the specific sink or the manufacturer. This is most commonly due to the size of the sink.

Some manufacturers make plugs smaller than standard for different sink shapes and sizes.

The differences in size are most likely noticed when users try to use a bathroom plug advertised as fitting multiple sinks.

To determine which sink will be a good fit for your new bathroom plugs, visit your local hardware store or look through your old drawers.

You may have been using the wrong size plugs, which may be why you’ve had problems with the drains.

The standard bathroom sink plugs will most likely fit the following categories:

Standard safety plugs. Have a rounded edge that goes around the sink. These plugs are available in PVC and ABS plastic (both materials boast durability).

They’re typically 2 3/16″ in diameter but boast availability in various shapes and sizes based on individual specifications. Some sinks have holes or grooves, making a round-edge plug impossible.

Plastic insert for round-edge plastic plug. These plugs may or may not have a rounded edge. They are available in ABS and PVC and come in various but smaller diameters than the safety plugs.

Re-usable sink plugs. These plugs can be bought as a single unit or in kits that contain several different styles. They’re typically 3 3/8″ in diameter, which fits most standard bathroom sinks.

These are popular for homeowners who want to avoid constantly buying replacement plugs. They may also be useful if you have many different-sized sinks.

Is A Sink Stopper Necessary?

Yes! A sink stopper is an important part of any kitchen setup for the following reasons:

1. Holds Water In The Sink

Sink stoppers hold the water in your sink to avoid making puddles on the floor. It also prevents particularly deep sinks from draining too quickly, which wastes water and causes splashback that can make a mess.

2. Keeps Food Particles Out Of Pipes

A sink stopper ensures food particles don’t enter your pipes and cause clogs or other malfunctions.

3. Prevents Water Splashes

A sink stopper will also prevent water splashes onto the floor, saving your hardwood floors and carpets.

4. Keeps Your Sink Clean

A sink stopper keeps the sink clean by limiting splashing, deterring garbage disposal accidents, and overall messiness that can result from food and trash in the drain.

5. Prevents smells from splashing into the air

A sink stopper can also prevent odors and bad smells from the air.

6. Requires Less Maintenance

Sink stoppers have a relatively low maintenance requirement compared to other plumbing components, such as a garbage disposal or kitchen faucet, since they rarely need replacing.

7. Allows for A Garbage Disposal

If you have a garbage disposal, you must plug your sink to work correctly. Otherwise, when the garbage disposal runs, the suction could cause your kitchen sink to rise or fall too quickly and flood your kitchen.


Whatever they are connected to, drains must be dealt with somehow. And sometimes, it just has to be dealt with immediately.

So don’t leave any drain clogs for a later time; you may not have time! I recommend immediately fixing your drains by unblocking them and clearing the clogs.


Hi! I I faced many questions from customers about different products, and there was hardly any help on the internet. After learning all the things about these products as a manager the hard way, I decided to start a blog and help other people.

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