A bathroom sink stopper works through a series of several parts, located under the sink, except for the lift rod on the back of the sink's faucet. Because of these several parts working together, several problem points will cause the stopper not to seat properly, letting water drain out of the sink when the stopper is closed.
Loose or broken connections under the bathroom sink will cause the stopper not to seat properly. Use a flashlight if necessary and look under the sink for any signs of damage. If you see any parts that obviously are broken, remove them and install replacements. Make sure the screw that holds the lift rod in the "C" portion of the clevis strap is tight. Also, make sure the retaining nut on the side of the sink's drain pipe has not loosened either.
Check the Stopper
A broken stopper will not seat properly, and you will need to replace it with a new one. First loosen the nut on the side of the sink's drain pipe. Then, pull the pivot rod out of the opening in the side of the drain pipe. With the pivot rod out, remove the stopper and inspect it. If you see evidence of cracks, even small hairline cracks, replace the stopper.
A rubber seal on the underside of the bathroom sink stopper helps keep water from seeping out of the drain around the stopper. Even if your stopper is working in every other way, a corroded or old seal will allow the water to leak out of the sink. Find replacement seals at a home improvement or plumbing store, or replace the whole stopper mechanism, which will include a new rubber seal.
Readjust the Mechanism
With the stopper back in place, and the pivot rod and retaining nut back in the side of the drain pipe, you are ready to readjust the stopper mechanism, which will affect how the stopper sits in the drain. Pull up on the stopper's lift rod, closing the stopper completely. Use a screwdriver to loosen, but not remove, the screw on the "C" shaped end of the clevis strap, where it attaches to the lift rod. Wait five minutes for the mechanism to self-adjust, and then tighten the screw again.
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