I unscrewed the nut holding on the pivot rod assembly under my bathroom sink and noticed what you see in the picture. It appears that the rod is encased in some kind of cork substance.

I am not sure if it can be replaced. Is it possible that the rod can be moved forward so I can reattach it to the stopper. I'm doing all of this because it rusted through and won't attach to the stopper as of now.

I am hesitant to move forward without some guidance.

image of gunked up pivot rod in the drain

1 Answer 1


What you're looking at is corrosion, not a packing substance. You want to pull the rod out and if it's reusable clean it up with a decalcifying agent. Try vinegar but you might need something stronger like Kaboom or Limeaway. Since it's not engaging the stopper it might be beyond repair in which case you'll need to replace the rod assembly and depending what you find when you open the drain the entire stopper assembly might need replacing.

  • In the past I have seen just the rod available in the parts section of the plumbing aisle of many home improvement stores.
    – Alaska Man
    Commented Jan 23, 2021 at 22:50
  • I bought a generic pivot rod replacment pack at the home depot but didn't have time this weekend to continue troubleshooting. The stopper itself is fine. A piece of the pivot rod rusted through and thats why it stopped engaging it. Hopefully I can still use existing rod and maybe push it forward to re-engage the stopper Commented Jan 25, 2021 at 2:44

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