I had to replace the ball rod assembly on a bathroom sink's pop-up drain since the old rod had corroded badly. I used a universal replacement kit that came with balls of several sizes and one very flimsy washer to seal the interface between the ball and the tightening nut. While trying to tighten the nut down for the first time, I cracked the washer, possibly by over tightening the nut.

Now I have a ball rod assembly that leaks around the ball. What is an appropriate way to seal that interface? The first idea that I had was to try a rubber O ring as a gasket. A #10 ring seems to fit well inside the nut, but it doesn't stay in place well when I tighten it (it tends to wrap itself around the ball somewhat, not staying in the joint between the ball and nut). It seems like some sort of rubber gasket would be the most sturdy solution, but I'm a bit out of my element.

Sorry if I mangled any terminology above; plumbing is definitely not my day job!

  • You should be able to find an appropriate sized washer. look in the parts dept of the big blue store. If not a plumbing parts supply house. or just buy another kit.
    – Alaska Man
    Feb 27, 2017 at 2:55
  • @Alaskaman Is rubber the material that I should be looking for, or are there even differing materials that are typically used? I did try the second-kit approach, but I had the same problem with the washer getting mangled. I was actually pretty careful the second time; it is just very flimsy.
    – Jason R
    Feb 27, 2017 at 3:11
  • My experience is that universal plumbing replacements are a waste of time and money.
    – Mark
    Jan 28, 2018 at 14:47
  • 1
    @Mark that lines up with my experience as well. After trying two different universal replacements that didn't fit properly, I had to have the entire drain assembly replaced.
    – Jason R
    Jan 28, 2018 at 14:54
  • Jason, please provide and accept an answer or delete your question so it's resolved.
    – isherwood
    Feb 27, 2018 at 15:50

4 Answers 4


Every lavatory faucet manufacturer also supplies the pop-up assembly; they are ALL different. There are also many replacement units from manufacturers all over the globe; again, all different.

Unless you know the manufacturer and source an identical replacement, you will need to find a tapered washer of some sort that fits the nut and ball. It might be shaped something like this:

enter image description here

You will likely need to change out the whole pop-up assembly or do what I have done: throw away the stopper, rod, linkage and nut. Plug the hole where the rod went in with plumber's epoxy. use a rubber stopper on a chain.


Something that can do the trick is regular petroleum jelly (Vaseline). Coat the ball and fit it in. It might work well in lieu of a gasket.

  • This is just a temporary fix, right?
    – bobpaul
    Jul 11, 2022 at 17:21
  • 1
    @bobpaul I've had it work long-term in areas where you have a minor leak and just need to prevent water intrusion
    – Machavity
    Jul 11, 2022 at 17:24

I used a couple of squares of electrical tape with a hole popped in the middle, hand tightened it and it works good!


Bought a universal Pop-Up Repair kit with 3 sized screw-on Rod balls and 3 sized concave washers. Tried all combinations and still have a ball leak. Only an inter-washer was needed. I believe if the Ball Rod Nut hole is not flat, and is concave to fit the ball, only an inter-washer is required. After hours of repair, I found water was leaking thru the threaded rod and applied plumbers tape to the threads to fix. You must add enough tape so the ball screws somewhat snugly.

And yes, now looking at the instructions on the package, it clearly states to wrap Teflon tape on the ball rod threads.

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